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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Stand up for your rights ( but sit down when wronged) 

The culmination of many a formal/official occasion in my student life had been the crisp and purposeful rendition of the National Anthem. And being slow on the uptake and getting longer in the tooth, I appear to have missed an interesting change sprung on us by supposedly well-meaning citizens. For what is now is played at the beginning of a film in cinema houses appears to be not the functional 52- second version but an ornate and bedizened unrecognizably mangled travesty of the tune I am so familiar with, as are most of my fellow Indians.
An exhibition of mindless grandstanding, the Bharatbala & Rehman score is a disordered parade of elderly have-beens who brandish their musical wares to the tuneless accompaniment of calisthenics. The performance makes one cower & cring all the more as it is seemingly interminable in its two-minute length. The tawdry production values and affected crooning point to an eminently avoidable performance.
Whatever the artistic merits of this monstrosity may be and however noble the intentions of the people who put their best efforts into its production, this is not India’s National Anthem and Thanks for small mercies. I cannot be asked to stand up to this brazen aggrandizement and I shall not.

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