Clearly, mood jallikattu has still not abated in Tamil Nadu. After the satirical video by TempleMonkeys tore into the BJP-led centre's attempts to impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu and encourage a brand of Hindutva that's blatantly sexist and casteist, Put Chutney has come up with another version.
The premise here is the ghost of Hindi haunting a man's home (read 'state'). Shot like a typical horror film, we're taken to a spooky bungalow on a full moon night. The video begins with a father teaching his son how to draw a human ear - draw it like the alphabet 'O' in Tamil he says. At the very moment, his cell phone rings. But when he answers the call to talk to his friend, there is a "cross connection" and the Hindi ghost takes over.
The video takes a dig at cultural imposition in hilarious ways. The wife, who is making dosa, calls out to her husband in horror when she flips it - the dosa has turned into a chappati! They find that the son's 'O' shaped (Tamil alphabet 'O') ears have turned into 'Aum' shape. Also, the voice of Bharathiraja, which famously hailed the people of the state before every film with the words 'Yen iniya Tamil makkale', starts speaking in Hindi on TV.
The exorcist who arrives in the house to find out if there is indeed a Hindi ghost around points out compelling 'evidence' - highway milestones with Hindi language, the five Southern states morphing to a single entity called 'Madrasi' and paan stains. As can be expected, there's a jibe at the Aadhaar card, too. And does the exorcist's use of a skull here refer to the farmer protests in Delhi?
The video has the Tamil man telling the Hindi ghost that contrary to what he believes, Hindi is not the "rashtra baasha" and that Article 343 clearly says that the country has no national language (phew, can all highways have this hoarding please?). "Do what you want in your place, don't come to my home and tell me what to do," he says.
Though the video is careful to make it clear that there's a difference between imposition and people accepting another culture as a matter of liking, there is a jingoistic note that creeps in towards the end: "I've been an Indian only for 70 years, but I've been a Tamilian for several thousand years. It's a matter of pride to be an Indian but it's a matter of right to be Tamilian."
While many have agreed with their take, some have protested the separation of linguistic identity from the national one.
Whether you agree with Put Chutney or not, the palpable anger in Tamil Nadu against the centre's high-handed interference cannot be ignored. It's an emotion that has driven the state's politics and ignoring it is not going to do the BJP any favours if they're looking to make inroads in Tamil Nadu.