Using Cultural Studies as the framework, this study investigates how north Indian migrants living in Kandivali east, Mumbai, exercise agency and appropriate Bhojpuri media texts to maintain their regional identity. Bhojpuri, a dialect of Hindi, has emerged as the lingua franca of these migrants hailing from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Beleaguered by the identity politics of the host city, the migrants turn to the Bhojpuri media to sustain the shared cultural beliefs that permeate their social relations. Familiar images in the media texts ensure continuity with tradition, feeding the resurgent pride of the community. The migrants’ aggressive defence of all things Bhojpuri, as well as their desire to sanitise Bhojpuri media of its bawdiness, is a manifestation of their embattled identities seeking validation.
This article examines how the Bhojpuri media are intertwined with the migrants’ everyday realities. The media reinforce gender roles, alleviate anxieties and gratify desires vicariously. Media representations meld cultural memory with the migrants’ newly acquired understanding of the metropolis. In the process, hybrid identities are being fashioned by people on different points of the socio-economic axis.
View more info for "The ‘Bhojpuriya’ Mumbaikar: Straddling two worlds"