Sunday, November 21, 2004

This is not music

The domain of culture belongs to the modern By Amit Chaudhuri

    The domain of culture, unlike the domain of religion, belongs to the modern in a way that doesn’t presume or demand allegiance or belief. Surely the principal project of Hindutva is to destroy this domain of culture that was created in modernity, to subsume it under an all-encompassing interpretation of religion; to command Husain to abjure the modern painter’s, rather than a believer’s, adoration of Saraswati.


At 3:55 AM, Blogger Nakul said...

Amit Chaudhari had written a piece about Dutta some years ago. Google finds me the link.
Says Dutta: 'I must tell you, my dear fellow, that though, as a jolly Christian youth, I don't care a pin's head for Hinduism, I love the grand mythology of our ancestors. It is full of poetry. A fellow with an inventive head can manufacture the most beautiful things out of it.'
The blasphemy apart, it's a fact that many of the most important non-English literary works in the 20th century -- all of them open to secular reading -- have been retellings of Indian mythology informed by readings of European, often Existentialist, philosophy. Karnad's 'Yayati' and 'The Fire and the Rain', Dinkar's 'Urvashi', Tagore's 'Chitra', for example, to begin a long list that would include practically every major Indian writer post-1900.

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Anand said...

Thanks Nakul. You are absolutely right.

Nakul's link does not work, due to a silly error (it is 'hinduonnet' and not just 'hindu'). One can get Amit Chaudhuri's essays here: Part I, Part II, and Part III. I had occasion to make use of these essays a couple of weeks back here .


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