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America needs to actually understand what India is

Actress Rachel Bloom feels that Americans are not really getting into heart of what it is in India

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New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) She has never been to India but is not oblivious to Indian culture as she calls it a vast cauldron. Golden Globe-winning actress Rachel Bloom points out that many facets of the country are entering foreign shores in a “trendy” but false manner. People in the West are “not really getting into the heart of what it is in India”, she added.

Asked about what all Bloom, who won the Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”- earlier this year, has heard about Indian culture, she said: “It’s too vast”.

“But I think that there is something that Americans do, you know you take the example of yoga. I know that in India it’s much more kind of humble and a sacred practice, but here it’s kind of commoditised,” Bloom told IANS on the phone from Los Angeles.

She added: “We sell fancy clothes to wear to yoga classes for $20 or $30 or $40… it is kind of like a rich elitist thing and I know that that isn’t the case in India. It’s like we have taken some things that are sacred and humble in India and we’ve made them trendy here in ways that are false and not really getting into the heart of what it is in India.”

Bloom, apart from being the lead actress of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” has also created the musical-comedy-drama series along with Aline Brosh McKenna.

The show, which has been renewed for its second season, has entered the Indian shores with season one. It is being aired in India on Star World and Star World HD.

Bloom, who rose to fame in the virtual world with her musical and comedic skills via YouTube videos, says she is “aware” about the world of Bollywood, which is oft known for painting the big screen canvas with myriad hues of feelings along with music and dance.

Bloom said: “I love Bollywood. First of all, our editor of ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’, he is an Indian and his whole family actually is in India and works in Bollywood. And so, we have a very natural Bollywood tie at ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ with our editor Kabir Aktar. And secondly, I think it’s wonderful because in America the art of a film musical has really softened up.

“In the second episode, we have a Bollywood number. The Bollywood number is sung by a yoga teacher, it’s kind of making fun of Americans and what they think Indian culture is as opposed to what Indian culture actually is. So we’re doing homage to Bollywood and making fun of Americans through all the ways they represent Indian culture in the second episode.”

The show narrates story of a successful New York lawyer Rebecca Bunch, who decides to follow her ex-boyfriend, Josh Chan, to suburban West Covina, California. It accounts her romantic rendezvous in a hilarious manner interwoven with the use of music.

The actress says she has “always thought music is one of the first and most efficient forms of storytelling there is”.

She said: “Because, every song has an essential statement, which is the chorus. Every song has a very specific idea it’s trying to get across and then build on around idea. It is a very clear form of storytelling. It also gives us an insight into characters’ emotional space and is probably better than dialogues, since you know all the words aren’t there when you are emotional, you sing.”

Bloom also confessed that “Aline wanted to do this movie called ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and incidentally ended up writing a TV show”.

Ask her about the USP of the show, she says it can’t “really be compared to the other shows” as “there is so much good television out there. I am personally overwhelmed with what to watch” and “it’s getting harder and harder to compare television shows because we’re into major television here with all these different networks, shows are getting more and more specific”. (Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at sugandha.r@ians.in)

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • chakrs

    The title has little to do with the article.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Americans should know the fact that we Indians possess very large and kind heart. They should stop selling jets to Pakistan and should cooperate with India. We all know India is a emerging superpower in Asia region. Even U.S needs us for dealing with China.

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  • chakrs

    The title has little to do with the article.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Americans should know the fact that we Indians possess very large and kind heart. They should stop selling jets to Pakistan and should cooperate with India. We all know India is a emerging superpower in Asia region. Even U.S needs us for dealing with China.

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)