Music / 25.07.2011

By Anjum Altaf The seeming disconnect between the aural and visual dimensions of popular Indian culture has left me in shock and struggling for an explanation. There are many things I don’t fathom but most of the time I can advance plausible hypotheses to work towards an understanding. Not so in this particular case. I have come upon this puzzle late and in a peculiar manner. Being aurally-oriented to an extreme, I have had very limited exposure to the visual medium. I have watched some classical dance live, attended the occasional play, and consumed some sports on TV. But as far as visual expressions of popular art forms are concerned, I am largely ignorant. Movies, in particular, I haven’t watched for decades. This changed recently when I found myself responsible for managing senior citizens whose daily routine included a number of hours before the television. Hoping to wean...

India / 19.03.2009

Now that we are engaged with issues of analysis this is a good issue to try our skills on. We have often wondered about the political prominence of film related personalities (NTR, MGR, Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha) in the Indian South without devoting enough attention to come up with a decent hypothesis or explanation. With the emergence of Chiranjeevi in AP as the potential ‘fourth-force’, we are face to face with the questions again. How do we explain the following? The acceptance in South India of movie related personalities as leaders of political parties and as Chief Ministers. The much less prominent profile of equally popular movie stars in North India – there are quite a few members of parliament but no political stars of equal...