DOES KNOWING ENGLISH MAKE US INHERENTLY ELITIST

Well first I know how hypocritical this is because I am writing the post in English, but I seriously don’t know how to write in Hindi on a laptop, besides this is meant to provoke the thoughts of those who are well endowed with the English language skills. Now we were studying the various schools of history and there they taught us what is the Elitist school of history. For those who, like me, don’t know what it is, well this is what I understood, means when the history is told only from the perspective of the elite that this the ones who were influential enough to get their names etched in history. But now a days, as I came to know, elitist is also used for those people who consider themselves, maybe unconsciously, a notch higher than others maybe for the simple reason that they can speak better English or have see more English movies or are into the English music legends like John Lennon, Eric Clapton etc and for some reason have an accent which you can neither trace to the British nor to the Americans and it is definitely not Indian. I might refer to people as ‘they’ which might feel like I am  talking about my batch mates, but I mean it in a general sense.

Now, why did I get to thinking this? The thing is that I may watch a English movies and listen to a few English songs here and there but still my preferred style of music is Indian folk, Indian folk fusion, Indian Classical and well if the lyrics and music are good enough maybe even Bollywood songs. My room mates play their Led Zeppelin songs at full blast of their speakers and I am supposed to, well no offence meant, bear the monstrosity. But the other day I came in with my laptop, with a soft Hindi Bollywood melody playing on it and voila! I was to either shut the song or sit outside the room, MY VERY OWN ROOM!!! You can’t sit with people you call your friends because eventually when the conversation turns towards music, you are sitting with an expression on your face that gives it away very nicely, that you have no idea what is going on. When you talk about what you listen to, as in if they are polite enough to ask, they will just nod and then somebody will bring in Dream Theater and the whole point is just lost. Sometimes I feel that are such people even capable of appreciating the beauty of India’s indigenous music that does not actually come from Coke Studio, which again to me is an elitist version of folk songs. Though I agree some are really beautiful, but I can bet that those ones have deviated only slightly from their original form, because the music comes from the narrow roads that take you to the very heart of the country, etched deep into the traditions and the culture.

Talking about English movies, I do enjoy James Bond, no wait, I am helplessly in love with James Bond (especially Pierce Brosnan) and also like watching Harrison Ford movies and the others. But not having watched Dead Poet’s society was a sin that I had committed that probably could not be absolved in this life, at least this is the reaction I got. When I asked people have you seen Swades, Chak De! India or to put in perspective, 3 Idiots, everyone looked down on me because I actually enjoyed these movies. Not only this, our college has this thing of finding excellent and meaningful movies from all over the globe and then showing it to us. So, they day they showed Dead Poet’s society, the entire hall was jam-packed. The next week they showed us this Kannada movie about caste-ism in India from an example in Karnataka, the story being penned by an internationally acclaimed author who wrote in Kannada. Any guesses as to what happened, the hall had a few people, half of them probably had nothing to do. It is many of these movies that go to the Cannes Festival and the other fashionable screening of movies, yet do we know anything about them.

Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars hence every Indian talks about the movie with pride, but how many of us have seen Paheli (translated to English: the puzzle) that was nominated to the Oscars, was shortlisted but just couldn’t make the final cut. When the Oscars are to be awarded, in India the program airs at 6:30 in the morning, you will find people actually getting up to see them even though they actually happen around the time school student are writing their exams. I agree such fervor is also raised for Filmfare, but probably because it awards the populist cinema. Have we ever seen this excitement for The National Awards, which are actually given away by the President of India. People usually give the argument that we don’t watch Indian award functions because they are rigged and have a lot of unnecessary dance and song performances, at least this is what I feel. But the national awards cannot be rigged, even in the dreams of a madman and there is a total of what 2 or 3 performances. But no, we don’t even know when they are given away.

