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On 15th of August, India celebrates Independence Day. Well, these days we fancy any memorable event by running, walking, jogging et al. Instead, I propose we begin the topic watching video (courtesy: You Tube). One Gautam had performed half naked break dance, dressed as Gandhi. Now, this item has been removed from You Tube.
Got hurt! I am a Gandhian. I have faithfully read his Experiment with Truth and Luis Fischer's work on him. Friend Gautam has clarified that the character in the video is a comic look-alike of Mahatama Gandhi. This explanation does not make me happy. Is there no freedom of expression in the largest democratic country even after 60 years of colonial rule? Though Shabana Azmis are around to protect freedom of expression to all artists? I feel guilty of misunderstanding the divine form of expression!
I am hurt when I watch some famous paintings. Well, I am guilty again. Here are some paintings by a world famous artist. I have been worshiping Saraswathi mata and Ganeshji since several years. Despite my best efforts I have not been able to realize the divine forms of Gods. It was so easy for Hussain Saheb to realize Gods. Some are lucky and famous and so lucky to get away. I am proud of all world famous personalities - because they are true sons and daughters of Bharat mata. Do you know the world famous Namadev Randhir Indravadan's great grand father’s maternal uncle’s father studied in Poor Housing Colony High School, Srimathnagar? I do not know what is wrong with me, Shabanaji. Perhaps, I belong to the majority who are very touchy and so, at the drop of the hat are provoked on such insignificant issues.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
The temples at Ajanta, Ellora, Bellur, Halebeedu and many other temples show various forms of Gods and Goddesses similar to these. The places and the number of such carvings at times increase or decrease. The places of such motifs change from inner circle of the temple to outer most walls. This means it was acceptable at one time and at the other time it was not. This is the reason for small number of such carvings in some temples. I have not painted black tar on them. I do not want to re-write history. I get hurt from Gautam's comic show because I never ever imagined Mahatma Gandhi can be depicted in such a fashion! Whether Friend Gautam intended it that way or not; it does not matter. He has caused hurt to many Indians like me. This is where Shabanaji clans and fans should take the point. 'Your freedom ends when my nose begins!' The art should make me more humane and should not hurt me. I do not advocate moral policing by Rastreeya Suddha Sena. The artists should decide to themselves in what way they will help the common man to live a better life. Self-restraint in the works of art, in speeches and in writings would go a long way to build a healthy society. This is the real meaning of freedom.
Now look at the famous paintings reproduced below. Do you find any rhythm that some Gods, some ideas are shown in naked form while some are fully clad. There seems to be some logic going underneath, if I am not mistaken. The proud son of India, the first Prime Minister was known for his simplicity. Then do you like his naked portrait to highlight his simplistic character? This would be unpalatable though Nehru, as a human being was naked beneath his robes. How do you expect me to see my Gods like this- in the name of creativity? If Shabanajis, Murthis and Bhats find pleasure in such form of art that hurts others, they must be suffering high moral turpitude.
After independence Rajaji was to assume Governor's post. In the mean time, the palace was taken over by people. He then referred to the fact that the people realizing that India was free, took possession of the Government House an