Are you O, P, W or D.W.?

Are you O, P, W or D.W.?

Controlling Culture with the New Grading Weapon ICF Team Image via Cartoon Stock We have recently heard from the media of the Culture Ministry’s plan to “grade” artists and writers in the country so it can extend government patronage to those considered worthy of representing India at festivals and other events. … the Culture Ministry…

In the Dark

In the Dark

K. Satchidanandan Insha Malik, 14, on July 14 in Srinagar / AFP via Hindustan Times   (For the maimed and blinded children of Kashmir)   The sun was falling into the lake like the red leaf of a chinar tree. She walked, head bent, holding her grandpa’s arms, jingling her bangles to tickle her doll…

The Artist as Activist

The Artist as Activist

K. Satchidanandan Pablo Picasso, ‘Guernica’ / Museo Reina Sofia Theodore Adorno’s famous statement “Poetry is impossible after Auschwitz” beautifully sums up the inevitable impact of politics on art. The statement was certainly not literal. He must have meant that poetry – and art in general – can no more remain what it was; it cannot…

Yes, the Adivasi Will Not Dance!

Yes, the Adivasi Will Not Dance!

Statement from the Indian Writers’ Forum Lalgarh / Wikimedia Commons June 19, 2016 The award winning writer, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, has given us insights into the conditions of Adivasi life, both as a medical officer posted at the additional public health centre in Beldanga block of Pakur district in Jharkhand, and as a questioning, truth-telling creative writer….

Resolving Binaries: Remembering ONV Kurup (1931-2016)

Resolving Binaries: Remembering ONV Kurup (1931-2016)

ONV Kurup (Sourced from Wikimedia) K. Satchidanandan Kesari Balkrishna Pillai, one of Kerala’s foremost critical thinkers had once observed that Malayalees enjoy poetry primarily through their ears. The late ONV Kurup’s popularity depended partly on the auditory appeal and easy accessibility of his lyrics, and partly on his consistent engagement with social issues. He was…

Vaikom Mohammed Basheer

Vaikom Mohammed Basheer

K Satchidanandan Photo courtesy http://onlinestore.dcbooks.com/author/vaikom-muhammad-basheer Vaikom Mohammed Basheer (1908-1994) belongs to the democratic tradition in Indian literature, a living tradition that can be traced back to the Indian tribal lore including the Vedas and the folktales and fables collected in Somdeva’s Panchatantra and  Kathasaritsagara, Gunadhya’s Brihatkatha, Kshemendra’s Brihatkathamanjari, the Vasudeva Hindi and the Jatakas. This…