One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.

Molière, Playwright

We are all hypocrites. We overestimate ourselves. We do not manage much, but we berate others for the contributions that they make on our behalf. These are all human tendencies; mix cultural ego to this cocktail and we have a molotov, ready to explode.

India, has all her various cultures, widespread beauty, well-natured people (one could argue), her flora and fauna but now what are we known for? We are known for a whack-a-mole playing Prime Minister..

p.c. East India Comedy

… and we, yet again have showed what unbearable morons we could manage to be. Twitter and Facebook featured people randomly voicing their opinions about Coldplay’s new Hymn For the Weekend video (Do watch it if you already haven’t, it is amazing).

After I read most of these tweets, I felt a deja vu, this was the exact thing that happened when Slumdog Millionaire came around. I get it, that movie had a lot of things unsavoury for our general viewer-ship, but  has that ever stopped us from doing the same in Bollywood?

Keeping Slumdog Millionaire aside, I’d want to address some of the top issues people were debating about in the twitter war following the video’s release.

  1. “Britishers are setting inappropriate stereotypes for the world to follow”

I get it, we were screwed over once by a British director via Slumdog Millionaire, and a British band now, but the way I see it, this time around, Coldplay took the finer points of what India has to offer culturally, and just showed it off. And applying a little bit of childishness in the scenario, his money, his rules. If you want something better, go make it yourself, that simple. Stop blowing your tops off for no good reason.

2. “India is not about Poor People and Sadhus

What exactly do you mean poor people? What makes you think any of you people crying their eyes out in Twitter make better cast members than the little kids who enjoyed their fullest dancing and playing in the video? If anything, any one kid picked randomly from that video enjoys his day much more productively than all of us “brilliant culture-rich minds” put together. Sadhus and kids playing out in the open with other people their age without discrimination is what India is most famous for. India embraces multiple cultures as her own, what any of you had to say about this belittles the spirit with which India works. For further clarity, read this.

3. “Beyonce portrayed as an Indian actress is racial/ cultural appropriation. She is black and that sets a stereotype.”

Yeah? What if I tell you, you are god damn racist. What if she is black? Now, I am not a fan of Beyonce, personally, but Coldplay is known to have collaborated with her on multiple accounts. So, she participated in this video, or are you avid musicians (oh no, you aren’t) not informed enough to know this? And end of the day, their video, their rules. If you take offence, become a famous band, write a song, and throw a video of whatever’s wrong with Britain, have right at it!

And as far as cultural appropriation goes, she wears Indian clothing and dances as if she were a Bollywood actress. As for the dress, we do not have patents nor do we have restricted dressing policies. Anyone can wear any “Indian clothing” anywhere. If her dressing as one of us is wrong, then us wearing jeans is just as wrong. Open your eyes people.

And as for her emulating a Bollywood actress, I don’t get the problem. We are okay to dance along with Snoop Dogg calling us fascinating new words, but we aren’t okay with a woman dressed as one of us? We are okay with Sunny Leone and Katrina Kaif shooting a bunch of nonsensical movies but aren’t ready to watch a 4 minute video that would give all of those movies a run for their money?

4. “India is not about Holi/ Diwali and Dancing alone.”

Whoever came up with this argument, sir, you are kidding yourself. Every movie that has Ranbir Kapoor and/or Deepika Padukone has had Holi and/or Diwali and/or dancing, and we watch all those movies without any qualms. Indian media shows these things off. Get real, please, we’re embarrassing ourselves here.

5. “Why is Sonam Kapoor there for such less video length? Why did she not replace Beyonce?”

I reiterate, their video, their rules. Also, Kapoor family relishes in showing their faces for as little time as possible in English videos/movies. Anil Kapoor did a bang up job in Ghost Protocol, what with his English comparable to Inzamam Ul Haq. Word has it that the Kapoor family has an annual competition for “who has least video minutes on screen”. Sonam Kapoor won it, guys, we need to be celebrating.

Moving on, Beyonce is world renown and much more experienced in music videos, Sonam Kapoor is not, it is obvious who would show better showmanship.


All said and done, I understand the sentiment guys, but it is just that, that is not what they were here for. They were here for shooting a video, and what a beautiful video it was! It covered the vintage beauties that India had to offer, and Colours and Fireworks. Everything India, festivities, happy kids frolicking around, what could be better! Let’s all get over the misplaced inferiority complex , watch the video, enjoy it to its fullest, move on and hope Coldplay performs in India, shall we?

There are two sides to the coin, guys. The choice is clear, pick your side.

Hoping for all our betterment,

S. Narayanswamy