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The Baroda Pamphlet

Bi- Monthly

Issue no-1/ September October 2012

Why a Pamphlet today? V. Divakar Another Art world is possible Shukla Sawant Ms Jaitely, The answer is blowing in the wind Indrapramit Roy Autonomy of Art Shivaji K Panikkar

What is Wrong with (Kochi) Biennale? T. V. Chandran Experts from the Bastar Diary Navjot Altaf Meta-dilemma Kiran Subbiah On Writing Piyush Thakkar

Feminism Encounters Pornography Nilofar Roshani Interview with Vasudha Thozhur Moushmi Sharma Annihilation of Caste B. R. Ambedkar

Why a Pamphlet Today?


Of the many historians, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and thinkers from every branch of knowledge, probably its the works of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar which have been the least referred to in the historical and critical writings on art in India. Though there are ample references to subaltern writings of every shade, ignoring his thoughts is really a matter of blatant hypocrisy for a field which always clamours for avant-garde positioning. The monologically English speaking Indian art history has always performed the priestly role of making the visible intelligible solely to the upper class. Even the leftist avant-garde positions within the art world could not build up a framework for addressing this caste issue because whatever resistance claimed was already affordable and acceptable to the system or borrowed directly from the west. Academically we are put through the tertiary voices of Dalit and subalterns, but that, too, only in a handful of art history departments in the entire country. We have decided to publish some of the original writings of Ambedkar and other writers in this and the subsequent issues in a separate page devoted to the same. This is definitely keeping in mind that any positive change which can break the numbing situation

Part of the installation Shiftings 1 to 41, Medium: Bread treated with resin and PVA, 2006. B.V.Suresh

can come only from such a grounded, radical world view. No one would doubt that art today has been reduced to a spectacle and art writing the intellectual means of its survival. Though its pointless to talk about the absence of a radical current in criticism or a movement in art, one cannot but laud those practitioners working very near to this maddening craze and glamorous, simulated world, yet are uncompromisingly committed to their quest. Hope we could at least respond to these scattered energies not to centralize, but to intensify the flow in all possible manner. Shukla Sawant in her article reads the current art world situation after the so called art market boom where the hollow halo of the celebrity artist was blown up for reaping the maximum gains and obviously was doomed to collapse. By referring to the scattered small sporadic possibilities based on commitment, sharing and reciprocity one hopes that another meaningful Art world is possible. T.V.Chandran analyses the new import from the western lexicon Curator in the context of the Kochi Biennale which is about to take place by December in Kerala, India. By citing the various biennales

the world over and their grand promises to develop the local art scene and the actual reality, he questions the basic framework of the proposed Biennale and also the current Indian artworlds numbness towards any criticism. Navjot Altaf shares her personal experiences with the local people in Bastar through her project in the background of the tribal struggle against the exploitative bureaucratic capitalistic system. She also brings in her reflections on a book and argues that an eco sensitive social creative approach directed towards the young can pave the way for a sustainable and collective life instead of the isolated consumerist models of the present. Niloofar Roshani views the various encounters of feminism with pornography. In a period where molestation, rape and discrimination are every minute occurrence, she attempts to analyse the liberal and the other strands of feminisim in the context of the sensitive issue of legalizing pornography. We publish an interview with Vasudha Thozhur conducted by Moushmi during her solo show Anatomy of Celebration. We also publish the writings of Kiran Subbiah and Piyush Thakkar.

Starting a pamphlet from Baroda cannot but refer to the two very significant events that happened locally which had exposed the individual and collective responses in such critical times. We republish the open letter written by Indrapramit Roy, amidst the organised murderous riots of 2002. It was published earlier in Letters to the Editor Column of Indian Express. Shivaji K Panikkar reflects upon the incidents that had occured in the Faculty of Fine Arts and analyses the issues of creative freedom and autonomy of art in the background of the those incidents. An initiative such as this would not have been possible without the support of many people. First of all we would like to thank Smt.Sumita Mukherjee and Rana for believing in this project and supporting morally and materially. We would like to thank all the writers who have contributed to the issue. We would also like to thank K K Muhamed for his suggestions and support. We also like to thank Chinnan and Sreejith for the design. Hope we are able to continue a meaningful dialogue through the subsequent issues.

