PresenterBanik Tulika - INDIAN INSTITUTE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, GUWAHATI, ENGLISH, GUWAHATI, India
Panel51- The Digital Turn in South Asian Television Studies
The main focus of this paper is on the adoption of parody culture by the Constitutional Left in India, chiefly, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), from 2021 onwards. The questions that the paper asks revolve around the specific musical form as an indicator of a new cultural identity that the Left attempts to assume through the careful construction of a relatively unexplored language for Left articulation, and the mapping of new iconicity in cultural politics. It is perhaps trying to bid adieu to the cultural practices of the yesteryears and mold itself in a new form. The paper probes into the parody songs’ digital production, circulation, public reception, and its overall affect in the social formations.
The paper notes the adoption of some popular Bengali and Telugu songs with a mix of melodic & peppy beats, with elements of cringe comedy thrown into the parody video songs, perhaps providing an opportune moment for the Left to connect with the contemporary youth. The paper reads these cultural experiments at the time of electoral irrelevance for the Left to perhaps remain relevant in Indian political context. The paper argues that the relevance stems from the socio-cultural activities of CPI (M) – formation of Red Volunteers during the pandemic, social visibility of its young leadership in television and digital media, and adoption of the new musical mode of communication.