Exploring Tradition and a New Culture

These boys have never visited any place like Lal Mahal, Shaniwar Wada or Aga Khan Palace. They can’t speak a single language properly. They do not care for past or future. They are obsessed with the present. And I like that. They don’t respect the people they don’t know or they haven’t heard of. The time has freed them from unnecessary burden of the past. I love that!

Once Sachin Kundalkar made this vacuous observation in one of their Sunday editions of Sakal, Marathi newspaper. The writer has made many such statements, though it seems, he mainly wants to attack the statue-culture.

In his efforts, he has jumped many a tree in the manner a monkey does in the search of fruits. Monkey never eats anything to finish. He tastes it, takes a morsel and easily throws away the residuum without much of a thought. Or if you are standing before him he hurls the bitten fruit at you, if he feels like, at the moment.

There is a terrible mess. He hurls castes, surnames, youth, his pride in claiming to be cultural and his wide travelling; numerous irrelevant words under wrong impressions, as if they are his own thoughts.

He is not a proven philosopher. Neither has he shown any flash in his writings of being one in the future. So one need not think of dissecting his thoughts (!) at this point of time. Further he is proud of the boys who are not aware of history or those who do not know who Dadoji Konddeo was, the historic figure whose statue has caused controversy recently. Kundalkar’s angst is against the controversy creators. But his solution is, instead of studying and later researching the real cause behind it, the young boys should turn their back and run away from the situation.

What an escapist view! And what an educating (!) thought that would throw the younger generation ages back in the darkness of ashmayug! He wants them to think of future but starting the lessons from a clean slate or ashma, the dagad. How it is possible for a short sighted man like him, he doesn’t know. Do you?

Even the widely circulated newspaper does not hold its sub or copy editor responsible for such illogical and myopic blunders and instead allow them to continue in the manners our babus in administration would.

For a moment let us assume, it is possible.

Though he boasts about moving a lot (wide travelling), he is focused on Pune taking for granted the IT generation spread around the outskirts of Pune. He has a hay-field there. Go and just watch them at supper time. You can see frustration hanging around the supper serving bars and restaurants like the clouds hanging in nearby Khandala hill station during the rainy season. And remember, the boys still have some traces of history, culture, and geography left in their blood, ever since it was taught to them at least up to the 10th standard.

Say as Sachin Kundalkar muses if they are bereft of that, what would be left for them? Here around us there is nobody who can wipe the past totally and think of only now onward and lead the generation as Kundalkar wants. Or is there anybody in your sight, Mr. Kundalkar?

You need to know the mistake-doers in the history along side the icons to know what can happen to the mankind, society, territory, region or the tribe in descending order, like say, Hitler to a local goon. So also it is necessary to watch bad and worthless movies along with the highly artistic, intelligent and commercial hits, to know how badly a director can mess things up.

This diverts me a little from the topic. While searching I found a Sachin Kundalkar directing a couple of Marathi movies and getting appreciation in foreign film festivals. This means he belongs to the above average breed of Marathi film makers, if he is the same Sachin Kundalkar.

Also, I read while browsing the Internet quoting Sachin Kundalkar, a protégé of famous film maker duo Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar, though not much of an honourable term.

I haven’t seen his films yet. If he is the same who has made this thoughtless muddle in his writing I can’t avoid sitting before my small screen without a bias.

If in hurry about writing on such things and such kind I think he must check with a few Malayalam directors e.g. MTR, 1995 Dnyanpith Award winner for his novel, Randamoozham, who has written 54 screenplays directing 7 movies and who did only creative writing and not such a trash.

For further improvements and changes in the thought process of SK, I quote the following:

Jaipur Literature Festival was opened on 21st January.

Turkish novelist, Nobel Laureate (2006), Orhan Pamuk said, I believe exploring tradition can produce a new culture, drawing energy from religion and nationalism. The past is not something we should only preserve in museums. For us to understand ourselves, it needs to be presented as a living thing.

“I believe in re-writing the past in such a way that it lives in the streets today. There is a continuity of past in My Name is Red, when I went to USA it influenced me by its planned exactness, and at that age my reaction was to forget tradition to embrace modernity. On much introspection I thought of a 16th century Mughal artist’s life and searched for continuity of past in the present. Past should be reinvented, not to be kept in a museum,” talking about Eastern cultures and their struggle to keep the past alive in a fast-changing world, he said.

And my little addenda to this: Go to any of the four southern states. Let alone castes, you won’t be even able to find out on the basis of full names what religion the icons in many fields are following.

Amen!

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