Literature Tag

Note: This is a translation of Pratap Simha’s piece that appeared in today’s Kannada Prabha. Girish Karnad image courtesy: IBN Live.  The Mumbai Lit fest on Friday witnessed major drama when veteran actor and theatre artist Girish Karnad slammed Nobel prize laureate VS Naipaul and called him anti-Muslim. Karnad, who was present at the lit-fest on Friday to conduct a class on theatre, spoke at length about Naipaul. The first paragraph of CNN-IBN’s news report makes it clear that the purpose of Girish Karnad attending the Mumbai Literature Live! festivalRead More
So Girish Karnad is back again. In style. And with a fury I scarcely expected he was capable of. It’s really a monumental pity that a fine actor like Girish Karnad can nary control his itch to mouth inanities. On Friday afternoon at the Tata Literature Live! festival in Mumbai, playwright Girish Karnad surprised audiences with an unexpected and elaborate criticism of author V.S. Naipaul. Naipaul was awarded the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday night. Even if I’m tempted to attribute Karnad’s outburst to professional jealousy, good sense advisesRead More
Pick a name. Pick any name from the loathsome galaxy of the Politically Correct Sissies that I listed in the Part 1. Let’s start with the head honcho, the White Mughal himself. Hartosh Singh Bal’s searing piece elicited the predictable accusation of racism from the stung Mughal. Bal called the Mughal’s racist bluff telling him he doesn’t know what racism really means. Badly beaten, the Mughal slunk away muttering a “regret.” School day lessons work: a bully will never bother you again if you hit back with equal or greaterRead More
There’s nothing literary about the Jaipur Literary Festival. It’s as political as political is. The list of who’s who that make up its firmament year after year reads like the Forbes List of Liberal Fundamentalists.  Perhaps Dalrymple’s List of Liberal Fundamentalists is a more accurate phrase. What “literature” have Shobaa De, Manil Suri, Pankaj Mishra, Ashis Nandy, Sonia Falerio, Suketu Mehta, Annie Zaidi, Anurag Mathur, and Tarun Tejpal written? Here’s a sample of the kind of “literary” discussions you get at that “festival:” political trash, milking the victimhood mammary, non-existentRead More

Posted On April 6, 2011By SandeepIn Commentary

Saraswati’s Son Honoured

It’s more than befitting that Dr. S L Bhyrappa has been awarded the Saraswati Samman this year. Kannada writer S L Bhyrappa was on Tuesday chosen for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for his novel ‘Mandra’… The jury which selected Bhyrappa was headed by former Chief Justice G B Patnaik. After consideration of works published in 22 Indian languages during 2000-2009, the Chayan Parishad (jury) selected Mandra, a novel in Kannada by S L Bhyrappa for the 20th Samman, a statement said…He is one of the best selling novelists in KannadaRead More

Posted On December 1, 2009By SandeepIn Commentary

Art Doesn’t Change Anything

Overdoing anything often results in several consequences. Among other things, the grand dignity of Brutus will suddenly resemble the character of the idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing. The latest exhibit: Mallika Sarabhai’s on-stage antics in the recently-concluded TED India event hosted at Mysore. I admire the work TED is doing. It has hosted some excellent thinkers like Alain De Botton and others whose names I can’t recall but was impressed. Like many attendees who shared their feedback, the TED session at Mysore kind of marked its ebbRead More
1971 or ’72. I had newly returned to Mysore. The Kannada translation of the Telugu Digambara poetry collection had just been published. The release function was held in Mysore at the public taxi stand. A hotel waiter was the chief guest to inaugurate the occasion. I was present there. The organizer, in his speech, announced that literature was the preserve of neither the upper classes/castes nor restricted to critics. It belonged equally to the lower strata of the society and included such people as daily wage labourers and poor farmers.Read More

Posted On August 11, 2009By SandeepIn Commentary

The Sublime and the Mundane

A good way to take a break from sickening news, never ending political crap and even mundane life, and recover sanity is to turn the mind towards the more refined appeals. The kinds that we’ve lost the time and solitude to enjoy at will: music, painting, sculpture, plays, and literature. More specifically, the classical variety of these arts. Long-time readers of this blog know my inclinations–and biases–mostly veer in that direction. While I don’t need to justify these inclinations/biases, it helps to clarify–for myself–why I tend to favour the ClassicalRead More

Posted On October 20, 2008By SandeepIn Commentary, Indian Politics

The White Tiger Redux

Meera beautifully weighs in with an open letter to Aravind Adiga. It proves one my pet-peeve theories that the biggest intellectual celebrity is also the one with zero commonsense. I have read much about how you came to write this book. You have been quoted as saying,” So, where’s this Shining India everyone’s talking about? It was time someone broke the myth,” and that “The world needed to see the other side of India.”Read More

Posted On October 16, 2008By SandeepIn Commentary

When an Award is not Just an Award

In the beginning of an essay on contemporary literary criticism, S.L. Bhyrappa dissects a Kannada short story, entitled Rotti (a dish made of rice flour) and cites numerous similar stories written in that vein. He observes that the story, like U.R. Anantha Murthy’s novel, Bharatipura is merely a filler of a pre-set pattern, a template. The template: various methods of oppressing the working class (in India the template is modified only to mean class=caste), their plight thereof, and some solutions. But those were the ’70s when the stranglehold of CommunismRead More

Posted On March 15, 2008By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy, Tracking Leftism

Ramanujan’s Ramayana

The old suspect, A.K. Ramanujan emerges out of the woodwork on Outlook’s pages. The magazine’s leader to this article says: …in a pocket of the Delhi University, right-wing student activists have taken exception to this essay by the celebrated scholar A.K. Ramanujan, on the many Ramayanas living across languages and narrative genres, each different but no less legitimate than Valmiki’s epic. Given that right-wingers are always at fault, let’s see what this inebriated celebrated essay says. The Outlook essay is a condensed form of the complete version found here. WhereRead More

Posted On January 24, 2008By SandeepIn Uncategorized

On Government

Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay. It’s pretty easy, but I’ll still ask: who said this? No Googling.Read More