Coldplay and Beyonce recently released a collaboration video for the band’s new single called “Hymn for the weekend”. The video has stirred quite a buzz but for all the wrong reasons.
The video features Beyonce as an actress named Rani with henna on her hands, bindi on her forehead and wears quite a lot of jewellery.
The video also shows India as the land of saffron-clad sadhus & kids who love to dress up as god Shiva. Taxis with weird colorful interiors, Fire-breathers and puppeteers on streets, Indian classical dancers, children playing Holi and taking back flips into a river and to top it all, there’s SONAM KAPOOR.
Of course, you can just not forget to involve Bollywood in this Indian inspired video, even if it’s just for 4 seconds.
As much as, one can appreciate that Chris Martin and his crew did actually fly to India and “immerse themselves” in the culture, hiring an Indian director, cast and crew for the project and produce a pretty good song, we cannot ignore the fact that India has always been portrayed as the land of snake charmers, sadhus and naked children throwing colors at each other.
It’s not that Coldplay came to India and didn’t visit the clubs and hotels and shopping centres. Then why do they feel the need to exoticize us? Why do they want to make it seem like all we all are bunch of hippies?
Other celebrities have also used similar tropes in the recent past, including Iggy Azalea in her “Bounce” music video and Major Lazor & DJ Snake in “Lean On”. It’s crazy how literally all these music videos hit the same beat about India.
The million dollar question is that how long will it take the world to digest the fact that India is a progressing nation and there’s a lot more to it than Holi, poverty, Bollywood, exotic women and spirituality?