The imagination of an imminent liberation by way of scriptwriting, music, poetry, dance, and other forms of art is not an act of naïve hopefulness but a deliberate stance against notions of fatalism and impossibilism that only further the aspirations of caste elites. To imagine “what can be” from the midst of oppression and absurdity is a sign of the creative power of Dalit agency. Dalit imagination is an affirmation of Dalit humanity and agency even as it transcends the limits set by caste brutalization.
If shows like Indian Matchmaking want to showcase narratives of dominant-caste men, may they be narratives of discomfort, repentance, and accountability, and not one of pride and honor because we know all too well that endogamy, seen in Indian Matchmaking, is about preserving caste honor, and honor-based killings, witnessed in Sairat, is about reclaiming caste honor.
Bertram Johnson, the Interfaith Minister at Union Theological Seminary, rightly observed during our online worship last Sunday that there is a “reward to doubt.” That reward, as witnessed through a moment in Thomas’ life, was an invitation to a place of vulnerability, intimacy, and grace. If faith allows us to see the renewing that the resurrection promises, doubt allows us to touch and experience the wounds that the renewing emerges from. While the process might be painful and agonizing, the reward is precious and holy. May we not stifle doubt or be threatened by it, for doubt might just be a locus for a faith deeply rooted in the flesh wounds of Jesus.
Averageness is not a weakness; it does not point to the lack of something. It is not mediocrity. If anything, I see averageness as a resistance to the capitalist notion of greatness, the need to be “the best.” I am not and I will not be. I don’t desire to be the market’s best. By saying this, I don’t mean to say that I or anyone should stop pursuing knowledge and remain stagnant. No! We ought to be the best WE can be—we set the standard for ourselves, not the market.
Music, just like the world made up of interconnected organisms, is deeply relational: it mysteriously connects us with people—young and old, earthbound and departed, intimate and distanced, gained and lost—leaving us wanting more of a presence that cannot be grasped nor controlled.