Monday, March 23, 2009

Tell us what we want to hear

Comment on Rediff. The message was in response to Nandita Sen’s film Firaaq, which deals with the aftermath of Gujrat Riots in the lives of different protagonists.

Please stop making movies on Hindu-Muslim issues. Enough is enough. These movies are now spreading hatred more than entertaining ppl.

What happened to the creativity? Imagination? dead or what?

By the way, creativity does not mean making SRK dance with 4-5 models in pathetically composed songs...

Mr. Satpute, hats off to you, for putting your half-formed thoughts in such brutally punctuated words.

Please do not dismiss Mr. Satpute as a philistine. I for one can easily see Mr. Satpute’s thoughts in many colleagues and families. (note: no friends thankfully). These are what the majority of educated Indians view cinema, and art, as: Something to entertain and not put forth disturbing questions. Meaning and creativity confined by our acceptance of the world-picture and willingness to confront the multiplicative-ambiguities of perspectives and contexts. I am sure Mr. Satpute thinks that RDB was cinema at its meaningful best.

In the brilliant column here, Nicholas Kristof has pointed out to recent studies how the net (and I will extend this to the abundance of news bytes across all channels) is used by most of us to just reaffirm our prejudices and not to challenge our world-view. He calls this (I wish I had a daughter I could marry off to this guy for just this phrase) “the reassuring womb of an echo chamber”.

This editorial is limited in scope and deals mainly with how political news is read using the net. But it captures the broad truth about how we the self-appointed intelligentsia surround ourselves with news-bytes and art that confirms to the world-view we inherit from our parents (habitus broadly) and hence why dissonant art forms in our country in the modern times never quite captured the imagination of the country since we are a society designed to survive and not to question and better itself.

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