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Showing posts from May, 2013

Rediscovering K Viswanath's Legacy

The popular cinema in India generally indulges in mindless plots punctuated by songs, action & comic sequences which cling to the narrative simply because they are put on.  Such movies, irrespective of their commercial outcome, lack the harmony and connection to forcefully create an impression among audience.
K. Viswanath, a pan-Indian filmmaker whose (major) works incidentally happen to be in Telugu, is among the handful of Indian directors whose works (less than 25 films) created memorable characters that would stand the test of time. Weaving stories centred on a passionate protagonist against the larger context of preserving Indian arts and culture, Viswanath churned out masterpieces year after year until, much like Sankara Sastry’s story, his era was eclipsed by rise of “commercial cinema”.
Born in generation that never saw his movies in theatres, my introduction to his movies was with explicit knowledge about his repute. But expectations notwithstanding, I was pleasantly surp…

Understanding Muslim opposition to Vande Mataram

The recent controversy on Vande Mataram isn’t about whether singing/ respecting it alone makes one patriotic, as many pseudo-secularists would want us to believe. Of course, respect cannot be imposed. And in a free country, anybody can decline to sing a particular song - however revered - because of any number of reasons, reasonable or not.

Briefly the opposition to Vande Mataram hinges on:
The song worships the nation as Mother India and Goddess Durga. First, it goes against the basic Islamic tenet of Allah being the only worshipable entity. Second, it worships an idolized form of India, again against Islamic tenets where idolatry is strictly prohibited. Third, with its allusion to Hindu symbols more than explicit, it personifies Hindu cultural nationalism and doesn’t strike an emotive chord with Muslims.The poem appears in Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Anandamath, which calls for Hindu nationalism to uproot Turko-Afghan Islamic imper…

Karnataka Elections 2013 - Lessons for BJP

The Karnataka elections episode offers valuable lessons for BJP. It’s a now or never for BJP to recover its confidence and give a spirited performance in 2014.

Below-mentioned are few observations of mine & constructive criticism of BJP's approach written partly in open-letter format.

Encourage Internal democracy The larger point of removing Yeddyurappa wasn’t whether it was a wise decision or not. The real question is more basic: WHO removed Yeddyurappa? Was it the decision taken by Karnataka BJP Unit or was it imposed by its Delhi High Command? From what we understand, the Delhi High Command unilaterally took the decision without consulting the state unit.
Thus, it was its Delhi based leaders, some of whom cannot even win an election on their own, who decided to throw out a genuinely elected leader responsible for overthrowing decades-long Congress rule. BJP should understand that unlike Congress, where dynasty acts as binding glue for divisive forces, it cannot function in thi…