Friday, February 02, 2007

Ae mere Madrasi logon (or is it log on!) and Lata Mangeshkar!

By John Cheeran
Shilpa Shetty won her prize in the Celebrity Big Brother Contest.
It has been a few days and I was expecting Shetty to make statement that her winner’s amount of Rs three crores will be utilized to set up a foundation to fight racism on a global scale. May be starting with India itself.
How racist are Indians?
The North-South divide is pretty evident in India that is Bharath. For North Indians prefer to address all South Indians as “Madrasi,” a pejorative term at its best.
Such practice was rampant earlier and is on the wane as India discovered Bangalore and Hyderabad and even Kerala.
A few days earlier on January 26, I listened on the radio Lata Mangeshkar’s famous song “Ae mere watan ke logon.” I was startled when Lata sang ‘Madrasis', referring to all those South of Vindhya.
Here is a song that has been hailed to cut across all divisions in the land. Here is a song that brought tears to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s eyes as Lata sang it during the war in 1965.
Still it is shocking that writer can get away by using pejorative term for those who cannot instantly sync with the song.
Apparently Kavi Pradeep who wrote the song, would not have heard about anything south of Vindhya.
And over the years Watan ke log has been played a billion times. A racist song at best!
Hope none listens to Lata’s effort after the first two lines.

1 comment:

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