Have you noticed the vital role music plays in the life of Indians and India? Has this how it has always been, say even in 60s and 70s?
In factories, workshops, autorickshaws, paan shops, beauty parlours, five star hotels, restaurants, bus stands, laundry shops, neighbour’s house and your bedroom, music is what keeps India smiling. The cheaper, filthier and hotter the place, the louder the music. As if the diaphragm is propelled by the cheapness of its audience’s existence.
More as a rule than an exception, I find music being used to keep the workforce engrossed. I see it invariably in small scale factories and I saw it at the plant of India’s largest, correction – the world’s largest two wheeler manufacturer. And I wonder why this obsession with music. Is it to camouflage the fact that working conditions and pay packages are nothing to smile about? Music is free. On the other hand it will cost to keep the work area air conditioned, work hours human and pay consummate with skill.
What about developed countries? Do they play music (over public systems) in their offices and factories?
Indian musicians are doing a great service to the poor – by giving them a reason to smile. They are doing a greater service to the rich – by giving them a reason to smile at the cost of the poor.