Quite frankly, this is a rare exception in which public demand doesn't match the quality of a film. The only reason Ram Jaane was successful was because of the post-DDLJ hype that SRK was going through at that exact point of time. While Aamir Khan had a hit with Rangeela, it was more of a class film that worked mostly in cities due to the subtlety and realism it brought to Indian cinema that a mass audience couldn't really appreciate at that time. The same goes for Akele Hum Akele Tum - it was a beautiful film that defied convention by portraying the hero as a tragic loser throughout its course; the only reason the ending is happy is because Manisha feels sympathy for him at the end. The audience at the time couldn't digest such a melancholy, depressing film, and thus it became a flop.
NOW I am in no way degrading SRK's ability as an actor or his box-office potential by saying that Ram Jaane didn't deserve to be a success - as an SRK fan myself, I feel that Ram Jaane was simply not reflective of his true abilities and thus didn't deserve to be a hit - if DDLJ is the sky, then Ram Jaane is hell. I would have rather had a film of his that year like Oh Darling Yeh Hai India (a bizarre and idiotic film, agreed, but out-of-the-box and creative) do well than Ram Jaane.