ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Sadanand Menon

M F Husain: When the Nation Loses Its Own Narrative

The moment of M F Husain's death is sombre and we could do with a serious self-evaluation of where we stand with respect to our arts. The hounding out of a 90-year-old painter who was constantly striving to make us look at ourselves from a multi-cultural, secular, syncretic perspective, and our failure to ensure his return before he passed away five years later, should worry us about where we are heading as a nation. The fact that India could not see itself through the eyes of Husain and, instead, interpreted his epiphanic invocation and celebration of our civilisational diversity as something narrow and divisive, points to the rapid thickening and blocking of our national arteries, constricting the openness we so hypocritically assume as our cultural credo and hastening the spread of iron in the soul.

Playmaking as a Primary Act of Politics

Habib Tanvir could reconfigure the idea of the "political" through the minutest of gestures or linguistic and tonal inflections of speech, without any of the self-conscious radicalism of fist or flag-waving and declamatory sloganeering. Forever, Habib remained a refined storyteller who, in each retelling of a story, could find fresh and creative ways in which to mine it for a contemporary, current nuance, and repoliticise it.