Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Moral Science, naah, Art

Outlook has done a cover on the moral police bashing up a Vadodara University art-student for "obscene" religious drawings. It seems the famous Gujarat cops, making headlines becoming The Saint and dispensing instance justice, were more than eager to rush in and arrest the student. Ironic that a journalist called the saffron-goons who called the saffron-cops who were on the run from journalists poking into the encounter affair.

Coming at the heels of arrest-warrants for Gere-Shetty kiss, it makes us wonder about the efficiency of the judiciary. The Supreme Court has, over the past decade or so, filled the void created by criminals salivating instead of legislating in parliament. However, at the lower level, the courts are courting morality cases over billions of pending criminal and civil cases. The devastated undertrials living sub-human lives in jails across India does not ruffle the feathers of these judges. But one peck on Shetty or Sawant's cheek and they find it socially devastating!!

Experts have opined that the student should be allowed to draw obscene graphics as long as art-critics find it tasteful. It is not upto judiciary to rate the obscenity of art, they say. D'uh?! How is it any better for me, whether I face prudery from a judge, hypocricy of goons or the veiled blinkers of an art-critic?!!!! If I am to create art, I need to be unshackled from all limits of society. You may or may not "like" what I do. But true art, by definition, is beyond definition and borders on rebellion. You can hate me for creating it--- but can you arrest me for being a bad artist? Just because I happened to paint a dick?

By the way, how does a campus display for examination purpose constitute public display of immorality? Who will judge these judges?

Thankfully, the artist was not a muslim. At least this remained an establishment versus freedom fight and didn't turn uglier. Isn't it amazing even how easily we are drawn into debates on such manipulated trivialities?

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