The Bala Joban Connection – A Slice of India in Trinidad

(Excerpted from my Ph.D. Thesis. IMPACT OF INDIAN MOVIES ON EAST INDIAN IDENTITY IN TRINIDAD  2013)

INTRODUCTION

The most important development within the East Indian community in Trinidad after the end of Indentureship until the 1990s was perhaps the introduction of Indian movies to Trinidad in 1935.

The Indian Film Industry is the largest in the world producing an average of 800 – 1000 films per year.[1] The industry is spread over various regions in India such as Delhi, Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay) Bangalore, and Hyderabad and produces films in such languages as Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi.  While the majority of films are made in the South Indian languages (Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam), the Hindi (Mumbai) films take the largest box office share but account for only 20% of total film production in India.  In addition, the Hindi films are most widely known throughout the world.  [2]

It was estimated that in 2006 thirteen million tickets were sold daily to Indian movie fans to see an Indian Movie in India alone and that more tickets were sold for Indian movies than for Hollywood movies on an annual basis worldwide.  While some 4 billion tickets are sold for Hollywood films annually, Bollywood films account for twice that amount.  More people watch Bollywood movies globally than any other type of movie.  [3]

The term Bollywood   is a portmanteau of Hollywood and Bombay and reflects the movie-making center of what is now Mumbai (formerly Bombay).  It originated in the 1970s, when India became the largest producer of full-length films in the world and has been credited to several people, including the lyricist, filmmaker and scholar Amit Khanna, [4]and the journalist Bevinda Collaco.[5]  The term “Bollywood” was probably inspired by “Tollywood”, a reference to the cinema of West Bengal since 1932[6]  and has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.  Unlike Hollywood, which occupies a specific geographical space, from which it derives its name, Bollywood is not a physical place.  While one can visit and live in Hollywood it is not possible to do the same with Bollywood simply because one cannot touch it, see it or be in it but one can certainly become part of it .It is a conglomeration of all the filmi happenings in Mumbai inclusive of the film houses, singers, musicians, producers, distributors, stars and everything else that has to do with the Hindi Film Industry spread across the whole of Mumbai in India. 

The early Indian film industry had its genesis in Bombay, which emerged as the main center for the production of Hindi films.  Bombay owes its center stage status to the fact that it was not an indigenous city but was created by the British East India Company as a center of commerce and manufacture of goods and served as the gateway for commerce and trade with the rest of the world.  The economic base of Bombay allowed film technology to take roots and flourish, as capital from other activities allowed for the financing of filmmaking. 

The influential Parsi community played a fundamental role in the development of Bombay as a film center.  This very prosperous community was involved in banking and other economic activity.  They had founded and supported the Parsi Theatre [a commercial entity] during the nineteenth century.  Those Parsi Theatre Groups provided the primary cluster of writers and performers

[actors]

for the early Indian Cinema.  Parsi theatre, then, was the direct precursor to the Hindi Cinema and it was Parsi Capital that supported the burgeoning Indian Film Industry well into the 1930’s.  The Parsis, due to their trade and other connections, also played a major role in the distribution of the early Hindi Films.  [7]

While divergent strands are evident within the contextualization of Indian films   released in Trinidad those strands dealt with concerns such as poverty, gender issues ,   transition from colonialism  to independence, traditions versus modernity, land issues, Hindu — Muslim relations and Indian self-sufficiency.

This chapter seeks to demonstrate that the first Indian movie that came to Trinidad connected the East Indians in Trinidad to India in a way that nothing else had done before.  It created enormous synergies between the local East Indian population and India in cultural and other ways that led to the opening up of a market for Indian movies in Trinidad.  The chapter opens with what they brought and was prevalent in 6the society in the period leading up to 1935 and then looks at the arrival of the first Indian movie to Trinidad, the national media spotlight given this event at that time and its impact on the community.  It further explores how those advertisements were crafted, using Indian identity markers, to lure the East Indians to the cinema.  The chapter ends by examining the East Indian response to the first Indian movie that came to Trinidad.

WHAT THEY BROUGHT.

Interviews with several elder persons including Narsaloo Ramaya (88 years), Ralph Narine (84 years), James Ramnath (90 years), Nanlal Ramcharan (   100 years), Kenneth Lalla, (84yrs) Dipchand Maharaj (90 years) Dulie Deoraj (89yrs) Dolly Mahabirsingh (86 yrs.) and Deoraj Harrikissoon (94 yrs.) among others have established that in the period leading up to the 1930s many East Indian traditional practices were still entrenched within the community which included their songs, dances [dance dramas], music and musical instruments, religion, religious texts language and dress.

In the period leading up to 1935 when the first Indian movie came to Trinidad the following cultural frames were prevalent among the East Indians in Trinidad.

Language

They brought Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Tamil,Konkanese (spoken in Maharasthra,Kerala and Karnataka) and other Indian languages but spoke mainly Bhojpuri among themselves even though many of them came from different parts of India where Bhojpuri was not the preferred language.  That was because the majority of indentured immigrants were from the Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas and so  this turned out to be the major language adopted by all of them. That Bhojpuri was what was loosely termed Hindi in the early days. They also brought Urdu as a language from India but this was mainly among the Islamic community. (What is remarkable about this, as we shall see later, was that although the Indian films that came were in Hindi  and they barely understood that Hindi, they nevertheless flocked to the cinemas  in droves to view those Indian movies).

Songs   

They   practiced folk songs such as Biraha, Chowtal, bhajans, Qaseedas and classical songs  such as Thumri, gazal, tarana, Dhrupads, and Khayal and with singers such Phiramat, Bel Bagai (Gulam Hosein), Ramcharan, Dharam Gosein, Ali Jan, Rahimtullah, Bahadoor Syne, Seenath and Fakeer Mohammed becoming househo;d names. There were groups of singers and musicians who traveled from village to village displaying their talents and stayed at the homes of patrons such as Babu Ramsingh, Paul Harris (Sangre Grande) Seukeran, (south), Budbir Singh (Port of Spain) and Manmohansingh (Cedros) for weeks at a time.[8]  Lionel  Seukeran in his book “Mr. Speaker Sir” talks about his father as one of patrons of those classical singers and mentions that when they visited they stayed for weeks sometimes three or four weeks at a time before moving on to the next patron.  During that time each night, they sang not only for the family but also for the entire village that came out just to listen to those “traveling minstrels” as Narsaloo Ramaya refers to them.  Sukeran mentions that the women of the village came out each night and cooked for the villagers who attended the sessions.  Classical singing had reached its peak by the 1930s and was on a downward trend by 1935. Giddeon Hanoomansingh recalls his grandfather and group singing classical songs in the Presbyterian Church  at Las Lomas all night on old years night to a packed audience while James Ramnath recalls that in the Presbyterian Church they sang Christian hymns in Hindi and used Indian musical instruments such as the harmonium in the church.

