Indian screenwriter and lyricist Prasoon Joshi says it is high time that people start celebrating popular culture as it is an important part of the society. Prasoon says many poets from the country have also contributed and worked in mainstream.
“We cannot write off popular culture saying, ‘this can’t be celebrated because this represents popular culture’. Just because it is popular you can’t hold it against it,” Prasoon said. “There is a lot of work especially in our country where so many prominent poets have come out and written for popular culture. This work needs to be understood,” he added.
Recently, the Swedish Academy, which awards the literature Nobel, announced that the songwriter Bob Dylan would be the 2016 laureate “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
While many fans were excited over the news, some believed that the prize should go only to people who practice literature as literature, in the form of books or poems or plays. Prasoon feels honouruing someone like Dylan is a huge step to celebrate the power of popular culture.
“Mainstream always existed, it has always been a part of our society. We never looked at it or understood. When someone like Bob Dylan comes up, you realise there is a bridge which gets built between the common man and the condescension of art... When Bob Dylan gets celebrated, you realise that this work also has literary quality. It is high time we come out of our high brow and start accepting and celebrating it.”