Saturday, December 21, 2002

secular faux

Dr Rajiv Vijaykar, frequent columnist in Screen and Rediff is responsible for a rather unsettling article in the latest issue of Screen titled, rather inappropriately Muslims to the rescue. The agenda is a retrospective on the role of Muslims in Indian music. I am sure we acknowledge the contributions of giants like Mohd. Rafi, Talat Mehmood and Shamshad Begum, Naushad and Khaiyyam, and countless lyricists, but do we really need to have it hammered into us that they were Muslims? What was that, some social stigma/obstacle that they overcame to achieve critical and popular acclaim? A crutch? This is like instituting a Best Black Actor Oscar. Perhaps worse. It's hard to accept any naiveté from the author, since he is a man of some knowledge and wisdom. Shame!

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