Mobilizing   India
The Mighty Chalkdust - "Mastana Bahar":
The Mastana Bahar TV show, promoted by the Mohammed brothers who had long-standing political connections with the ruling People's National Movement party debuted on Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) in August 1970. Its duration was half an hour, and it was organised like a contest, by 1971 lasting 39 weeks. Auditions were held all over the island and finalists selected. Song and dance from Hindi cinema featured prominently on Mastana Bahar, and often became the route by which non-East Indians acquainted themselves with Hindi film.

The popularity of Mastana Bahar is attested to by The Mighty Chalkdust (Hollis Liverpool), the schoolteacher-calypsonian whose successful career has spanned four decades, and who sang Mastana Bahar, or, Indian Competition in 1978. The primary addressee of the calypso is the promoter of the Calypso Monarch competition who must "hang his head in shame" that an "Indian competition" is overtaking the annual calypso contests in popularity and, more importantly, prize money. If the first prize for the Calypso Monarch is 4,000 Trinidadian dollars, the Mastana prize is 20,000, a reference that plays on the popular prejudice that all East Indians are wealthy. No wonder the latter is able to lure all the singers, Indian as well as African. Chalkdust takes to singing "Dil deke dekho, dil deke dekho ji (give the heart, give the heart and see), dil lene waalon dil dena seekho ji (those who take the heart, you must learn to give the heart)" (from the Hindi film hit Dil Deke Dekho, Nasir Hussain, 1959). The promoter of Mastana Bahar, Sham Mohammed, impressed by his "Indian song", asks why Chalkie is "singing for mere chick feed/In a national competititon", and promises him airplay on radio and television if he will "forget the calypso crown".

Chalkdust warns the calypso competition's promoter that it is the last time he will participate, since it is the promoter that gets "the lion's share" and not the singers. Chalkie now cleverly turns the lines of a romantic Hindi film song to good use, singing to the Mastana Bahar promoters:

"Jo vaada kiya ho nibhaana padega
what you have promised you must deliver
rokay zamana chaahe rokay khudayi
I don't care if the world stops you, or even God
Tumko aana padega
You will still have to come
Jo vaada kiya ho nibhaana padega
What you have promised you must deliver
(from the Hindi film Taj Mahal, M.Sadiq, 1963)".

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