There isn’t a bigger failure of an education system than to have educated beings get manipulated by half-educated politicians for the sake of maintenance of power. When educated individuals justify an act of vandalism and violence, we should know we have lost the war on education.
To us, fairy tales from the past are more important than the ones being told now. We’re never taught about the sanctity of art. Instead, we’re conditioned on culture and religion to a point that we can justify killing fellow humans in the name of something that happened centuries ago.
We don’t have a law that protects the voice of an artist. We’ve never had a Government that protects art and artists from being manhandled by uneducated uncivilised masses. To the people in power, members of a local cult matter more since they guarantee vote banks. The police will never touch groups like Karni Sena, simply because they’re backed by politicians.
The artists of this country will never flourish. We will never have Indian painters, filmmakers, writers, comics exercise their maximum potential, simply because to us, art is not important. We’re now at a place that’s closer to Iran, in terms of treatment of art, than to France. That’s why your vote is important. When a divisive political establishment is running the country, violent and bigoted elements are naturally going to flourish at the ground level.
The absence of fear from the authorities and the police is a testimony to our condition as a progressive state.
Unfortunately, this will not stop. There won’t be any repercussions for this violent act. India has been plagued by immoral leaders and bigoted mindsets to the roots of civilisation. There’s no pride in protecting one’s culture if that culture enables you to get violent. India does not deserve to have any art form. Be happy with your 9-5s and your engineering jobs because that’s what the establishment wants you to do. It wants to cease your comprehension abilities so you can’t question things.
The educated lot of us is saying that artists should have some responsibility and should not distort history. But it shouldn’t take a whole lot of education to understand that a film, that bears a disclaimer, is not going to wipe away anyone’s culture. If we step out of the rock that we live under, we’ll see that fictionalisation of historical events happens everywhere and no one feels threatened about the “distortion” of their history.
Why do us, Indians, feel particularly threatened when a historical event is fictionalised? Is your culture and history so fragile that a film will change its legacy? Do you think your culture will be wiped off just because they showed something in a movie?
It’s your own insecurity about your religion and culture that makes you take offence. No culture or religion is fragile enough to be affected by a work of imagination, such as a film. Followers of a religion are often more bigoted than the religion itself.
Quentin Tarantino showed an alternate assassination of Adolf Hitler in Inglourious Basterds that was different from what actually happened. Today, he’s a liberated filmmaker who doesn’t have any threat on his life or work.
Jafar Panahi, on the other hand, depicted the tribulations of real life in Iran. Today, he’s under house arrest and banned from making films.
Which country are we inching closer to? If the logical part of your brain says “Iran”, know that you are responsible for it.
Some of you may even say that Iran produces better cinema due to the restrictions imposed on filmmakers. If that’s going to be your argument then clearly, a democracy is not something you align yourself with.
Speaking of fictionalisation of real events, we aren’t too nice to films that depict reality either. We are scared of coming face to face with the patriarchal mindsets that a documentary introduces us to.
There are times when we can’t handle the truth, other times, we can’t handle fairy tales. And when we’re done fighting and killing ourselves over opinions, the same legion of politicians will tell us to fight some more.
We function how the bigoted powerful forces tell us to function.
The very existence of any art form is to push the boundary of what’s acceptable in a society. But thanks to all of us, India has refused to move forward. India does not want to move forward. Instead, it wants to go back to the times of injustice and inequality, if that’s what it takes for our false pride to be massaged.
And since we’re on the subject, no, an artist does not have any moral obligation to you or your family. The only obligation an artist has is to create art. That’s it. Whether it aligns with your opinions or not is not the artist’s concern.
If you’re offended by watching something, don’t watch it. You have no right to take away someone else’s right to express. No artist will ever force you to watch their work. You have the right to express discontent with a piece of art or the artist, but you don’t have the right to use force on the artist. If you do, you become a criminal. It’s as simple as that.
Unemployed masses will continue to join forces like Karni Sena to vandalise and beat up artists who’ve brought more fame and glory to the country than any of us ever can. But no one will jump in and call this Karni Sena “anti-national” even though they’ve attacked a filmmaker who has given us brilliant films in the past.
People who support what happened will never have an original opinion of their own. They will continue to believe what they are asked to believe. It won’t be a total surprise to find out of those “protesters” were actually paid to carry out this task.
The fun part is that none of them will get arrested long-term. Despite the presence of several video evidence and despite the local Police having identified the culprits, there will be no arrests. Because politicians control the religiously fueled groups like Karni Sena.
Good job, fellow Indians. You’ve been manipulated.