Dances

They performed Dances

[drama]

such as Raja Harrischandra, Sarwanneer, Garba, Nagara, Indarsabha, Rahas Mandal  and Ahir Dance.[9] These dances were   in the form of dance dramas full of dialogues, songs, dance movements, and narrations.They were performed by men only and were to be found at most weddings and Indian functions. Fakeer Mohammed  is reputed to have introduced the first formal Indar Sabha dance group in Trinidad around 1920( circa.) but most of the other dance dramas were already present in the various settlement communities.

Musical Instruments

They played musical instruments such as dholak, tabla, harmonium, sitar, dhantal, jal, Jhanj, majeera, sarod, veena, bulbul, santur, bansuri, sarangi, mandolin, tassa and Kanjira..

Dress, Jewelry And Artifacts

They adorned themselves with Clothing  such as Dhoti [loincloth], kurta, pagree, sapat, Ghangri, jhula, orhni, sari, choli, Sindoor, (red powder) Kaajar (a type of Indian mascara) bindi, jama-jora while some of their common Jewelry items included  (dot on forehead of women) Bera [wrist bangle]churia {bracelet] ghungroos, khanpul and  Nakhphool. Some of the   artifacts  found in common use among the East Indians then  included items such as goglet, kalsa, Parai, dhekhi, jaata, chulha, taawa, simta, sil and lorha, ookhri and  moosar, peerha, Jharoo, ajoupa, kholoo, machan, lotah, and taria.

Religions, Religious Books And  Religious Festivals

They practiced religions such as Hinduism Islam and Buddhismand  used items such havankund, chandan, jhandi, bedi, mehndi, marrow, murtees, Lingam, and worshipped in temples and mosques.Their religious books consisted of Ramayan, Qu’ran, Bhagwat Puran, Bhagwat Gita, Mahabharat and Bible (missionaries) and their major religious festivals included Divali, Phagwa, Ramleela, Shivraatri, Eid-ul Fitr, and Eid –ul- Adhaa.

Socio-Religious Practices

In addition common among the East Indians were socio-religious practices such as arranged marriages, monthly community Katha (prayers) and the panchayat system.

The Setting

The local setting was perfect for the introduction of Indian movies here in Trinidad in 1935.  Creativity in terms of Indian culture had reached a standstill.  [10] There was little in the form of entertainment for East Indians except, the occasional wedding or a monthly puja as Kenneth Lalla pointed out.  [11]Classical singing had reached its peak and was on the way down.  Numerous organizations had been formed in an effort to promote and fight for the rights of Indians locally.[12] Now while cinema had come to Trinidad as early as 1900, most of the older interviewees argued that East Indians did not flock to the cinemas in any appreciable numbers in those early days for many reasons.  Most East Indians generally lived on sugar estates or settlement villages (Woodford Lodge, Hindustan, Dinsley, Esperance, Frederick Settlement) in outlying areas such as Penal, Princes Town, Caroni, El Dorado, and Rio Claro where transportation was difficult and costly for them since the cinemas were in the more developed areas.[13]  He further argued that the movies were in English, and the values portrayed in those English and American movies, were not in harmony with their traditional East Indian values.  In addition, Narsaloo Ramaya contended that the majority of East Indians lived in areas where they were isolated and therefore had insignificant contact with India since very few missionaries or cultural artistes from India visited them in their settlement areas.  Many of them did not venture into the towns because they were generally seen as outsiders, not belonging to the national fabric of the land and were invariably treated as such and made to feel unwelcomed.[14]  However, they remained a closely knitted community with a strong sense of identity of “Indianness” among them that served to homogenize and strengthen the group.  Despite the harsh economic and social climate that fettered them to the sugar plantations, they found time to practice their religions and culture that consisted of such items as songs, dances, music, religion, and festivals.

During Indentureship, they lived on the estates to which they were bound but as the Indentureship period ended, they moved out into the villages and settlements close to the estates to which they were originally attached but in the majority of cases continued to work on the very same sugar plantations to which they were initially attached.  Those indentured immigrants who decided to stay in Trinidad were in fact given plots of land in lieu of the return passage to India.  In addition, the East Indians were later allowed to purchase land from1869  and by the 1900s had become one of the larger land owning classes of people in the country.  It was perhaps this land ownership system that engendered in them a feeling of confidence and identity in Trinidad.

While their work was tenuous, with long hours in the field, they nonetheless found time to practice their culture and their religion.  There was a reverse link with India with new arrivals on the estates during indentureship from whom they were able to find out about the latest news from India and which kept the memory of India alive among them and which added to their cultural links with India.

One of the avenues that kept the memory of India alive among the East Indians in Trinidad will in the scriptural texts of the Hindus who were in the majority.

J H Collens as early as 1886 described their reverence for their scriptures saying, “It is, nevertheless, astonishing how familiar the Trinidadian coolies are of their scripture.  Even among the humble laborers who till the fields, you may often,  in the evening work being done, see and hear   a group of coolies crouching down in a semi-circle chanting whole stanzas  of the epic poem, Ramayan” (J. H. Collens    1888.p233).

This chanting of the Ramayan kept the memory of India alive among them from the earliest days because  throughout the Ramayan  they were reminded of Bharat Desh and  of places in India that were consistently and constantly mentioned in the Ramayan.  Places such as Ayodha, Kiskindha, Himalayas, Ganga, and Chitrakoot in Ramayan and Kashi and Brindaban in Mahabharat were some   chain link coded identity symbols that reminded them of India.  Therefore, even though they were largely cut off from India there was always the memory of India and the constant reminders from the Scriptures about their homeland.  This was perhaps one of the most potent reminders of identity with India No wonder they pined for the ancient homeland.

Collens’ description of their coming together in the evening was similarly the same setting for the practice of their seasonal songs such as those that accompanied Phagwa, Divali and other celebrations.

In addition, Ralph Narine and Narsaloo Ramaya also suggested that there were many individuals who composed their own songs during that time.  However, despite that, Narsaloo Ramaya contended that Creativity in terms of Indian culture had reached a standstill by the 1930s.

