Do you know Mahendra Singh Devki? Or Virat Saroj? How about Ajinkya Sujata?
This new campaign by Star Plus, launched on October 16, is all about "Nayi Soch" or "New Thinking".
In a patriarchal society, it is the father's name or surname that the child carries even though the mother's contribution to the child's welfare is often more than the father's. But it's only the male lineage and family name that we care about - an idea that ties in to the social belief that a male child is more valuable than is a female child.
The campaign asks viewers to re-think this.
This video has Dhoni asking a reporter why he was never questioned on why his jersey has "Dhoni" written on it but people ask when "Devki" makes an appearance.
Virat Kohli acknowledges that he is as much his mother's son as he is his father's.
Ajinkya Rajane speaks of his mother's hard work and contribution towards his career.
While this is an innovative campaign and it's great that it's getting the visibility that it deserves through these popular sportspersons, will it stop with paying lip-service to the idea?
Will Ziva Dhoni get a new surname or an addition to her existing one?
Most importantly, will Star Plus walk the talk and inject some "nayi soch" into their regressive TV soaps? Or will we watch these progressive ads only in between saas-bahu battles that belong to the middle ages? Star Plus soaps typically have an all-sacrificing heroine whose job it is to hold the family together, even if it means turning herself into a doormat (with lots of embroidery and gold work but still). Whether it is "Ye Hai Mohabbatein" or "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai", the women who're shown in positive light are tripping over themselves to please everyone in the family and society, happy to give up their own dreams and identity in the process. And these are not even the worst of the lot.
While piggy-backing on the "feminist" wave that's sweeping the Indian media, will Star Plus also take a deep look at the problematic messages that they're propagating?
Note: Views expressed are the personal opinions of the author.