Affirming Diversity

Hindi, English (with English subtitles), 41 min, 2015, India

A series of Public Service Announcements and Music Videos on the theme "Say Yes to Diversity" that seeks to question the growing intolerance towards minority voices and positions in the name of a homogenised majoritarian Indian culture.

What's In A Name?
Directors: Akash Basumatari, Saurabh Kumar, Swati Kamble and Tarishi Verma
English, 1: 34 min, 2015
School textbooks teach us the norms of the society. They are our first source of public learning. Through them, we know Ram goes to to school, Sita reads books. Even Anjali goes with Ram and Rahul and Shweta. But will we ever find a Rahim with them? This PSA is an attempt to show the exclusionary practices our textbooks adopt.

Reclaiming Culture
Directors: Maanvi, Anand Gautam, Shreya S, Rameshwar Jirwankar and Pranali Garud
Hindi, 2:34 min, 2015
What happens when an unwitting passenger finds himself in an airline called Bharatvarsha Vimanseva? This public service announcement asks what is Indian culture, and why is everyone hell bent on protecting it?

Kya hamare India mein diversity hai?
Directors: Aditi Saraswat, Akshat Jain, Radhika Agarwal, Tanvi Khemani and Vishal Langthasa
English, 2:30 min, 2015
On Republic Day, a child has to make a speech about why he is proud of being an Indian. He thinks about the various reasons people give, but isn't impressed. This is a PSA that asks: what legacy do we want to leave behind for the next generation?

Aapka Poora Naam Kya hai?
Directors: Akshay Panse, Arpita Katiyar, Arjun Chavah, Geetha K Wilson and Sujata Sarkar
English, Hindi and other regional languages, 2:10 min, 2015
Aapka Poora naam kya hai? The clearest shorthand to going back to the India, Indians feel they have left far behind. This PSA is an exploration into modern India along with being a reminder. A reminder that we are living in an India where some people can say their names with enormous pride while others are compelled to be hesitant.

Kaun Banega Saccha Hindustani?
Directors: Shreya K., Rajendra J., Priyamvada J. and Nayantara N.
English, Hindi, 2:43 min, 2015
A popular game show set in the not-too-distant future forces the question what does it take to be a citizen of 'India Shining'?

The following music videos are based on the music of Kabir, a 15th century saint-poet, whose poetry inspires oral folk traditions across the sub-continent, challenging religion, caste and social distinction, speaking truth to power and gesturing to the impermanence of the self and the world. His verses, which affirm diversity and counter intolerance, assume renewed relevance in today’s world.

Ud Jaayega
Directors: Tarishi Verma, Akash Basumatari, Saurabh Verma and Swati Kamble
Hindi (with English subtitles), 5:44 min, 2015
The city of Bombay is where crowds are found in abundance, crowds that are around you like your own shadow, not leaving you even in the dark. Yet, everyone is found standing alone in this wilderness of people. This video is an endeavour to understand the city of dreams through its innumerable faces and many colours; through its terse air, its whiffs and tangs and above all, through its night, its shadows and obscurities and through Kabir.

Thaara rang mahal mein
Directors: Anand Gautam, Maanvi, Shreya Sachan, Pranali Garud and Rameshwar Jirwankar
Hindi (with English subtitles), 5:26 min, 2015
Drawing on poet Kabir's ideas of spirituality and self-realisation, this video is about a man who is plagued by an intruding presence as he encounters the city in various locations. In his quest to unravel the identity of the intruders, he finds them in an unexpected place.

Hamaare Ram Rahim
Directors: Akshay Panse, Arjun Chavah, Arpita Katiyar, Geetha K. Wilson and Sujata Sarkar
Hindi (with English subtitles), 6:19 min, 2015
Kabir’s life has been a dedicated rebellion to the pretentions of “fools”. He writes “Are you looking for me? I am in the seat next to you. My shoulders are against yours.” Drawing from Kabir, who preaches worth is all around us, we picked a simple story of a girl visiting Mumbai. Diverse is the world we live in and the ordinary are as different as they are worthy. A day in her life and the magnitude of worth and depth, an “ordinary” day might have. Nothing and no one is unworthy, not a day, not a person, not a moment and not a picture. In every simple story lies a complexity struggling to keep the surface calm. In our music video, the girl is travelling and capturing the moments that often elude us and we in turn tried to capture those moments and present them in the video.

Jheeni re
Directors: Priyamvada Jagia, Shreya Katyayani, Rajendra Jadhav and Nayantara Nayar
Hindi (with English subtitles), 6:29 min, 2015
This poem of Sant Kabir sung by sufi singer Mukhtiyar Ali talks about life as a precious gift that we get and how divine resides in the man himself. This life is our only chance to do something valuable for the world and make it a better place to live for us and for the future generations and how this is the only way to live in the memory of future.

Kahan se Aaya, Kahan Jaaoge?
Directors: Aditi Saraswat, Vishal Langthasa, Radhika Agarwal, Tanvi Khemani and Akshat Jain
Hindi (with English subtitles), 5:29 min, 2015
This video is an attempt to show Kabir’s twelve roads that divide our metaphysical unity into a multivaried and multifaceted existential diversity. We show the various inhabitants of Mumbai involved in their daily activities. Both animals and humans that populate this city present themselves to the wanderer in their multiple hues.
We see these sights through the eyes of the puppets that begin their journey at the shores of Mumbai. The puppets are also to remind us of our own lives; of how we sometimes walk through life as puppets of the grand text written on high.

School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Commissioning editors: Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar