Remixing the Sacred

Recent news story in Kolkata’s The Telegraph about anger over a song that remixes a devotional song in Oriya, an Indian language. To me, the most interesting quote:

“No one has the right to tamper a song that has touched thousands of hearts. Those who have attempted to vulgarise it must be arrested as they have hurt Oriya sentiment,” said Dilip Das Sharma, the president of a local unit of Utkal Sammilani. (source)

On one hand, I want to respect Sharma’s sentiment; people deserve to have their sacred words/texts/songs reserved as sacred.

But on the other hand, isn’t this kind of thing common, if we look at the big picture? People take words of devotion and blend them with contemporary forms to create new experiences of the sacred. . . . It feels natural, evolving, growing, and interactive to me. (But I could be convinced otherwise, I think.)


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