Apr 9, 2022

Netflix: Where are the Indians Bridgerton dreamed up really from?

The mention of Mirza Ghalib, a celebrated 19th Century Urdu poet, was one of the show's many attempts to emphasise the Indian origins of the heroines, Kate and Edwina Sharma, played by British-Indian actors Simone Ashley and Charita Chandra, respectively. While the Indian diaspora has mostly welcomed seeing someone who looks like them on screen, the show has left people in India with mixed feelings, from amusement to irritation to disappointment. Bridgerton's season two has defied those boundaries by seeking to tell the story of Indians in Britain for the diaspora, but through a markedly foreign lens. Another wondered at the use of the northern Indian caste name Sharma for a family that spoke Marathi, a language from the western state of Maharashtra. Even the scene where Kate brews herself a cup of masala chai drew criticism, with Indians ridiculing the way she does it.

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