ಬಿ ಸುರೇಶ್ ಅವರು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದ ‘ಜನಪರತೆಯ ಸೋಗು ಹಾಗು..’ ಲೇಖನಕ್ಕೆ ಸ೦ವರ್ಥ ಸಾಹಿಲ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಹರ್ಷಕುಮಾರ್ ಕುಗ್ವೆ
ಬರೆದಿರುವ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳು ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯೆಗೂ ಸ್ವಾಗತ.
– Samvartha ‘Sahil’Suresh has undoubtedly raised some important questions which cannot be ignored whether one agrees or disagrees with his arguments. The visible and invisible connection between art and commerce where the undoubtedly commerce holds the strings of art, is a question that one just cannot ignore. When the strings of art is in the hands of commerce, whichever art it may be, how much ever concerned it is and has its heart in the right (rather left) place finally its concern and artivism will be playing within the framework of commerce (read capitalism) and all its concern will be, in one or the other way, benifiting the larger capitalist structure. Else why would the capitalist structure even bother to hold the strings of art in the name of artivism. So what happens in the end is that the larger structure (capitalism and other power structures) which is the real villain becoming visible in forms of villains (individual, institutuional and social) that Amir Khan showcases in his shows (and many which he does not touch upon)remains unchanged and the only the smaller villains or rather some faces of villain is just being showed as villain without any attempt being made to demolish that larger structure which, remains slightly invisible and shows its presence in some form which appears to us as THE villain. The question of who represents whom and who takes up the issue has always had strong arguments from opposite sides. Amir Khan does have his right to speak of all that is his concern. But how can we let the questions about his personal life escape our thoughts when he is taking up a moral higher position to preach the entire nation? He too stands as one among us and what he tells the nation also applies to him and that is common sense. So in the final analysis he has to put himself in the hot seat and answer. My problem with Satyameva Jayate (SJ here after) and also the column by Amir Khan in The Hindu, sounds so much like a moral science class. Bring up issues and discussing them and thus opening the eyes of the people to the issues and also awwakening them is fine. But what makes me, a born cynic, skeptical about it is the moral high position that he seem to assume for himself. I personally wouldnt be so skeptical about it if his research team was to come and narrate these stories to us, like we really feel ashamed when people like Sainath, Kaplana Sharma, Harsh Mander speak of reality as it really is. But Amir Khan doesnt sound like he has smelt the soil. It may be my individual feeling but yeah that is what i feel because I, (reminder: a born cynic) am skeptical about every work where an individial’s aura eclipses the work. So SJ becomes an Amir Khan show and not a programme which speak of reality as it really is. That is not a good thing, my instinct says. In the narratives narrated by Sainath, Kalpana Sharma or Harsh Mander (for example) we do not see their indivdual personality casting its shadow on the issues they are raising. It can be argued that Amir Khan has an aura because he is a film star and what is wrong if he uses it to draw the attention of the nation. My problem here lies in the fact that there is something seriously wrong with us- including myself- if we require some ‘aura’ to wake us up to the reality of our times and awaken our consciousness. This moral illness of our times is something which is to be cured too. This moral illness is extremely satisfied listening to Amir Khan and watching the programme it hosts for being ‘sensitive’ enough to shead tears when the issues come with an aura. It is, sorry to be so harsh with language, is a kind of moral mastrubation it appears to me. It is no different from the recent Idea and Samsung advertisements which showed that ‘like’ buttons on facebook can change the world, bring a revolution, awaken a generation. It may be speaking about how facebook can help in raising questions and bring about an awareness. But the bottom line is “buy idea 3G” and “buy samsung”. Worse it takes activism and artvism from the real to the virtual space. SJ is not very different from this because it again is playing within the framework of an oppressive system. To think that though within the framework of a capitalist system it is raising questions and trying to bring in a difference from within is to just have imaginations and not an imaginary. We need to invent newer ways to change the entire systemt through newer ways of activism and artivism. Being satisfied with these kind of programmes and art is to assume that activism, social concern are all just a moral obligation and unknowingly strengthen the existing larger system the parent of all the other faces of oppression. Being satified with these small, but need not be trivial, gestures of sheading tears, raising questions etc is a reflection of our moral illness, poverty of sensitivity and also povert of imagination for we have not been able to imagine the imaginary and bring in a new form of activism and artivism which can bring about a change fundamentally. In that sense SJ and similar activism/artvism may be good but not enough.