Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I'm most disturbed with the emergence of the type of mindsets which comprise this nation in larger numbers than I had imagined. 
Yesterday, I received a mail with some 40 pictures of Tirupati Balaji, at the end of which in bold was a message saying that if the receiver does not forward the mail to 20 people, he/she will face bad luck for 14 years. I replied to all who were on the list of the sender as well as to the sender, that those who forward this mail will be faced with bad luck till the third generation of their family after them, and the sender was offended. She immediately retorted that I should chill and enjoy the pictures. So then I said to her that she should chill and had the message in the first place been that I should enjoy the pictures, I wouldn't have been offended at all. She, and her bunch of friends are an educated lot, who create and produce the type of TV we see today.
Then the news of the poor professor who was caught by cameras having consensual sex with his gay partner who happens to be a rickshaw puller. Wow! He has actually been given a few hours to disappear from the campus at Aligarh Muslim University where he has been teaching for the last 20 years, by people who are the  offenders themselves for having planted camera's in his lodgings and invading his privacy. Instead of them being booked, the poor victim is being punished. The absurd explanation of morality being meted out by other outdated and archaic members of the faculty of the dilapidated university was worse, seeming comic and satirical at times. The Buck Stops Here - NDTV 24/7 with Barkha Dutt.
But what it has taken for make me write this piece, is the worst. 
I read today in the Mumbai Midday, that Muzzafar Ali, the respected filmmaker and designer, a man who has been called an artiste and received accolades for his works, was heard saying that if Rumi had been gay, he would not have been a poet. 
This coming from a man of the caliber of Muzzafar Ali was unbelievable and I could not help but comment on the terrible quality of thinking that has infested the minds of people, mostly the educated and enlightened, in present times. I can't help but wonder what has gone wrong with us as a race and why, unlike other developing nations in the world, instead of evolving and paving a path for the aspiring, we are regressing and destroying the path laid out by our own ancestors who were far more progressive than we can even dream of being.
Literature, poetry, music, dance, sculpture and all other performing and non performing arts are manifestations of freedom that people feel, which compels them to express their joy, sorrow and pain. That freedom is possible when people are liberated enough to make a choice of who they want to be. And the choice is available to only such people who are led by an enlightened and enriched society which creates space for everyone to feel secure in being who they are.
The place where the freedom to love who you want to is a fantasy and not a reality, is one where the politics of time are disturbed with conflict, and therefore that is the society which then becomes rigid, bigoted and insensitive to diversity. 
People are shackled and slowly cease to express because it becomes a punishable act to display your soul through art. 
Creativity goes underground and life in general gets homogenized.

India is on the verge of a collapse. 
We are at the edge and if we are to fall, it could mean that we go back in time and start from scratch after a massive destruction which will level out everything. 
If we don't take the right measures through our media and through all other streams of communication that we have, to rebuild the minds of people in general which have become a mangled mess and chaos of thoughts driven by a lack of faith in modern philosophy and politics, we are doomed. 
We have to first admit that our irrational growth in the last 60 years has created an insecurity amongst our people which compels them to hold on to irrelevant beliefs and traditions as crutches. The illiterate are yet to be educated so they cannot be blamed for following anything blindly, as they are only doing what is necessary for them to survive. 
The worry is that it is the minds of some of the educated, the foundations of certain institutions of learning, and the expression of a few respected artistes (I would like to believe that it is some mistake and not the truth what Muzzafar Ali has been quoted to have said) which has started to rot and it must be addressed immediately. 
If we allow further growth to implode instead of helping people to reach out to the stars, it will be fatal. The strict enforcement of a single law for one and all, is the only answer and if the Government in power continues to appease different sections of society, and fails to perform its duty making democracy and cultural diversity the excuse, it will be disastrous. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - The Cult.

I'm convinced that showcasing and providing opportunity to the simpler things in this world is what is going to pave the path for a peaceful future.
As I walk down Rampart Row and browse through the stalls at the Times of India sponsored Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, I realize how, what the world of business and the politics of time considers insignificant, is so important to people.

The festival is a world of creativity filled with the colors of life that witholds you as you stroll from one stall to the next.
Artisans, designers, artistes, painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, filmmakers, writers, actors, musicians and many more performing and non performing artistes of all kind, from every part of this nation come together to display their offerings of creation which are the moments of truth held between every two seconds that I spend there, and which the entire world, rich and poor, powerful as well as powerless, must experience for everyone to realize what the true purpose of their existence in this world really is.

If there was a market like the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival permanently placed in each and every part of this world, artistes will emerge with their creations and display them everywhere you look and the magic of the colors of life would hold still and make silent the dark of destruction which otherwise envelopes us all the while.

These festivals should be then brought to the front pages of every media for destructive forces of politics which otherwise occupy the space, to be silenced. I now know that our media will have to place the courage of creation above the cowardice of destruction for the world to veer towards peace.
The poor who get lured to join violent forces of demands for justice and equality need more outlets like this festival to free themselves from being trapped in ideologies which give them nothing in return for the cost of their own lives.

The narratives of literature, the music of song, the facinating expression of dance and the depths of art on canvas are all encompassing one fact, and that is 'LIBERTY', the one thing which the entire restless globe is craving. Liberty from the devious designs of the power hungry, popularity crazy, insane aggressors who get wrapped in their own devices as they go about doing everything other than what they should be doing, which is creating.

The control over expression by the politics of business to harness the wealth of creators, their own productive partners without whom they themselves would be redundant, has muted art and snatched their freedom from them.
Creativity, a result of simplicity and non violence, cannot fight the aggression of wealth, yet has the power to crush destruction.
The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival provides oxygen to creators, eliminating middle men who otherwise suffocate their expression.
More of these everywhere in the world are a must.
Until the world that creates and builds does not outnumber that which thrives on destruction, peace is not possible.