Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cultural void

We live in a place, where every soul is confused and finds itself caught between the
devil and the deep sea. The situations that arise in such conditions of enormous mental stress sows insecurity that a human psyche confronts every moment. This puts a thinking mind in a fix. The endurance is at stake. It’s a chaotic situation where you never know what to do and how? In such a dour milieu it becomes obvious that issues related to heritage, art and culture take a back seat and seem to be the things less important. When survival is at stake, who has time to ponder over the repercussions of the losing cultural treasures, particularly the linguistic and the literary ones. This forms the crux of the argument that is given in our society for the cultural void that exists. One cannot blame if a layman speaks like this but the rendition echoes more profoundly among those who have been entrusted with the job of being the guiding force behind the movements that are supposed to bring in change, set the trends, uphold the traditions and infuse vigour into the cultural environment. The system that is deliberately thrust upon the people seems to have been tailor made for the policies that clearly appear to create a vacuity where mediocrity and obsequiousness thrive; ingenuity and creativity have no option but to surrender thereby suffocating a mind who bothers to think. So from the word go when these are the guiding principles and are followed to the hilt, the result is what a thinking, self respecting, culture loving Nagas takes as an insult to his sensibilities. The uncooked pot purée with artificial colour, garnished with the ingredients imported from the plains may seem to succeed in creating a delusion of sorts. But this indulgence in mockery, in the name of cultural evenings and heritage festivals is far from culture, the fact remains that this is just a big joke and poor jokes don’t make art, that in turn make nations proud. To complicate it further the moth eaten pages of the culture policy framed light years ago are used as excuses. No one bothers to look around and see, if there is any serious work of distinction being undertaken, which can indisputably be the one that will sooner or later acquire the status of real work of artistic genius. In fact one can say that there are many culture traders in our society today. And thanks to them, we have been reduced to a society where trash is churned out in the name of art, culture and literature. Where we do hear the rhetoric in so called conferences, of how glorious our past has been, but fail miserably to even quote a single example of something that has its origin in the present times. Indeed the contemporary milieu is grim. It’s high time, a whole hearted commitment is needed in this regard or else we will end up losing the uniqueness of our being that has a lot to do with our existence as a vibrant, civilized and an enlightened society. There is a void and hardly anybody has been able to fill it. The strides towards building culture of culture will require active participation of the general public, particularly the educated class, who till now seems to have remained aloof. A self introspection is must. We have to take things in our hands and not let this handful of selfish people define the meaning of cultural environment to us. We need to ask ourselves that should we let it happen the way it has been happening for decades or bring about a change, at least in thinking, to begin with. We need to question and not let our opinions be hijacked; we have to nail these elements down. How far are we going to be swayed by the intellectual prostitution? Things have to be interpreted in the right perspective, we have to wake up from slumber and demand what is rightful and just. Our ailing cultural scenario has to breathe fresh; we owe it to our coming generations. Our children deserve a culturally vibrant environment to grow as emotional intellectuals and not as programmed automatons.