Numerous organizations such as the East Indian League, Sanatan Dharma Association, Sanatan Dharma Board of Control and ASJA had been formed by 1935  in an effort to promote the rights of Indians locally but Kenneth Lalla pointed out that despite the expansive cultural offerings that existed  among the East Indians in those early days and even in later days , the average East Indian in Trinidad was starved of  Indian entertainment  except what was offered at  the occasional wedding or a monthly puja and the occasional classical singing clashes. [15]

It was further argued that the movies were in English and the values portrayed in those English and American movies were not in accord with their traditional East Indian values.

  No teachers from India came to Trinidad to teach   them about their culture although by 1910, missionaries from India had arrived but they did not really touch the bulk of the East Indians who lived far from the developed areas.

Another reason put forward why   East Indians did not attend the cinemas was that culturally speaking, without even saying a word, you can telegraph a great deal about yourself by the way you dress.  Indians were generally ridiculed and laughed at because of the clothing they wore and the strange language they spoke.  In addition, many did not venture into the towns because they were generally seen as outsiders, not belonging to the national fabric of the land and were invariably treated as such and made to feel unwelcomed.  Generally, there was a feeling of “unwelcomeness” for many of those who dared to venture into the towns.

However, they remained a closely knitted community within their settlements with a strong sense of identity of “Indianness” among them that served to homogenize and strengthen the group   and despite the harsh economic and social climate that fettered them to the sugar plantations, they found time to practice their religions and culture.

           It was this   sense of Indian Culturality (cultural “Indianness”) [16] among the                             East Indians that greeted Bala Joban when it came to Trinidad in 1935. 

   In 1935, Trinidad was ruled by the British and was therefore part of the British Empire.  There was talk locally of Indian Independence in the air and the struggles in India for that Indian Independence.  Meetings were held locally in support of the Indian struggle for Independence.  Internationally Hitler was on the rise, Italy had invaded Ethiopia, and locally relief effort groups were raising funds to assist Ethiopia.  The Sanatan Dharam Board of Control had just been formed in Trinidad, and there was a clamor, together with other Hindu groups, for the establishment of Hindu schools in the country while Hindu Marriages were not yet recognized by the state.  In addition, the steel band movement was still in its formative stage

“as the year 1935 is generally accepted as the watershed year for the transition from bamboo to metal.  That year the Newtown Tamboo Bamboo band led by Lord Humbugger, discarded their lengths of bamboo and took to the streets for J’Ouvert with a full complement of metal containers. These included garbage bins and covers, biscuit drums, paint cans, brake drums, chamber pots and bottles and spoons.”[17]

moreover, in calypso, Lady Trinidad made history as the first female Calypsonian to sing in the tent, in Port of Spain.[18]

THE BALA JOBAN ERA

Bala Joban created a stir within the East Indian community in Trinidad as nothing else had done before .It became the catalyst for the retention and changes in many aspects of their cultural and religious traditions as it   combined with other markers in the evolution of East Indian identity in Trinidad.

Ranjit Kumar of India is credited as having brought the first Indian movie, Bala Joban, to Trinidad in 1935.  [19] (See Appendix 2 for further details on Ranjit Kumar)

Until 1935, all film distribution companies in Trinidad were either European or American and imported mainly English speaking movies.  Ranjit Kumar, an Indian from Rawalpindi in the Punjab brought the first Indian movie to Trinidad and became the first distributor of Indian movies here.  The arrival of that first Indian movie to Trinidad was therefore an historic occasion for the East Indians in Trinidad.  Ranjit Kumar, in his autobiography: Thoughts and Memories of Ranjit Kumar explains how he managed to purchase that first Indian movie which he brought to Trinidad: 

returning to Lahore at the home of one of my lawyer uncles, I met a gentleman from San Fernando, Trinidad, Sayed Mohammed Hosein who had been sent to India by the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat to fetch a Muslim Missionary, as by the preaching of Moulvi Ameer Ali the Ahmadiya Muslims were gaining many converts.  I found one for him Maulana Nazir Ahmed Semab[20].  Sayed Hosein saw Indian films for the first time, as none had shown in Trinidad.  India was in such political and economic turmoil, that I agreed to his suggestion that I should buy an Indian film and come with him to Trinidad.  The three of us went to Bombay and spent three months around the film studios.  I bought the film Bala Joban and in October 1935, we left India by the Italian shipping line.

We stayed one week in Genoa to change ships.  Then we boarded the Virgilio for Trinidad.  Also getting on at Genoa was a young Dutch man going to Valparaiso, and next day at Marseilles a young Frenchwoman on the way to Caracas.  The three of us made friends and next day, went ashore together at Barcelona.  The food on the ship was bad, spaghetti all of the time, so we went into a restaurant and ordered a sumptuous meal.  But they took so long to prepare it in fact when we reached the harbour, the ship was on the horizon…

 The agents booked us in a hotel.  After a week they sent the Dutchman to Santander to board at the Reins de .la Pacifica, and after another week sent Lilliane and me to Vigo, and we boarded the de la Salle.  That was French so we got good food.  When I reached Port of Spain, Sayed Hussein had already booked the film for Globe cinema.  For two days, they gave four shows a day.  Then it ran at Roodal’s Gaiety in San Fernando for a week.  I stayed at Timothy’s home and we became good friends.  I ordered more films and spent 1936 traveling all over Trinidad and Guyana showing them in all the cinemas…[21]

Sayeed Mohammed Hosein arrived in Trinidad  a few weeks ahead of Ranjit Kumar, and, according to Kumar, managed to clear the film with the help of one Mohammed Ibrahim, who signed as Kumar’s agent.[22] However, on his arrival here in Trinidad, in an historic moment for Indian films, the Trinidad Guardian ran the following story about   Ranjit Kumar: 

           Mr. Ranjit Kumar of Bombay, India, arrived in the colony on Sunday last by the French Line Steamship De La Salle and brought with him the first Indian Talkie film entitled “Bala Joban” for showing in the colony.  Mr. Kumar is the sole representative of a famous film production company of Bombay, India and he intends to stay in the island for some time to introduce many more Indian Talkie Films for the benefit of the General Indian community[23].

Trinidad Guardian 1Dec. 1935.  (p. 20)

Although this publication indicated that Ranjit Kumar brought the film with him from India, Ranjit Kumar’s own account in both this book and his private papers suggest that the movie had already arrived in Trinidad and cleared by Sayed Mohammed Hosein. 

