Tuesday, May 15, 2007

World gone wrong

A newspaper, run by a member of the ruling party of Tamil Nadu, publishes a survey suggesting that the chief minister's eldest son is unpopular. Angry "supporters" set the newspaper office ablaze, killing three. Punishment is swiftly meted out by the party -- to the brother of the newspaper owner, for publishing that survey.

An art student puts up an exhibit at a well-known university in Vadodara, based on ancient erotic Hindu art, as part of his coursework. Right-wing thugs invade the university and vandalise the exhibition. Retribution is swift: the art student is arrested. The dean, who backed the student, is suspended.

A US-based cult called the Church of Scientology, started on a bet by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, propounds a bizarre mythology about aliens invading human souls, and has long terrorised its critics (such as Keith Henson). The BBC, having made a critical documentary on this "church", feels obliged to defend itself.

It's all backwards.


Anonymous said...

Something to think about w.r. to scientology... it's mythology is no more bizarre than that of hinduism or islam or christianity or any other "mainstream" religion. And we all know what happens when you criticise those buggers. :) -- Sunil

Rahul Siddharthan said...

Well, it's true... but they have at least the excuse of antiquity. Also, Scientology seems to take things much further. For example, you need to pay huge money to learn their inner truths, whereas traditional religions often don't charge for their religious texts (though they certainly make money in other ways).

Krish said...

Scientology is a perfect example of what capitalism can do to even religion. Thatz why they charge :-)

Anonymous said...

just to be scientifically precise what you call as ancient erotic art was ( if this writer is correct ) was actually this

"....that the protest was with regard to two paintings whose contents were being censored by the responsible section of the media. I am unsure whether this was deliberate or whether it was an act of responsible journalism to prevent people from viewing an obnoxious piece of art. My curiosity led me to discover that the first painting was that of a ‘cross’ on which Jesus Christ stood crucified. Below the said ‘cross’ was an English-style WC. The painting displayed the sexual organs on the art piece, with the liquid drip from them going into the WC. The second painting was a portrait, ostensibly of the Hindu goddess ‘Durga’, in the nude with a full grown human male emerging out of her sexual organs...."

Ref: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/31271.html

Anonymous said...

While admitting that artists should be given full freedom to express themselves, I feel that artists should also take responsibility for their art work if they want to present it to the public. I have been to several modern art exhibitions and the main intention of most of the art of today seems to be to provoke a violent reaction of some sort. Even though eroticism is nothing new to hinduism, only the really good works have survived the test of time. Let us see what the real artistic value of this work in question is and whether it will stand the test of time.