Here are some stories you may have missed this week.

Once again, Bollywood ruined yet another song with their take on Pav Dharia’s famous song Na Ja 

Originally written and sung by Punjabi artist Pav Dharia, the song Na Ja, which was released in the summer of 2017, has now been remade by Bollywood. The new iteration, titled Najaa (not sure what the change in the name is about) features the film's lead actors Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif for their upcoming movie, Sooryavanshi and is already trending with 16 million views garnered on Youtube. There have been mixed reviews about Bollywood’s take on the song, but a common theme among most of the comments were discussing the issue of many Ounjabi artists “selling out” to bollywood and ruining a perfectly good song.

This isn’t the first time Bollywood has done this. Remember when Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor remixed Guru Randhawa’s song High Rated Gabru or Angreji Beat by Yo Yo Honey Singh? In my opinion, the remixed versions are never as good as the original song, in both cases. The bigger issue here is the “Punjabification” of Bollywood, which is when non-Punjabi characters lip-sing to Punjabi songs with the film almost always having no association with Punjab other than the plot being based in Punjab. This has been going on for so long but that doesn’t justify having a Punjabi “hit” song for marketing purposes or  to appeal to the audience when they don’t have many Punabi characters.

Some of the comments went as far as asking why Pav Dharia would support this when many Bollywood celebrities, including Akshay Kumar have decided to idly watch and stay silent in the midst of the farmer’s protest. However, since White Hill music owns the rights to his songs, there’s a question about whether or not Pav Dharia had a say in having Bollywood remake his song or not. However, he did repost the video and comment saying that it was a dream of his to have his “childhood favorite actor dance to his music.” 

Well, hopefully he was at least able to secure the bag.

#Theylivehere campaign runs from November 1st to 3rd in remembrance of the 1984 SIkh Genocide

Instagram/@worldsikhorg

Every November, Sikhs across the world remember the Sikh genocide that took place across India 37 years ago. On October 31st, 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards for her slaughter of Sikhs and the assault on the Darbar Sahib during Operation Blue Star. What followed was a series of organized attacks against the Sikh community in India. Many prominent politicians played a huge role in the genocide by providing mobs with electoral voting lists to mark the homes of the Sikh community. The police either actively participated in committing the massacre of Sikhs or idly stood by in silence as Sikhs were being burnt alive. This continued for several days resulting in the killing of more than 30,000 Sikhs

#TheyLiveHere is a response to the horrific event that took place 37 years ago. The World Sikh Organization come up with a COVID-friendly way to remember the Shaheeds and survivors of the genocide. They came up with the idea to self mark our homes with candles, as a sign of resilience. A byproduct of this is that our elders and parents have often not talked about 1984 due to how traumatic it has been. The social media campaign opens doors to having those conversations and to support survivors. 

Join @worldsikhorg and partner organizations including but not limited to @sikhcoalition, @SALDEF, @KhalsaAid from around the world by posting a photo of a candle outside your door to remember that we must fight darkness with light. Collectively, we will start a conversation to #neverforget1984. 

Share a photo of your candle and make sure to tag @worldsikhorg

Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar opens up about his sexuality and his 11 year long relationship in his newest book You Can’t Be Serious

The 44-year-old actor, known for his roles in Harold & Kumar go to White Castle, How I Met Your Mother, and Designated Survivor, announced that he is gay in his latest book titled You Can’t Be Serious. In his interview with People, he stated that he “discovered his sexuality relatively late in life compared to other people '' and goes on to say that “there’s no timeline with this stuff. People figure their sh-- out at different times in their lives, so I’m glad I did when I did.”

He revealed he’s been in a relationship with his partner Josh, he did not reveal his last name for privacy reasons, for the past 11 years and the pair are now happily engaged. Kal met Josh when living in Washington, D.C. while working as an associate director in the Office of Public Engagement D.C. under the Obama administration back in 2009. Kal mentioned in his interview with People that he never made any effort to hide his sexuality but wanted to respect both his partners and parents wishes as they are private people and want to stay out of the limelight.

