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

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LONDON-The Malle Melodrama

October 3, 1970 LONDON The Malle Melodrama Jehangir Dhondy A CARTOON in the New Statesman has a panel showing Kenneth Tynan with a prurient smile peeling the curtain away from the delights of nakedness in his "Oh! Calcutta!". The other panel of the same cartoon shows a Nehru - shirted Indian, whose eyes look out of a face mummified with guilt, trying desperately to draw the curtain on the nakedness and squalor of Calcutta. One is sure our older political literati, whose subscriptions have presumably lasted longer than their various piques, will see the cartoon. One is equally sure that while it is remotely possible that "Oh! Calcutta!" will turn up to tickle Bombay it is inconceivable that Louis Malle's documentary of Calcutta or the others to which the Government of India took exception will ever be seen by the Indian public. The New Statesman cartoon was only one sling in a hail of pointed outrage against India's expulsion of the BBC, but it was the most piercing, because it forced one to see that the ban itself extends the definition of obscenity and confirms the shame and inexcusability of poverty.

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