MSM doesn't get IIFA

By Anupa Mistry

I’ve mostly been pleasantly surprised over the past week to see mainstream coverage of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA), taking place in Toronto this weekend. Rumour has it we beat out New York for the chance to host the star studded, nomadic, diaspora-chasing ceremony and we’ve all heard the stories about Bollywood being a global film powerhouse. Plus, mad white folks love Aish! So it only makes sense that people pay attention, right? Expecting something basic, but secretly thrilling, I landed on FLARE‘s slideshow guide to the top Bollywood stars only to get kinda grossed out with every click.

A lot of mainstream narratives that follow Indian representation in pop culture are full of shit: everything’s Bollywood, and spices, and traditionalism, and anthropomorphic deities. In the hands of inexperienced commentators, sorry, but I expect nothing less. For FLARE, in the hands of a should-be-versed commentator, Anokhi EIC Hina P. Ansari (who wrote an interesting IIFA-themed piece about her director grandfather), I found juvenile, reductive drivel?

Y’all, why was none of this stuff questioned???

Re: Saif Ali Khan, “His comic timing makes you melt and he could charm his away into the heart of any parent.”

I mean, if we’re going there, my dad wasn’t even alive during Partition and he holds an active grudge so I don’t think any Khans will be doing any charming in my household. In all seriousness, why is this parochial traditionalism even being pandered to grown-ass women capable of making their own decisions?

On Deepika Padukone: “Co-starring Shahrukh Khan, this global blockbuster propelled this Brahmin beauty to the stratosphere.”

In university my friends and I met an international student who mentioned something about caste outright. Like, 17-years-old at the time, we took this to the logical, obnoxious extreme, cackling “HI, I’M RAVI AND I’M BRAHMIN,” every time we saw the poor guy. I was hella dumb in university but even then I knew to call people out on this type of bullshit. I’m thinking of insisting on being adjectized only as a Shudra sweetheart from now on.

Filmi mag or FLARE? “Chopra is a bombshell with a capital B.”

Oh, maybe an intern did write this?

AND, they used this picture of Aamir Khan: