The Casteless Collective
Gaana as most of us are unfamiliar, is similar to Reggae music but has a long history of over 3000 years. The Director of Kaala, Pa.Ranjith made a phenomenal move to group every independent artist there is in the country for a music festival, named the Casteless collective. Consisting of about 19 independent artists, this musical performance was staged at Chennai on the month of January and the response the received was humongous. This festival sent tremendous vibrations throughout the state followed by unfamiliar critics.
Why Casteless collective? Is it just a gathering of all artists to celebrate music? Apparently not, replied the director. This is a gathering of artists from the areas of Dharavi, Mumbai and the Gaana artists from parts of North Chennai. They had the aim of transporting the ideology of Ambedkar, which is universal brotherhood and the Baba Saheb Anthem was a song based on the ideology. Since most of the middle and upper middle class people lack the connection between the working class their state, this created the arena of direction communication of their lifestyle, their problems and break their stereotypes about them.
Politically the songs by the artists were not superficial. They had deep content, were straightforward and honest which made the critics less noticed. Being a native from Chennai, Pa. Ranjith states that if change is what you desire, it can be easily attained if started from the cultural point of view. If art can penetrate into the human mind subliminally and create a ton of changes over the years, why not capitalize on it and use it revive our humane virtue? Just like his films or his writings, this battalion of artists demonstrated a performance to be discussed in the days to come.
With the likes of Dopadelics, 7 bantaiz from Mumbai and independent artists from Chennai, the team was packed with songs that resonate with their lifestyle. The quota song was widely appreciated by most of the people and created discussions within the sphere of musicians themselves. Indian cinema overall rarely questioned the stereotypes and superstitions that existed in the country and usually was inclined towards the majority’s interests. And so whenever an artist thinks outside of the box and questions the existing beliefs, they are targeted and suppressed. But a mass musical concert can only expect passive critics and most were promptly answered.
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The response from the people was unexpected and was more relatable to their daily days of people who worked tirelessly all day. A common man who agrees, “All Indians are my brothers and sisters” disagrees his daughter to marry a man in the name of caste. There is this illusion that has been surrounding the masses which makes them to realize that they have alienated and the elite class considers them as a completely different race.
As Dwayne Johnson would quote “blood, sweat and respect. The first two you give the last one you earn.” They never earned anything for over 4000 years and now when they get some recognition, there comes the elite class of the so called “cultural race” who heartless lash out and complain about reservation.
What they don’t understand is that their financial problem is about to get a solution in the upcoming days but the oppressed, black skinned, untouchables as they refer them, are chocked by the neck when they get to chin up and say that they’re a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer and in all fields of work.
There again they are silenced until now.
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The Casteless Collective restore humanity