Now regarding the exhibition of the film in Trinidad cinemas, the owners of the movie   had to negotiate with William Pettigrew Humphrey who owned the Colonial Film Exchange Company Ltd., which had negotiated contracts with almost all the cinemas in Trinidad and as such controlled what they showed at the cinemas.  As Kumar explained in his private papers, the discussions with Humphrey did not work out as Humphrey’s demands were seen as too exorbitant in that he had offered them a 25% profit from the exhibition of the movie.  Perhaps since no Indian movie had ever been shown in the country there were grave doubts on Humphrey part with regards to   its commercial viability.  However, the exhibitors decided to approach the cinemas directly for screening of the film.  This was a difficult task indeed because of the contracts that Humphrey had with the cinemas but there were two local cinema owners Meah Gokool and Timothy Roodal who were the only independent cinema owners in the land at the time with four cinemas between themselves.

Ralph Narine confirmed that   Sayeed Mohammed Hosein, Meah Gokool, and Mohammed Ibrahim were members of ASJA in 1935, so   it was only natural for Sayed Mohammed Hussein and Ibrahim[24]  and to seek Gokool’s assistance in screening the movie.  [25]  Gokool, as mentioned elsewhere in this paper, in 1933 had opened the Metro cinema in Port of Spain in collaboration with MGM but in 1934, he broke off relations with them and went independent reopening the outlet as Globe Cinema.  Gokool also owned the Globe in San Juan while Timothy Roodal owned the Gaiety in San Fernando and the Roxy in Port of Spain.  Both men agreed to show   the movie in their respective cinemas.

Bala Joban was shown, first at the Globe Cinema on December 3-4, 1935 then at Gaiety Cinema in San Fernando on December 7-9, 1935.  After Bala Joban had completed its run at those cinemas it was shown at the Globe Cinema in San Juan and then at the Princess Cinema in Arima for three days, beginning December 20, 1935[26]’ and then at the Roxy on Port of Spain on 29TH Dec 1935..

There was great euphoria throughout the country.  Newspaper reports state that people came from everywhere on trains, trucks, carts, cars, buses and bicycles, using various kind of transport to see the movie.  It was a huge success .It literally took the country by storm with so many Indians coming from all parts of the country, converging in Port of Spain to see that first Indian movie.  [27] There was great joy, excitement, and happiness all around.  The initial response to Bala Joban was a great success.  To the public everything went well.  The advertisements worked well.  The screening of the movie took place like clockwork.  There were no cancellations and the exhibitors ought to have been very pleased with their work.

Since no Indian (Hindi) movies were previously shown in Trinidad and East Indians were not generally known to be cinema fans the exhibitors/distributors were in a sense testing the waters with the showing of this first Indian movie in Trinidad.  However, once the ice was broken and other cinemas saw the huge crowds turned up for Bala Joban they quickly joined the queue of exhibitors for this film, breaking their contracts with Humphrey in the process.  Humphrey had insisted that the film be passed through his company- The Colonial Film Exchange Company if his contracted cinemas wanted to show it but as Kumar explained in his private papers they openly contravened their contracts arrangements with Humphrey and exhibited the film because it was a money-spinner for them.

The manner in which Bala Joban was released and the wording of its advertisements were, it seemed, carefully calculated to attract East Indians to the cinema for the showing of that movie.  Advertisements seemed to be carefully crafted to penetrate the East Indians psyche and create an identity of “Indianness” with the movie.  While some advertisements were generic,[28] others used identity code words such as “Hindu film” and Indian place names to attract members of the East Indian community as the following excerpts below demonstrate.  For example,

‘And early next week we are going to see  the first Hindu film on our screen when Globe presents “Bala  Joban” with an all Hindu cast and all of the singing and talking in Hindi’[29]

On the day on which the movie was released the newspapers continued referring to the movie in terms of “all Hindu film Bala Joban” and “Bala Joban Hindu Talkie”  code words for the East Indian community in terms of their own identity with India and themselves.  Another advertisement

                                               This film, made in India, is written, produced and directed by Hindus, 

                                         and all of the characters appearing in the story are Hindus, and sing

                                          and talk Hindu.”.

                                          T.G. Dec. 7th.1935.pg.8

Spoke of the film as being written, produced and directed by Hindus.

In a special news item, the Trinidad Guardian carried a story about the coming of the movie Bala Joban:

After a great deal of difficulty an Indian Talkie Film, entitled Bala Joban has arrived in Trinidad from India.  It is to be shown for the first time at the Globe Theatre in the city on Tuesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 4.  Bala Joban will also be shown at the Gaiety Theatre in San Fernando, on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8 December.

Bala Joban has drawn packed houses in India.  Theatre fans, particularly East Indians, should not miss this grand opportunity of witnessing this heart gripping and soul stirring picture.

Trinidad Guardian 20 November 1935

 On the same day that this movie was released in Trinidad the “Talking about Talkies Column “ on the Trinidad Guardian ran a major story entitled “Bala Joban Hindu Talkie” which gave details of the story of Bala Joban but talked of the film as a “Hindu Talkie”.

The identity appeal continued in another advertisement on December 1, 1935 where the Trinidad Guardian newspaper spoke of thrilling dances when Raja Harrichand’s daughter was sold by auction.  It spoke of ‘Indar Sabha’,’ Prahalad,’ and ‘Harnacus,’ and

of famous instruments such as ‘sitar, tabla, tassa, harmonium, dhantal, and Gange’ all Indian identity code words that were familiar to the East Indians in Trinidad.

 In a further connection of identity with place names of India and East Indians in Trinidad the advertisement further suggested that

Bala Joban was filmed in five great cities Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Agra, and Oudh.  At the back of this you would see the lovely sceneries of the great cities.  When you have seen these please stay in Trinidad.  Don’t talk about going to India.”[30]

In yet another advertisement run by the Gaiety cinema on the same date on the same newspaper there is the thread of Indian identity woven into the advertisements “…your chance to see the Sewalaha Mosque, the Taj Mahal and of all the things your grandfather told you about…” as those were places in India many of them would have heard about.  Interestingly on December 1st 1935 on the Trinidad Guardian another Bala Joban advertisement

 “…your chance to see the Sewalaha Mosque, the Taj Mahal and of all the things your grandfather told you about…” as those were places in India many of them would have heard about.

Interestingly on December 1, 1935 on the Trinidad Guardian another Bala Joban advertisement:

 “Take it easy folks.  Please don’t push crowd or shove.  Only two more days to see India’s most glorious all talking singing and dancing musical extravaganza-Bala Joban with its most majestic Rannies and Rajas and pundits.  Rani Padmadevi, Rani Mumtaz, Raja Indarr, Pandit Badri”[31]

 referred to Rajas, Ranis and pundits all coded messages that pointed to local Indian identity In addition thousands of flyers were printed with similar information and disseminated throughout the country.

