4 responses to “Change has come to America. And India?

  1. Pingback: About « Bourgeois Inspirations·

  2. Oops ! Sorry I think I sent this comment in your contact box.

    First off, you have a very nice blog and I would echo most of what you say here.

    I feel you are being a bit unfair to SRK, he is an entertainer, and he does his job well. It is not his job to awaken the Indian middle classes. And he tried, by making Swades. But whether he danced at some private party or not is his own personal business, not something to judge him by.

    Why is the middle class so apathetic/powerless ? The answer to this question is not that simple. People are less likely to protest/agitate/demand change if they feel that they have something to lose. And any middle class Indian does have a lot to lose if he/she challenges the system. This is a country where 60 low caste persons are shot dead for affirmative action agitations.

    The Indian middle class has to realize what the price of inaction is going to be. That in the long term they will loose even more, if they dont reject criminal politicians, dont stand upto corruption, dont protect their country’s environment.

    Btw, I completely disagree with you on ‘regional politics’, but that is another matter.

  3. Vikram, thanks.

    About Shahrukh: I have nothing against him – he’s charismatic, articulate and vaguely funny. What bothers me is the fixation he inspires. When the guy is self-limiting his relevance in the larger society with statements of “I only want to bring a smile blah blah”, why is the public so smarmy? Why is Rajdeep Sardesai/Barkha Dutt smilingly coaxing him to enter politics, as if all we need to save the country is a guy who can banter charmingly with Karan Johar, and talk the moderate Islam line in interviews after Mumbai terror attacks. He’s a mainstream Bollywood actor (good/bad), and until he does something of more importance, we should treat him as such (which I guess we are, since nothing trumps “celebrity” in India).

  4. I agree. I think the fixation that movie stars generate today has a lot to do with the expansion of media in India. They need content and “celebrity” is good fodder. Also, since most of middle-class India subscribes to a consumption-oriented ‘Bollywood’ nationalism, the media is constantly trying to create a monolithic national identity by projecting SRK as the ideal Indian. This makes it easier for them to advertise to a staggeringly diverse country.

    So, they have a vested interest in elevating movie stars to this status.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s