Mobilizing   India
Brother Marvin - "Jahaji Bhai":
After initial enthusiasm for the calypso (or as some called it, the chutney soca) from people of all races who were impressed by its unique melodic structure and Marvin's richly resonant voice as well as its blending of English and Hindi lyrics, there was fierce opposition from some Africanists to Marvin's interpretation of history. One sort of criticism came from those who felt the calypso privileged the Indian part of Marvin's heritage over the African, a tension palpable in a context where the UNC had just come to power, causing a great deal of anxiety to Afro-Trinidadians who felt they had been displaced from what they saw as their rightful place in the country's structures of political power. Marvin might be a dougla (of mixed Indian-African heritage), some said, but that did not mean that every Afro-Trinidadian would find in their ancestry a man praying in front of a jhandi [Hindu prayer flag]. To argue that this mixing existed everywhere in Trinidad was to take away recognition from all that was African. Rival calypsonians wrote their own songs, as many as nine according to Marvin, against his thesis.

In this demand for realism made on the calypso, the calypsonian's licence to render a situation in metaphoric terms was disregarded. Perhaps all that Marvin was doing, as his many admirers seemed to recognise, was to signify a uniquely Trinidadian history, one that need not be the autobiography of any one person but could at the same time function as a symbol of a more general condition of Caribbean creolisation.

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