TODAY -

Editorial of the week

MTV generation
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 25 June, 2002

When Mark Knopfler, the lead singer of Dire Straits belted out the classic "Money for nothing" and crooned a tune that went something like, "I want my, I want my MTV" in the late 80s many here in Manipur had just the faintest idea of what MTV was all about apart from the fact that it stood for Music Television. Of course all that changed when the Indian sky opened up to satellite television in the 90s and today MTV, a strictly 24 hours musical channel, has become not only popular but has managed to spawn an entire sub culture especially amongst the youths and the hip and trendy. Today MTV is not only a musical channel but has become a trendsetter and the process of MTVisation is increasingly seen on the streets and bylanes of Imphal. It is not only the music beamed on this channel that is being lapped up by the young and the hip but also the VJs hosting the programme. So from Noney and Danny McGill in the early 90s to the Rahul Khannas, Ruby Bhatias and Sophia Haques in the new millennium, the VJs have become something of a trend setter and today we have a generation that can be identified with MTV. Of course Channel V is still very much up there in the popularity ratings but the original is MTV and whether one prefers MTV or Channel V, it means the same thing - listen to the music and follow the trend set not only by the rock stars but also by the veejays. Call it cultural invasion or whatever, but none can deny the fact that MTV has had a profound effect on the way our youngsters conduct themselves, from the way they dress up to the way they use the English language peppered with 'MTV Talk'. It is not our case to argue whether the influence of MTV is positive or negative and we leave it to the cultural police to decide this but what cannot be denied is the fact that MTV culture is here to stay, at least for the time being, and its influence is seen not only on the way our youngsters behave and conduct themselves but also on the musical and entertainment sector here in Manipur.

While Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias continue to enthrall music lovers all over the world, here in Manipur a whole group of young singers and artistes have cropped up turning the Manipuri music industry on its head and giving it a fresh, new identity. From Pahari, Sanaton, Naba Volcano, Laishram Mema to Bidyarani, Ranbir Thouna, Sophia. Dinesh, Sadananda and Sonali Mukherjee, the Manipuri music industry has undergone a complete change. Thanks to satellite television and the local cable networks, ICTV and SEEN TV, Manipuri video albums are being churned but regularly and taking a cue from MTV and channel V, the local cable networks have on offer programmes such as Pure Passion and Album on Demand. Whether the products churned out by the young artistes are original or creative is another matter but the fact that Manipuri music album has managed to create a stir cannot be disputed, especially in the urban areas which have access to the cable networks. With the burgeoning video music album, it is therefore not surprising that the Cine Artistes and Technician Association (CATA) is taking up a joint venture with ICTV and SEEN TV to screen the music albums before they are transmitted to the living rooms of the people. Though CATA and the two cable networks need to be complemented for taking up the venture, it is a bit frightening to think that what our kids have been watching all these days had not undergone scrutiny or screening. As a responsible organization and as patrons of films and music, it is our earnest hope that CATA and the two cable networks do a good work and properly screen the albums before they go on air. We are sure the mooted Screening Committee will know its job better than anyone else, but nevertheless we would like to offer one simple suggestion. Monitor the albums but in the process do not become rigid and jingoistic which will throttle innovative and bold ideas from any young and upcoming artiste.


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