A SLICE OF INDIA

As mentioned earlier East Indians in Trinidad were not drawn to the cinema in any appreciable numbers and as such, the exhibitors and owners of the movie Bala Joban sought to influence them to go to the cinema by appealing to their cultural and religious identity instincts.

It is significant that the stars in the advertisement above were referred to as Rani (Queen) and Raja (King), a clear reference to the multitude of stories prevalent among the East Indians about Kings and Queens in India.  None of those stars was either Ranis or Rajas or pundits for that matter but to the Trinidadian East Indian these were terms with which they were familiar in Indian stories and in the dance dramas such as Raja Harischandra both of which were popular at the time in Trinidad.  These references linked the movie to their cultural traditions, which included storytelling in which the Rajas and Ranis of India were the central characters.  Perhaps many thought that they would see Rajas and the Rannies (Kings and Queens) in the movies but according to Sarjoo, they were disappointed in that aspect of the movie.

In one of the advertisements mentioned above, an effort was made to link the Indian movie with local popular Indian dance when it spoke of ‘Indar Sabha’,  Prahalad’ and ‘Raja Harischandra’ all dance dramas which were popular in Trinidad during the 20s and 30s.  Nasaloo Ramaya for example, contended that   Nazir Mohammed popularized the Indarsabha drama, which he was privileged to witness on more than one occasion before the arrival of Bala Joban in Trinidad.  This linking of the movie and these early dance dramas was the direct attempt to tie in the movie with the early cultural traditions of the East Indians in Trinidad.  In addition, there was a direct effort to link the local musical traditions to Bala Joban with buzzwords such as “sitar, tabla, harmonium, dhantal and ghange (pronounced jha-n-ge)” as quoted in the above advertisement

The sitar was a very popular instrument in Trinidad around that time   used in most performances, particularly the classical type.[32] 

The harmonium, which was popularized in the late 1920s by Nazir Mohammed, was a mainstay of Classical singing   and was sure to create a positive link between the local patrons and the movie. [33] 

The mention in the advertisements of the “dhantal” is quite fascinating, but understandable in an effort to link the movie to local culture.  The dhantal at the time was regarded by many as a local instrument, which had its origins in Trinidad.  It was inconceivable therefore, that the dhantal would be one of the instruments used to play music for the movie since it was considered indigenous to Trinidad at the time yet the advertisements persistently identified the dhantal as one of those instruments used in providing music for the movie.[34]  This was perhaps an attempt to draw upon the sentiments of the local people, to get them to come out to the cinema because the dhantal was a key instrument for local classical singing.

The other instrument, the ghange, [normally spelt j-h-a-n-g-e] was commonly associated with the Tassa and Tassa was reputed to be a local art form developed in Trinidad, which was very popular at the time.  It is doubtful that the ghange or the dhantal were used in the movie but their inclusion in the advertisements can be seen as an attempt to link the local art forms with the Indian movie, thereby tapping into the sentiments and Indian identity of local East Indians.

Ralph Narine, a retired judge of the High Court in Trinidad now, 86 years, Pundit Balroop Maharaj, 92years old, and Narsaloo Ramaya, 85 years old, and an acknowledged expert in matters of local Indian culture, are people who saw Bala Joban and are still alive today.  They all agree that at the time of the exhibition of Bala Joban in Trinidad the musical instruments and dance dramas mentioned above were popular among the East Indians in Trinidad in the 1930s.  None of them recalled seeing the dhantal, the ghange or the harmonium in the movie.

 The  mention in the advertisement above of the fact that Bala Joban was filmed in the great cities of Bombay, Calcutta, Agra and  Oudh and “your chance to see the Sewalaha Mosque, the Taj Mahal  and of all the things your grandfather told you about”were most revealing since they sought to identify major cities and historic sites in India and alluded to the fact that  they (the East Indians)  would be able to see  those great cities and sites of India as the backdrop to many of the scenes in the movie  without leaving Trinidad.

That was perhaps an effort to link the prevailing “Indian memories” of the Indians here to India, a land they had long pined for and wished to visit. 

In addition to those like Ramaya and others who were accustomed to the cinema, were seeing for the first time people like themselves on the silver screen and this was an important identity symbol for them.  In any event, the East Indians were able to identify with the movie because all the stars were Indians, the music was Indian, the songs were in Hindi, and they were seeing India in Trinidad.

It bears repeating here that when the East Indians came to Trinidad they were almost completely cut off from all things Indian.  Therefore, the advertisements touched at the core of the identity issues that they faced here in Trinidad, and encouraged many    to go and see the movie because they saw aspects of India that they could only have imagined.

 Pandit Balroop, indicated that the prevailing thought at the time among the local East Indians was that “India was coming to them in the cinema” while Narsaloo Ramaya spoke of it as “a slice of India coming to Trinidad”

The thought that they could see these great cities of India, must have created in their minds longing for their homeland and some sort of reestablishment with that homeland of which they were constantly reminded in their scriptural readings.  It is clear from speaking to some of those who were alive at the time of the coming of Bala Joban that many local East Indians still harbored the thought of going back to India and the distributors/exhibitors of Bala Joban were perhaps conscious of the fact that in evoking those identity sentiments within the hearts of the local East Indians here in Trinidad many would probably nurture the desire to want to go back to India or just visit India, thus the advertisement ended with the admonition that

 “when you have seen these, that is the great cities and the movie.  Please stay in Trinidad and don’t talk of going to India.”  This perhaps was the view expressed by the established order, (either the press or officialdom) because to them the labor of the East Indians was still important to the economy of the country.  Nevertheless, it had the effect of linking the prevailing “Indian memories” of the Indians there to India, a land they had long pined for and wished to visit.  This portrayal of a filmi representation of India, the motherland, was an appeal to the concept of “Indianness” among the East Indians in Trinidad.  It suggested that there was no need for them to go to India to see what India was like, or to reconnect with India because India was coming to them and they could identify with India and reaffirm their “Indianness” without leaving their new homeland.  It was reminiscent of the places they had heard of in the Ramayan and Mahabharat, though not the same places, but all the same, places in India they could see.  To them the places in the celluloid reel seemed real.

One interviewee went so far as to suggest that Bala Joban, “made many local Indians feel  more “Indian” than before, to now, wear their ‘Indianness on their capra.’  “ [35] For many, Bala Joban was that missing link with India, and the advertisements made it clear that India was coming to them. 

Few if any of those East Indians in Trinidad could have afforded the passage back to India and many of them knew deep inside that even if they went back to India they would probably not be welcomed in the same way that they were before they left India and crossed the Kala Pani for Trinidad.  They were domiciled in an alien land cut off from the motherland, India, in almost every aspect of life in terms of their religion,   food, dress,   music,   songs,   dances, and family life.  Yet in their own way, they sought to re-create in their new settlements, the India that they had left behind. 

