Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Farce of the dwarf-JP

P.C. Joshi, the General Secretary of the CPI from 1935 to 1947, left an indelible mark on the modern cultural history of India, in both the pre- and post-independence periods. And this is an extraordinary event of history. … The first All India Progressive Writers’ Conference was held on April 10, 1936 (in Lucknow). … P. C. Joshi mobilised a great many writers and artists prior to and in the course of the formation and growth of the PWA and IPTA. …
The foundation conference of the IPTA coincided with the First Congress of the CPI (May 23 to June 1, 1943). The first CPI Congress was a great political event. But it was also a great cultural event, which is equally important. … THE foundation Conference of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) was held on May 25, 1943 in Marwari Vidyalaya, Bombay (now Mumbai).
The Conference was preceded by several preparatory events culminating in the IPTA—formation of the PWA (1936), foundation of the Youth Cultural Institute in Calcutta in 1940, creation of the People’s Theatre in Bangalore in 1941 by Anil de Silva, a lady of Ceylonese origin, formation of the Bombay IPTA in 1942 with herself (Anil de Silva) at the centre and other events.]

Through linguistic diversification, IPTA artists used the theater as a vehicle for awakening a spirit of protest among "the people" that would merge into a collective antifascist and anti-imperialist consciousness. Similarly, joint authorship of plays indicates a collective political undertaking …]

THE use of music as a mode of expressing protest has historically involved the adoption of diverse forms from across cultures, ranging from the traditional to the new. … The formation of the Indian People’s Theatre Association in 1943 marked a formal adoption of the idea that music and theatre would be used for the conscious articulation of protest. In India, this was one of the early, if not the first, attempts to use music, dance, theatre and art for the systematic articulation of protest against oppression, particularly class based. Across the country, a large number of the best-known artists of the time became part of the IPTA, attempting to create alternative aesthetic products. Regional and provincial branches of the IPTA were formed, all engaged in the creation of this alternative aesthetic… Notes from the revolution - Times Of India 27 Dec 2010 – (Crooning glory: The IPTA choir in K A Abbas's film 'Dharti Ke Lal'.) And protest music from the first half of the 20th century.]

The Left turn of culture has paid rich dividends in the pre-tv age, but now they look like fossils. The Hindutva brigade, unfortunately, prefers the safety of mythology instinctively and plays defensively against cultural imperialism. The present chaos involving language and creativity in India may be a fine tension for throwing up inspired works with the potential of electrifying the whole nation, but the kind of receptivity required for such galvanization is sadly absent.

The rise and fall of Anna Hazare is illustrative of all that is detrimental in the Indian society today. The appeal of this dwarf-JP has rather more affinity with the Advani-led Mandir movement. And the most devastating aspect is the colossal intellectual and cultural vacuum within which he and his cohorts operate. [TNM55]

1 comment:

  1. [Akshaya Mishra - Feb 2, 2012 - Activism: Why Swamy gets it right and Team Anna wrong
    But what makes Dr Subramanian Swamy so effective as a crusader? ‘Knowledge’, should be the one-word answer. Extended a bit, it is his ability to work out the beguiling nuances in the functioning of institutions correctly and framing the problem areas as legal questions.]