India Uncut

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Everything is mainstream

Prufrock Two makes an argument in this post that I remember Amit Saigal, the editor of Rock Street Journal, making to me years ago: there is no counterculture in India. Amit's argument seems especially poignant now, because at the time we had that chat, in 1996 I think, we used to talk about how Indian rock will break into the mainstream very soon, and perhaps even get international success. But as P2 writes:
In the Western world, the mainstream perpetuates itself by incorporating elements of alternative lifestyles; in urban India, the mainstream thrives on attitudes derived from the West.
And if I might elaborate on that, on attitudes derived from the mainstream West. RSJ seems to be functioning in a decently-sized niche, though, if the number of MP3 downloads on their site is anything to go by. So is there really no counterculture, or does our counterculture, unlike in the USA, simply fail to affect the mainstream?

Needless to say, by "counterculture" I don't mean only rock, but even marginalised forms of expression in an Indian idiom.
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