Mobilizing   India
Machel Montano and Drupatee Ramgoonai - "Real Unity":
While some East Indians and their African counterparts today support the political and cultural polarisation of the two racial groups, the shrillest voices accusing each other of fundamentalisms which may not mean much to most Trinidadians, in the context of mounting criticism from all sides of an Indian-dominated government finally brought down by infighting in its second five-year term, some of those in what calypsonian Black Stalin calls "the cultural business" are side-stepping the race talk common in the public sphere and presenting messages of integration in hugely popular songs like Real Unity (2000), performed by upcoming young soca/rapso singer Machel Montano and Drupatee Ramgoonai, the chutney-soca star.

Machel and Drupatee intertwine parts of a Hindi film song, "Aap Jaise Koi", from the film Qurbani (Feroz Khan,1980), composed by Biddu and originally sung by Nazia Hasan, the Hindi lyrics sung by Drupatee - with Machel Montano singing "unite de nation", his words ostensibly speaking about "jumping up" ("cause yuh know we love de jumpin' jumpin'/And that is real unity") during Carnival, playing mas ("Pretty in we costume with plenty sequin") and "wining" to the music: "Everybody looking at we/How we wining in ah unity/Is Mr.Machel with Drupatee/Movin like ah big family/And that is real unity". The chorus is woven around the incantatory chant "Unite de nation/unite de nation/unite de nation". For Machel and Drupatee, dancing and singing together stands for the larger project of living in harmony: "Why we fuss and fight?/ Tonight we come to unite". Not since the Black Power movement of 1970, perhaps, has there been such a direct call for unity between Indian and African. However, unlike the initiatives of that time, Real Unity touches upon the most difficult question between the races, a question that seldom gets articulated as a political one: douglarisation, or cohabitation between Indian and African.

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