This reconstruction and recreation of a memorized version of Indian society here in Trinidad, where they lived and kept alive their culture, was for many their veritable ‘comfort zone’ within which they could be Indian and yet live in Trinidad.  The linking of this movie to the motherland, their homeland, India, must have stirred within their hearts, a re-kindling of that primordial desire to see India, linked up with India, in a   psychological Oedipal connection of the mind to the motherland.

While they saw India in Bala Joban for the vast majority, Bala Joban represented the “imagined India” that had survived in their collective memory.  It is significant     that the concept of India, the idea of India, and the places in India were always kept alive for them through the Scriptures as mentioned earlier.  When the Bala Joban “Indian filmi places” were combined with the places that were stored in their  collective memory and those fed to them through the Scriptures there came into existence a formidable connection with India, the rekindled their Indian identity consciousness.

This identity and connectivity with India was further explored in other aspects of the advertisements that played on the East Indians penchant for music and songs by indicating that the movie was “very excellent with 12 new ghazals [songs] and 4 new dances”.[36]  Local East Indians in Trinidad were accustomed to the song and dance routine in local dance dramas mentioned above and many must have linked the songs and dances in the movie to those dramas.  Music was a way of life for them as it was found in almost all their festivals, cultural events, and rituals.  This love for music and songs found a ready avenue in the Indian movies and became the mainstay of their lives as they fell “hook, line and sinker” for this aspect of Indian movies.

It was not surprising therefore to find that for a people who were cut-off from their roots for such a long time and who had sought to keep alive their culture and their religion through great trials and tribulations, would now respond in droves to those coded messages that spoke of their dances, their songs, their music, and the musical instruments that they used.  Perhaps the most important coded message for them was the fact that Bala Joban was coming from India, that it represented India, that it represented things Indian and that it was bringing India to them right there in Trinidad.

 Nasaloo Ramaya contended that for those who could not read English, or who   never saw the advertisements on the newspapers, on the storefronts, the shop doors or village parlor, it was enough for them to learn that the movie was about India, about things Indian, about the ancestral homeland, about their traditional music, songs and dances that they held dear and practiced in their daily lives that gave them an identity handle that was the impetus to see the movie.

Pandit Balroop recalls that he first became aware of the movie from a handbill that he picked up in Arima at a doctor’s office, where Princess Cinema usually left handbills for the public.[37]  Narsaloo Ramaya recalls that he first became aware of the movie Bala Joban when a friend, John Mohan told him about a poster advertising the movie with Indian stars.  Mohan told him that he had seen the poster on a shopping window at a storefront in Port-of-Spain and so they made plans together with other friends to see the movie.[38] 

They are many stories told in various villages of how people journeyed to and from the Bala Joban show.  Pundit Balroop and friends rode their bicycles more than 10 miles from deep inside the remote village of Cumuto to the Princes Cinema in Arima to view the movie.  Another group rode their bicycles from Sangre Grande to POS to see Bala Joban on the  second day of its showing there.[39] Many families pooled their meager resources to allow one or two members of the family to attend the showing.

This researcher’s mother regarding how she and two other sisters went to see Bala Joban told one such story.  There were seven sisters in the family but not everyone could have gone to see the movie due to financial constraints.  The seven sisters pooled their financial resources so that three of the sisters were able to see the movie at Princess at Arima.  She said that that later became a regular practice, where they would pool their money to send one or two of the sisters to the movies.[40] This was a common thing among Indians she said, where they would pool their money to send one or two members of the family to shop in the town or to attend the weddings or pujas at the homes of relatives.  Therefore, when Bala Joban came it was not surprising that many people pooled their resources so that others could attend and see the movie. 

Upon their return from the cinema, these fortunate ones became storytellers, and had to re-live the entire movie in their own words, retelling it many times over   to eager listeners.  They even sang a few lines of the songs they remembered   and demonstrated some of the actions of the stars in the movie.  They described the scenes, the cities, the country areas, the buildings, the streets, the people, the clothing, and   the jewelry they saw in the movies.  In addition, they also gave descriptions of the people who went to the cinema.  Both Mrs. Sarjoo Jhagroo of Penal and Pt. Balroop, 75 years later, can still recall some of the songs from the movie.  They sang a few lines from the movie for this researcher.[41]

This was a tall order indeed but these moviegoers eventually became stars of sorts in their own rights in their own villages where they were the center of attention after visiting the cinema.  They were the most sought after people in the village as everyone wanted to hear their stories about the stars, the movie story, the clothing and makeup worn by the stars, how good looking the stars were and so many other comments about the movie. [42] Narsaloo Ramaya in an interview with Kim Johnson recalls that those stars were like “white people (women)” perhaps because most Indians had used the white people as their “natural” standards for beauty and romance.  It was what they knew and was accustomed to in the English movies.[43]

This connection with India was the fulfillment of a hidden desire lodged in the bosom of every domiciled Indian immigrant and their descendants in Trinidad, to catch a glimpse, a piece of India that they so cherished in their memories.  It did not matter that most of those Indian immigrants or their descendants had their origins in various places in India such as Uttar Pradesh or Bihar  or that they belonged to different castes, followed different religious ( Hindu, Muslim and Christianity) and cultural practices, wore different clothing, even ate different foods and perhaps even belonged to different classes in the emerging  Trinidad society   For most of them who saw Bala Joban this was the fulfillment of a hidden desire lodged in the bosom of every domiciled Indian immigrant or their descendants here in Trinidad, to catch a glimpse, a piece of India that they so cherished in their memories. Years later Indian movies would inspire thousands to visit India for many reasons such as pilgrimages, Bollywood, culture, learning

It did not matter whether they lived in the town or the country areas, whether they worked in the fields, in offices, or what their calling was-this was ‘a slice of India’ that was coming to Trinidad to meet and greet them in the cinema and   it was something they did not want to miss.

The film was shown throughout Trinidad   in places such as Couva, Curepe, San Juan, Sangre Grande, Rio Claro, Tunapuna, Penal, and Arima.  Wherever the film was shown, Kumar recalled that it received tremendous audience support.  He further suggested that many of the cinemas, particularly the rural ones, where his film was shown, previously had low audience turn out for the English movies but saw full houses when Bala Joban was shown there for example the Couva Electric Cinema.[44]

Lalla recalls that conversations  with reference to Bala Joban was the topic of the town wherever it was shown and that many people found it very fascinating, incredible almost unbelievable that an Indian movie, something about India, in their own language, Hindi had come to Trinidad.  Years later, he admitted, it was the same emotional conversation with India and Indian identity and cultural awareness all over again when in 1966 the famous Indian playback singer Mohammed Rafi visited Trinidad for a series of performances.[45]

After Bala Joban, many individuals got into the film distribution business and imported Indian movies from India.  Later by the 1940s, Indian film distribution companies were set up in Trinidad to distribute Indian movies locally the first of which was India Oversees International Ltd. in 1942 followed by International Traders Limited in1946. 