I’m excited to read his book as he discusses how he navigated life being brought up in an ethnically diverse home, being a 3rd generation Indian-American, experiencing racism while growing up in New Jersey, and his diverse career opportunities he’s had. It’s pretty impressive going from having to pave his own path in Hollywood to being a part of the Obama Administration on legislation for the Affordable Care Act.  

Oh and Cardi B is apparently officiating their wedding? We’re here for it! 

Live Tinted Founder Deepica Mutyala collaborated with Phenomenal by Meena Harris in celebration of Diwali!

Instagram/@deepica

This year, for Diwali, Deepica from Live Tinted teamed up with Meena Harris, founder of Phenomenal, a social enterprise platform and media company to create a special Diwali-themed gift box. It included a Phenomenal bright orange hoodie that says “Phenomenally brown”; and a handcrafted Diya, which "highlights the themes of community, pride, and light" of the holiday. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Deepica says, it’s "a further nod to the tradition of the holiday." And it's a great gift to give your besties who love to represent their community!

Also on the celebration schedule was a Diwali party hosted by none other than Mindy Kaling. The Diwali dinner included South Asian women in media and entertainment to celebrate their culture and community as they discuss the power of their voice in the industry. Along with Mindy on the guest list were Priyanka Chopra, Liza Koshy, Radhika Devlukia, Lily Singh, Richa Moorjani, Payal Kadakia and many others. Gushing about the event on Deepika’s Insta story you hear, Mindy say: 'I feel so honored to be asked by Meena Harris [Phenomenal] and Deepica Mutyala [Live Tinted] who are such moguls and doing so many incredible things to support and empower women of color, especially South Asian Women, to host this Diwali dinner. 

This was the first year that an event like this has taken place for South Asian women in the media and entertainment industry. Deepika said she’s excited at the idea of the next generation growing up and seeing powerful, trailblazing women like them in the media will be the norm for them.

Lastly, grab your tickets for “Beyond the Uncle’s Club”

On November 16th join us for a conversation between journalists and communications scholars about representation, changing the narrative, and storytelling in the South Asian community. Our amazing panelists include Tarannum Thind, Dr. Milan Singh, Alysha Bains, Simran Singh, and hosted by our very own Rumneek Johal. In the spirit of the Diwali season, we’ll be shining a light on some of the challenges and opportunities of our first 2 years running 5X Press, as we re-launch Canada’s only South Asian youth magazine. 

At this event, panelists will discuss the importance of creating spaces for  women, youth, LGBTQ+ voices’ in mainstream media, no more uncle’s club. It’s time to change the narrative and to do that we need our powerful voices to create meaningful change in the community. I know most women in our community have that one story of an uncle telling them they can’t do something, and personally, I was thrown back when it happened to me. An uncle, who's well known in our community came by asking for my dad and through our conversation was asking me what I’m doing, what my aspirations are, the usual and out of nowhere said to me “girls shouldn’t have to work, you should just get married at your age”. Ugh. First off, I was 19 at the time, and second, I replied, would you give your daughter the same advice? This uncle is now a prominent MP in the community.. Situations like this aren’t a one-off situation, who knows how many young, impressionable youth have been told off by some uncle to get married instead of telling us to pursue our dreams despite what society says. It’s time to change the narrative and have these conversations on the importance of representation of diverse voices from our community. 


Join 5X and the amazing panelists in starting this conversation, grab your tickets here.

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About the author: Navneet holds a bachelor’s degree focused in Health Science - Population and Quantitative Studies from Simon Fraser University, cultivating a passion for health promotion, policy and social justice. She has recently found a passion in writing about pop-culture, mental health and living in a South Asian diaspora. Her passion for feminism, diversity and progress lights a fire beneath everything she does. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling and baking.

About the author

Navneet Chana (@navneetchana)

Navneet holds a bachelor’s degree focused in Health Science - Population and Quantitative Studies from Simon Fraser University, cultivating a passion for health promotion, policy and social justice. She has recently found a passion in writing
about pop-culture, mental health and living in a South Asian diaspora. Her passion for feminism, diversity and progress lights a fire beneath everything she does. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling and baking.


More by Navneet Chana (@navneetchana)
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