Friday, February 15, 2008

Are Indians getting to be intolerant?

The UP government has banned Jaishree Mishra's book 'Rani' on the grounds that it shows Rani of Jhansi in poor light. Well. True that Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi hailed from UP, Jodha Akbar from Rajasthan, Bose from Bengal, Sarvarkar from Maharashtra.But none of these states have any proprietory rights over these personlities with regard their depiction in a work of art. they cannot dictate how an artist or a film maker should portray them. a novel or a film is a work of art, and artists have poetic license which society should respect. One can understand if all this fuss and banning is about a documentary which is expected to abide somewhat by laid down 'facts'-but a film and a novel? art is all about the creativity of the artist and is bound to be different. art is art precisely because it can accommodate a plethora of interpretations.

Why have we Indians become so intolerant -and parochial? And why do we brandish history as an alibi to our irrational reactions ariising from unhealthy possessive, parochial claims? We live in times when history is no longer considered factual or autoratative. The so called 'indisputable facts' of history are constructed by the historian whose perception is shaped by his location in particular historical/political/cultural/ideological site. In other words history is no longer considered god's own truth but a discourse in which the 'truth' is only a view point and it is supported by selected facts. this makes history a very unreliable alibi.

i would say the same thimg about people going livid over religious issues too. What harm can a Da Vince Code do to Jesus Christ, or a few Paintings do the deities or a novel do to the Prophet? isn't faith above the representations and perceptions of artists?

like Russel said, if we are sure, we will be unaffected by a different point of view. if our faith is strong, we'll not fly off the handle. Gods can survive blasphemies. they do not want us to take up their cause by banning, burning , breaking or blood letting.

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