For many East Indians  cinema   made a difference in their lives   because unlike the occasional weddings or other community events which were irregular and far apart, Indian cinema was there on a regular basis most times once per week.  That public space that they once shied away from which now offered Indian cultural entertainment, for many it became an Indian cultural icon, no matter what other English movies were held there in the cinema.  They looked forward to the Indian movie on the weekend.  because many of those early East Indians did not see Indian cinema  as purely entertainment  but more culturally linked to their past, to India and  to their local Indian culture .                 

This Indian movie Bala Joban and others that followed revolutionized the cinema industry in Trinidad as East Indians who had hitherto not affiliated themselves with the cinema now did so in droves.  Many new cinemas were established to cater primarily to the influx of Indian movies particularly for rural Indian audiences.

Ranjit Kumar’s bold and courageous entry into the lives of the Indians in Trinidad changed forever, their traditional practices and culture within the East Indian and Trinidadian landscape.  However, according to Brinsley Samaroo, who referred to him as ‘a man for all seasons’ he also went on to make an impact on the social, political and labor life of the country from 1935 to his demise in 1982.[46]

CONCLUSION

This young Indian engineer, Ranjit Kumar, upon the word of a stranger whom he had met for the first time, took a gamble and brought ‘Bala Joban’ to Trinidad.  Bala Joban and other Indian movies awoke  images of “the motherland” (India) that had been dormant among the East Indians for a long time  and aroused a higher level of ethnic consciousness  in terms of East Indian identity and  “Indianness”  among them .  The reawakening of “Indian consciousness” that resulted from the impact of Bala Joban and other Indian movies was largely responsible for the revival and redirection of Indian culture in Trinidad.  The local East Indian’s appetite for Indian movies and things Indian from the motherland had been tapped and there was no turning back on their demand for continued Indian movies and things Indian.  This had its repercussions in other areas of their lives.

It is interesting to note that although the films that came from India were in Hindi most of the East Indians spoke Bhojpuri.  Nevertheless, those films were popular because it recreated an India of the imagination.  That love for their Indian Heritage has continued to this day despite the loss of their language-Bhojpuri.

The advent of Bala Joban commenced for the East Indians in Trinidad a reapproachment of their presence here and their place within the national milieu.  For the first time many of them were leaving their rural “comfort zones” and attending an event (cinema) in a public space.  There are numerous stories of the difficulties they faced in getting to and from the cinema and equally interesting stories of womenfolk attending cinema for the first time.

Bala Joban, when compared to other Indian movies that came, was unique to Trinidad in that in India it was just another average movie and had no special significance to the Indians.  However, to the East Indians in Trinidad it would always hold that the pride of place as their first real reconnection with India after the Kala Pani crossing.

   Since Bala Joban 75 years ago, Indian movies have had a comfortable home here in Trinidad.

ENDNOTES


[1]  http//news.bbc.co.uk./2/hi/entertainment/4080728.htm.  27.01.08

[2] http//www news.bbc.co.uk.2/hi/entertainment/4080728.html  27.01.08

[3] Paul Brett.  British Film Institute (BFI) U.K.  http://currentcaveats.blogspot.com/2006/12/4-billion-tickets-sold-and-1000-movies.html .02.12.08

[4] “Amit Khanna: The Man who saw.”  India News | Indian Business, Finance News | Sports: Cricket India | Bollywood, Tamil, Telugu Movies | Astrology, Indian Recipes.  Web.  26 Dec. 2009.  <http://sify.com/movies/bollywood/fullstory.php?id=13713296&gt;.

[5] “The Hindu: On the Bollywood beat.”  The Hindu: Front Page News: Saturday, December 26, 2009.  Web.  26 Dec. 2009.  <http://www.hindu.com/lr/2004/03/07/stories/2004030700390600.htm&gt;.

[6] Sarkar, Bhaskar (2008), “The Melodramas of Globalization”, Cultural Dynamics 20: 31–51 [34], “Madhava Prasad traces the origin of the term to a 1932 article in the American Cinematographer by Wilford E. Deming, an American engineer who apparently helped produce the first Indian sound picture.  At this point, the Calcutta suburb of Tollygunje was the main center of film production in India.  Deming refers to the area as Tollywood, since it already boasted two studios with ‘several more projected’ (Prasad, 2003) ‘Tolly’, rhyming with ‘Holly’, got hinged to ‘wood’ in the Anglophone Indian imagination, and came to denote the Calcutta studios and, by extension, the local film industry.  Prasad surmises: ‘Once Tollywood was made possible by the fortuitous availability of a half-rhyme, it was easy to clone new Hollywood babies by simply replacing the first letter’ (Prasad, 2003).”

From “Bollywood -.”  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  Web.  29 Dec. 2009.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollywood#cite_ref-Sarkar_9-0&gt;.

[7] Brian Shoesmith `From Monopoly to Commodity: The Bombay Studios in the 1930s’.  In T. O’Regan & B. Shoesmith eds. History on/and/in Film.  Perth: History & Film Association of Australia, 1987.  68-75.

[8] Interview with Narsaloo Ramaya……………………….

[9] These dances were really in the form of dance dramas full of dialogues, songs, dance movements, and narrations.

[10] Interview with Narsaloo  Ramaya

[11] Interview with Kenneth Lalla……………………

[12] Interview with Ralph Narine ………………

[13] Interview with James Ramnath 15/05/08.Sangre Grande

Former indentured plantation laborers from India established village settlements near sugar estates where they had worked in Trinidad in the late nineteenth century.  Livelihood in such villages   consisted of food production, cash cropping, and wage labor.  The settlement villages were on marginal lands between cane plantations and coastal swamps.  While in many cases the East Indians in the village exploited   swamps or unprofitable cane lands some also continued to work on the sugar estates.

[14]  Interview with Narsaloo Ramaya  ………………………………….

