This week, a much anticipated parody music video was released on Youtube. No i’m not talking about the widely publicised offering from Canadian comedian Jus Reign, but the long overdue production from Narvision Films. Just yesterday ‘I AM PUNJAB‘, an homage to the Jay Z and Rick Ross collaboration ‘You Know I Got It‘ went live online and has been met with much love from a loyal following. But what separates this video from the plethora of other youtube links, music videos and even parodies?
Narvision is the brain-child of Narvir Singh, who is both a writer and regular collaborator with us here at Naujawani.com. I have been fortunate enough to be involved with this most recent video which follows on from previous parodies ‘Committee-wala‘ and ‘Babas in Paris‘. Narvir is a young guy exploring his potential as a film-maker and since graduating he has got stuck into a range of different projects including music videos, documentaries and short films. But it his parody music videos touching on different issues of importance in the Sikh World that have garnered the most attention.
Parodies are created with the intention of satirically reflecting an issue or piece of work. By mimicing an original piece of content – in this case a piece of music and it’s related video – the creator aims to comment on the subject matter of the work or some other cultural practice that can be related, usually to mock or ridicule some elements of it. Narvir Singh’s parodies have been strong because of his ability to combine entertaining visual elements with a strong vocal and lyrical performance. In his previous work, Narvir touched upon the corruption and lack of professionalism amongst Gurdwara committee members in ‘Committee-wala’, whilst in his first parody ‘Babas in Paris’ he poked fun at the fraudsters in religious garb who con vulnerable people.
This latest parody touches upon the sensitive and provocative issue of Punjabi politics, specifically those who hold power in the land of five rivers and have overseen it’s demise. Through the depiction of election campaigning – timely as India is currently undergoing national elections – ‘I AM PUNJAB’ portrays the nepotism and facade that has typified the political process in Punjab for the last three decades. As the villages and towns empty of all but the most unfortunate who cannot afford to leave, a vacuum that has eroded critical thinking and self determination has been filled by politicians who sell a vision of a wondrous 21st century Punjab which does not exist. And yet election after election, the same claims are staked to commandeer the peoples votes and it is as if the ex-patriot Punjabis in the Diaspora cannot see it. It is for that reason that Narvir Singh’s parody should be commended and I encourage everyone who has an interest in creating a better World to watch it and use it to instigate much needed discussion.
Art has the ability to inspire, entertain and educate; great art has the ability to change the World. ‘I AM PUNJAB’ might not have been created with such lofty ambitions, but I think it has the capacity to do just that.