In my family, I was supposed to be the elitist because I don’t enjoy Salman Khan and Akshay  Kumar movies and only deigned to go to the theater if a Shahrukh Khan movie had released. But now coming to college I want to tell them that the deal they got with me was much better. 😀

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “DOES KNOWING ENGLISH MAKE US INHERENTLY ELITIST

  1. Pingback: DOES KNOWING ENGLISH MAKE US INHERENTLY ELITIST | Tinseltown Times

  2. Definitely, knowing english doesn’t make us elite and it should always be the thought that should matter instead of the language. But, sadly this is not the case. I know guys who are really creative but since they are not so good in english, their confidence level is reduced and they start thinking that they are losers. A big reason behind this is the media. How many really creative art films can you name that have been premiered on tv? Or how many folk songs are being shown on the tv? The answer is – very few!! I don’t know why speaking with an accent or eating at mcdonalds is considered as a status symbol. And, you know the biggest irony? Many good talented guys are there who can’t write a paragraph in hindi without making spelling mistakes. Difference between मंज़िल and मन्जील they don’t know!! I feel sorry for them sometimes.
    P.S. :- This comment is coming from a led zeppelin and metallica fan, ironically!! 🙂

    • The only time I hear folk songs is through coke studio which is technically a remixed version and art movies are heard of only as nominations to some cinema festival or something. Oh my god accents….. People get them when their plane just lies over the Britain or America. And I feel so sad when people can’t understand basic words of Hindi, for them it is Greek. You talk about manzil they don’t know when to use ki and kee. It is just sad. What is it with Led Zeppelin, my room mate also keeps singing that band’s songs, stairway to heaven or something and yeah that one on Kashmir. I am a James Bond fan myself and I rarely watch Hindi movies unless they are, don’t judge, Shahrukh Khan or have an interesting story like Jaane Bhi do Yaaron or Zakhm. I can’t really sit through 3 hours of Hindi movies but even then this post is what I have noticed in a few months of college.

      • Coke studio – haven’t seen much, but i’ve always loved what i’ve seen. And, I guess you can call them folk rock or folk fusion music. Coke studio brings out a whole new flavour by using those so called “endangered” musical instruments.
        Art movies – I seriously gotta thanks torrent for that otherwise I wouldn’t even have heard of gems like ‘that girl in yellow boots’ or ‘parzania’ or ‘black friday’ coz they dont show these on television.
        Accent and hindi – I agree with you on that ‘ki’ and ‘kee’ thing. And accent, well it makes them look cool. So, can’t help much and telling them the truth is treated as a serious offence.
        Led zeppelin – can’t get enough of “whole lotta love” and “stairway to heaven” and “thank you” and “kashmir” and many more. Robert Plant is just great.
        SRK – I dont know if you’d believe it or not but I myself am a huge fan of SRK. He is a legend. My name is khan, swades, kal ho na ho, don, mohabbatein, etc were just amazing. But, it doesn’t mean that I liked happy new year or chennai express.
        Well! I guess the topic has shifted and I’ve written quite a lot!! 🙂 🙂

      • Yeah SRK fan!! Finally, I thought I was one of those endangered species and yes I would agree with not liking HNY, it was pure stupid but Chennai Express has some good laughs and I love the songs of that movie and Black Friday I just love that movie. And Led Zeppelin, I don’t know I am more of that folk fusion or folk rock person, Kailasa, Indian Ocean hey didn’t they give music for Black Friday, Euphoria, Coke Studio, Nescafe Basement. I never was really fond of English music barring a few like ABBA or some song here or there like I feel wonderful tonight.

      • Yes, indian ocean did give the music of black friday. And, euphoria – I like them too especially the song ‘mehfuz’. It is a wonderful song. Nescafe basement – haven’t heard of them. And, I guess regarding music, I like every genre ranging from classical hindi and carnatic songs to hard rock and nu metal in english. The song should be melodious and the lyrics should be good. That’s my idea of a good song, I suppose.

      • And another euphoria fan. God bless the stars today. FRIENDS + SRK + EUPHORIA + CARNATIC AND CLASSICAL MUSIC fan. I am very happy today

      • Really?? Well! What are the odds!!
        So, I guess you must like Kanan Mohan and Agnee?? Coz I love the band.
        And, when it comes to classical, K.J. Yesudas is someone I just adore. His voice is so soothing!!

      • I guessed that but then I thought maybe maybe it is some other band of which I don’t know. Nescafe Basement is in Pakistan only but it is fantastic.

      • That is so nice of you…. Thanks and good night. By the way I really love your poetry. I love it when they words are simple but so elegantly put that they subtly convey emotions.

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