Watch: The Ska Vengers Release Video for ‘Badda’
9 March 2015
Delhi based ska and funk dance band The Ska Vengers have just released a politically charged video for the track ‘Badda’. The short film, which was produced by Babble Fish Productions and directed by Anna Joseph, talks about the distorted (mis)representation of Indian news and society that is broadcast on media channels.
The Ska Vengers are no strangers to dissent, as anyone who’s seen ‘Modi, A Message To You’ would know. They released the animated short back in April last year, right when the election propaganda and general political commotion was reaching its peak, so its fitting that (whether intentionally or unintentionally) ‘Badda’ has come out now, given the socio cultural state of India right now.
The satirical video begins with Nikhil Vasudevan, Begum X and frontman Stephan Kaye (as well as a cameo by a very unconvincing toupee) in what looks like a throwback to Doordarshan days on cable TV. ‘Badda’ echoes the era, talking censorship, vapid consumerism and the manipulative nature of broadcast media. Ironically, one of the issues that caused ‘Badda’s’ delay (it was produced last year) included acquiring clearance from the Central Board of Film Classification. Let’s just leave it at that.
There are a lot of references in this video that you might disturbingly familiar, including footage of news channels that depict farmer suicides in Maharashtra and disruption in the North East (and make sure you read the sub captions too). Kaye told Rolling Stone India - “We have become increasingly aware of the bias in the media about a lot of things which weren’t getting reported, or things that were getting reported but have an obvious bias. We wanted to reflect that from the perspective of something which is old, like the Doordarshan channel, which represents an era where the state’s broadcasting had no competition, so the government could do what the hell they wanted, and give it a kind of dystopian spin, like how things could be nowadays.”
Words: Diya Gupta