Anjali Saji On ‘Bombay’

Engineer, Ashgar Ali. “Economic and PoliticalWeekly”; On ‘Bombay’. Vol. 30, No.
26 (Jul. 1, 1995). P. 1556. Web. 23-06-2016

This article from the Economic and Political Weekly deals with the situations and restrictions the film Bombay faced while releasing. Bombay deals with the socio-political situation between the Hindus and Muslims during the Babari masjid scenario. This movie shows a Hindu boy falling in love with a Muslim girl who later elopes to Bombay evading their parents disapproval. Years pass and they lead a happy life but it is during this time that the turmoil begins that costs people their lives and livelihood. Mobs from both the communities hunt down each other and kill in the name of religion.
Releasing such a movie at that time was made difficult for director Mani Ratnam, who faced objections from both the religions. Bal Thackrey wanted some of the dialogues spoken by the actor Tinnu Anand (playing Thackeray in the film); but there were objections saying that the certain dialogues were lifted from his speech only and are not any additions. But succumbing to the pressure, Ratnam had to make those certain edits. Later, sections of the Muslim community raised objections on various grounds. First was that a Muslim girl eloping with a Hindu boy was considered as de-shaming their society. Second was the usage of artistic freedom.
Engineer argues that Mani Ratnam should not have made the cuts relating to Thackeray as once you submit to such threats by the leader of one community, you will have to face threats from leaders of the other community also. Ratnam would have been morally on much stronger ground in resisting the threats of Muslim leaders. And the government should not allow any pressure tactics to work once the film is approved by the Censor Board.
She goes on to talk about how Ratnam failed to show the analysis of the riot and its causes. So the film is deemed with more of a commercial value rather than artistic value. She compares it with respect to Govind Nihalani’s ‘Tamas’, and says that it is of far superior variety as the film makes a serious attempt to understand the causes of partition and violence which followed in its wake. ‘Bombay’, on the other hand, is a curious mixture of realism and fantasy. But, it must be said to the credit of the film that it does make an attempt to reduce the gulf between Hindus and Muslims. Hence this movie was welcome among the masses.


Anjali Saji Popular culture: introductory perspectives

Danesi, Marcel. Popular culture: introductory perspectives.

Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. 2012. 1-12. Print.

Marcel Danesi, at first gives a brief introduction into what exactly popular culture is; he associates it with the sudden shift of taste and desires in America along with the liberty to freely express these desires during the 1920’s (also known as the roaring twenties).
The purpose of this opening chapter is to trace the origins and evolutionary tendencies of pop culture, discussing its basic features, its close relation to media technologies, and how it can be approached.
He then goes on to define pop culture. It shows how human culture is not only evolving in terms of biological aspects but also culturally and in its own terms. Anthropologist, Franz Boas, have traced such evolutions and termed it as cultural relativism.
The Polish-born British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski (1884- 1942) stated “cultures originated to provide methods for solving basic physical and moral problems”. He claimed that cultures across the world, no matter how divergent they might seem, encoded universal concepts of ethics and expressed basic needs, allowing people everywhere to solve life problems in remarkably similar ways. Danesi also goes on to show how popular culture is quaint. Roland Barthes says that pop culture is a “bastard culture” due to is predictability and lack of creativeness.
He then goes on to mention the different levels of culture and how it is placed in society and proves that it is not a “bastard culture” but rather eclectic culture.
However, he mentions that pop culture makes little or no distinction between art and recreation. Although most of its products are designed to have a short shelf-life, some gain permanency as so-called great works of art. Such is the paradox and power of pop culture.

Anjali Saji Popular culture: Empathy and Enfranchisement

Groot, Jerome De. “Popular culture.” Empathy and Enfranchisement: popular histories. Ed. Michael Pickering. Sage publications, 2010. 249-57. Print.

This article concerns itself with the media phenomenon of ‘history’ over the past decade along with the complex types of historical engagement available, and what these various copies of ‘experience’ suggest for consumption and understanding of the past. Groot tries to associate and trace the past through various histories presented to us. He also talks about how history is used as a cultural phenomenon. He also uses the example of reality tv to portray how the human understanding of past has changed. He uses the example of a few shows like the Trench and many more. He discusses the plurality of histories lead to the protection of some cultures and traditions.,,