June 13, 2021
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Where's The Kolaveri In India?

Where's The Kolaveri In India?

In the Asian Age, Sidharth Bhatia compares the latest Indian rage Kolaveri Di

with the outrage expressed in Pakistani band Beygairat Brigade's Aalu Anday

and concludes:

...our creative people do not like to rock the boat. There is no dearth of troubling issues in the country — what is missing is vibrant engagement and critiquing.

India, too, has a history of activism and intellectual dissent and this is not to suggest that there are no novels, films or songs that ask questions of the establishment, but India today sees itself not as a country with worrying concerns but as a rapidly growing economy ready to take its place in the world.

Notwithstanding all its problems, this is a country that is largely pleased with itself to the point of being smug; that mood is not conducive to producing radical art. There is nothing wrong with being happy and satisfied, but it is the duty of the artist, the writer and the filmmaker to speak truth to power. That is not happening in today’s India. Occasionally, the online world creates some subversive memes but here, too, it remains rather tame, taking on the usual suspects like politicians, rather than spoof corporates or even do-gooders; no one wants to take on the really powerful. Which is why our Kolaveri will remain charming rather than caustic. We are not going to get an Indian version of Aloo Anday anytime soon, because that would mean not merely making fun of our holy cows, but also questioning ourselves.

Read the full piece: No Kolaveri in India

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