It seems that Coldplay’s latest music video starring Beyonce has ruffled feathers and run up against plenty of negative response in Indian circles, despite accumulating over 21 million hits on YouTube just four days after its release.
The song ‘Hymn For The Weekend’ was at the top of the singles charts on iTunes India, but also at the centre of heated sparring between fans and critics over the way it depicted India.
The video is set in a fishing village in Mumbai, one of India’s most developed and westernized cities, and focuses only on what critics see as stereotyped, cliched images of the country — fire-eaters, peacocks, temples, holy men and dancing girls.
An affronted Indian journalist lamented in a tweet why it was so difficult for white people to understand that in 2016, India is not ‘a land of snake-charmers’. Local musician Mihir Joshi commented that the images in the video were ‘an annoying misrepresentation’, saying India has many ‘young, affluent, good-looking people as well’.
Any publicity, however, is good publicity, and Coldplay is certainly cashing in on the controversy as the number of hits the video is getting are increasing by the minute. No wonder the band’s tweet is effusive in thanking the Indian people for their hospitality and making them ‘feel so welcome’.