[15] Interview with Kenneth Lalla……………………

[16] Culturality: in a cultural way.  Being cultural .Artesian Herald.  May 7, 2008.Culturality is not a universal trait for many in Wilt-T’S Cove by Tyler Wildt.  23/01/10

[17]  Selwyn Taradath January 1, 2000 From Drums to Tamboo Bamboo to Sweet Steel:  The genesis of the steelband

TRINBAGOPAN.COM:  The Origin of the Steel pan.  http://www.trinbagopan.com/steelpan/irontosteel.htm.03/06/10

[18] Calypso London.  http://www.itzcaribbean.com/calypsolondon.php 02/06/10

[19] Ranjit Kumar (1912-1982) was born in India in Rawalpindi, Punjab on 31 January 1912.

In 1935, he came to Trinidad with an Indian film.  He arrived in Trinidad as the distributor of the first Indian film to be shown locally at Globe Cinema.  The venture was successful and Kumar spent the next two years, travelling and showing Indian films in Guyana and Trinidad.  After two years of this success, Kumar sold his films and left the business.  See appendix 2 for more details on Ranjit Kumar.

Sources: Ranjit Kumar: Thoughts and Memories of Ranjit Kumar.  Inprint Caribbean ltd. 1981; Brinsley Samaroo: Ranjit Kumar,”Lion of the Punjab” as Cultural and Political Activist in Trinidad and Tobago, 1935-1982.  A paper presented at East Indian Diasporas Conference, U.W.I., and St. Augustine.21-22 May 2004.

[20]Interview with Kamaludin Mohammed————-

Maulana Nazir Ahmad Simab was from Lahore, India, which later became part of Pakistan after partition.  He was a graduate of Lahore University with honors degree in English Persian and Urdu.  He stayed in Trinidad for 18 months, during his first sojourn here and then returned to India.  However, he was back in Trinidad in 1939, where he stayed and carried out his missionary work until his premature death in 1945.  Kamaludin Mohammed who had worked closely with the Maulana visited the Maulana’s wife in India in 1959 to convey condolences but found out that she had passed away just days before his arrival.

[21] Ranjit Kumar, Auto Biography: Thoughts and Memories of Ranjit Kumar.  In print Caribbean Ltd. 1975 Trinidad.  p 11-12 (Hereafter: Kumar)

[22] Kumar mentions Mohammed Ibrahim in his private papers as the one with signed as agent in order to clear the film at the port of Port-of-Spain.  This was done without Kumar’s permission.

[23] Trinidad Guardian 1Dec. 1935.  (p. 20)

[24] However, another player in the game, Mohammed Ibrahim, who was a close associate of Sayed Mohammed Hosein, also played a major role in the exhibition of the movie.  Dr. Mansoor Ibrahim, son of Mohammed Ibrahim, also confirmed that his father Mohammed Ibrahim was a member of ASJA at the time and close friend of Sayed Mohammed Hosein.

[25]Follow-up telephone Interview with Ralph Narine 25/08/08

[26] T.G. December 20, 1935

[27] Trinidad Guardian December 5 1935

[28]Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th the all talking singing, dancing BALA  JOBAN

  Indian music extravaganza  gripping from the start …..thrilling every second……….

with a galaxy of stars including Bengal’s most majestic girls;

Miss Gulab, and Padma devi, and  Rani Mumtaz.

You will be swept away with the Indian music and songs……….”

Trinidad Guardian  November 24, 1935,

[29] T.G. November 24, 1935 — Talking About Talkies

[30] T.G.Dec.1.1935

[31] T.G.Dec.1.1935

[32] Interview with Ralph Narine

[33] Interview with Narsaloo Ramaya. It is believed that Nazir Mohammed bought the harmonium from one of the sailing ships that brought indentured immigrants Trinidad.

[34] Satnarine Balkaransingh in a presentation entitled “Chutney Rising” at UTT Campus, Corinth, (27/05/10) disputes the fact that the dhantal originated in Trinidad.  He sheds new light on its origin and traces its origin back to India.

[35] Interview withT.S.  (requested anonymity) 15/08/08

[36] T.G. December 3, 1935

[37]Interview with Pandit Balroop

[38]Interview with Narsaloo Ramaya

[39] interview withT.S

[40] Personal Experience.

[41] Interview with Mrs. Sarjoo Jhagroo   and Pt. Balroop,

[42],Follow-up telephone interviews with James Ramnath (15/08/08)and Ralph Narine 26/08/08

[43] Kim Johnson————————-

[44] Personal papers of Ranjit Kumar

[45] Interview with Kenneth Lalla   …………………………

[46] See Appendix 2 for more on Ranjit Kumar

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Artesian Herald.  May 7, 2008.Culturality is not a universal trait for many in Wilt-T’S Cove by Tyler Wildt.  23/01/10

Brett, Paul.  British Film Institute (BFI) U.K.  http://currentcaveats.blogspot.com/2006/12/4-billion-tickets-sold-and-1000-movies.html .02.12.08

“Amit Khanna: The Man who saw.”  India News | Indian Business, Finance News | Sports: Cricket India | Bollywood, Tamil, Telugu Movies | Astrology, Indian Recipes.  Web.  26 Dec. 2009. 

http://sify.com/movies/bollywood/fullstory.php?id=13713296

Kumar, Ranjit: Thoughts and Memories of Ranjit Kumar.  Inprint Caribbean ltd. 1981

London, Calypso.  http://www.itzcaribbean.com/calypsolondon.php 02/06/10

.

Sarkar, Bhaskar (2008), “The Melodramas of Globalization”, Cultural Dynamics 20: 31–51 [34

Shoesmith, Brian `From Monopoly to Commodity: The Bombay Studios in the 1930s’.  In T. O’Regan & B. Shoesmith eds. History on/and/in Film.  Perth: History & Film Association of Australia, 1987.  68-75.

Samaroo, Brinsley: Ranjit Kumar,”Lion of the Punjab” as Cultural and Political Activist in Trinidad and Tobago, 1935-1982.  A paper presented at East Indian Diasporas Conference, U.W.I., and St. Augustine.21-22 May 2004.

Taradath, Selwyn January 1, 2000 From Drums to Tamboo Bamboo to Sweet Steel:  The genesis of the steelband

TRINBAGOPAN.COM:  The Origin of the Steel pan.  http://www.trinbagopan.com/steelpan/irontosteel.htm.03/06/10

“The Hindu: On the Bollywood beat.”  The Hindu: Front Page News: Saturday, December 26, 2009.  Web.  26 Dec. 2009.  <http://www.hindu.com/lr/2004/03/07/stories/2004030700390600.htm&gt;.

WEB PAGES

http//news.bbc.co.uk./2/hi/entertainment/4080728.htm.  27.01.08

http//www news.bbc.co.uk.2/hi/entertainment/4080728.html  27.01.08