India Uncut

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mocking India becomes comfort food

That excellent blogger, Manish Vij of Sepia Mutiny, points to a parody of Indian TV that appeared on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show. Vij writes:
This is a purposely lame clip — its sin is its artlessness. Two of the cast members are wearing brownface, and the accents and turbans are all wrong. ‘Sanjay Leno’ isn’t wearing a turban, he’s wearing a helmet from the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María. The white guy with his ears exposed is wearing Smurfette’s cap, not a patka.

Vij has an explanation for what's going on:
You know what’s happening — some people are nostalgic for Peter Sellers. They prefer the crappy approximation of desi culture they grew up with rather than the real thing. The Americana which relies on mocking India badly has, over time, become comfort food.

In other words, parody is reality in the eyes of some. What, I wonder, do they say about this?
amit varma, 12:20 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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