Remember Sofia Ashraf? Yup, the same girl who'd become a YouTube sensation after rapping against consumer goods giant Unilever a year back.
A few days back, she wrote and featured in a new song called...
As the name suggests, the song is about a girl who's in love with a 'Tam Brahm boy' and loves his 'tan brown bod'.
You can check out the song right here.
While her previous song had enjoyed a lot of critical acclaim, this one faced massive criticism for being too casteist.
Hence, to put forth her justification for the song, Sofia posted a Facebook status saying that while she's been 'caste blind', she's also been 'caste blinded'.
Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and I speak for myself alone.
A couple of months ago, I was given a chance to start my own series that focussed on the identity, struggles and culture of a south indian woman. This was such a exciting canvas for me. What it meant to me was the freedom to make jokes with local references and pop culture tropes that I grew up with.
So, I planned a series of videos on Kollywood spoofs, on anime obsessed feminerds and marriage obsessed mallu moms. The first video to release in the series was “Tam Brahm Boy”. It started off as a funny song that played on every stereotype I could think of about Chennai boys and eventually evolved into a risque piece about a woman expressing her desires. The Tam Brahm identity was added to give it a further cultural layer.
And here’s the clincher, nowhere from the moment I came up with the idea to the day I released it, did I think of this as a casteist statement. I always thought my blindness to caste was a virtue. But today, I have suddenly realised that there is a huge difference between denouncing caste and denying caste.
The critics are right. I have been caste blind.
I have never claimed to be an enlightened soul who is the sole crusader against every injustice in the world. But, I have always considered myself to have enough foresight to not be part of the problem. And that is why, the fact that I could have been so ignorant, has hit me really hard. I can’t believe that I’ve gone 29 years of my privileged life without realising how blind to caste I have been. How this could have happened is a question I am asking myself and something we, as a society, need to explore.
Nobody is born free of every form of culture washing. Nobody is born aware of their privilege. These things need to be learnt and experienced. I just learnt a very important lesson.
This video has started so many dialogues for me personally. This post is an attempt to keep that conversation going.