V. Divakar

The Baroda Pamphlet

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

Another Art world is Possible


Shukla Sawant If on the one hand a number of artists have given in to the coercive demands of commercial interests and adopted the wiz-bang effects of shopping mall aesthetics to hold the attention of collectors with short attention spans and curators seeking novelty, there are a number of artists who have consistently refused to be subordinated to the will of the Jahangirs of our time and have continued their meaningful interventions, far removed from the delusional world of artistic celebrity-hood.
It may appear rather cruel when I aplaud the demise of the art world as one has known it for the last five years, given the fact that I am firmly ensconced in an institutional position, with all the means to support my work and live a comfortable, middle class life. Its collapse, afterall, has hardly affected my day to day existence, except for the fact that there are fewer opening galas to attend and many more interesting conversations to listen to ; that, too, after a long time about art. It is, however not my intention here however, to go into the I told you so mode and smirk at the discomfiture of art intelligence providers and the failure of their speculative money making ponzi schemes; which only muddied the waters, to the extent that most people lost sight of what they had set out to do with their lives, when they chose to live as artists over and above everything else. Nevertheless, it is clearly an illuminating moment in the life of artists. Given the fact that just as the buzz of money became the ambient sound over which one had to shout to be heard just a few months ago, and the bright lights of marquee stardom blinded everyone, pushing them into a delirious mood of relentless production and consumption, todays sense of despair and gloom may, in fact, lead to a far more self introspective mood, perhaps a philosophical, questioning outlook and hopefully a political attitude towards both art and towards life. While the lament of bleeding artists, art entrepreneurs, speculators and gallerists, is indeed difficult to digest, it is, however, more dangerous to let the wailing drown out any attempt to critically analyze the spent phenomenon of the market. Or to take a critical measure of the fundamental ambivalence of alternative schemas that were floated to reinforce the verticality of an art world hierarchy, stage-managed all the while by market manipulators, wearing the mask of fake piety, and mouthing platitudes of cooperative ways of functioning. The last five years have in fact been perhaps the most complex. As an insider, I have had a ringside view of the virtuoso performances and operational breadth of those very figures who posture as critical interlocutors, committed to non-mainstream practices. And yet, have no qualms about digging deep into the tills of corporate treasure chests, to fund extravagant alternative projects, supported by the narcissistic, self-glorifying language of advertising posing as critical curatorial intent. It is a world fostered by players with an endogamous class interest, where the only thing that matters to get a toehold is who you are connected to. It is a world that puts on display its institutional radicalism, (for sure, the works should never be so far out as to upset the status quo) with exclusionary glass walls firmly in place, and surrounded by ha-ha dry moats with drawbridges to give intimate access to only those with similar class affiliations, deep pockets and access to funding institutions. In this confusing scenario and churning, however, two distinct strands of the art world seem to have emerged, quite distinct from each other and only occasionally connecting with each other. If on the one hand a number of artists have given in to the coercive demands of commercial interests and adopted the wizbang effects of shopping mall aesthetics to hold the attention of collectors with short attention spans and curators seeking novelty, there are a number of artists who have consistently refused to be subordinated to the will of the Jahangirs of our time and have continued their meaningful interventions, far removed from the delusional world of artistic celebrity-hood. It is in fact this art world that has prospered and expanded in many different ways over the years, staying as it were under the radar. It has fostered a network that nurtures communities and engenders conversations through a complex web of mutuality, reciprocity and generosity , without resorting to the top-down models of monetary handouts and charitable support of aid agencies (who, in any case, make a rapid exit when their statistical targets have been met and columns in appropriate administrative forms have been filled). On sabbatical leave from my job to renew myself intellectually, I have spent the last year and a half traveling from one location to another across the country. It is uncanny how, throughout my time on the road journey to small towns and non-metropolitan centers, as well as cities such as Bangalore, I have been introduced to many individuals who have enriched the art ecosystem, organically and imaginatively, with few material resources at their disposal, yet possessing a deep commitment to art as a critical force. Reading dusty books in archives and libraries, scanning through newspapers, pamphlets, notebooks and photographs, carefully preserved by family members for decades, and conversing with artists of an earlier generation, who set up institutions, nurtured communities and imagined through their work the possibility of a better world, I have become acutely aware of the lacuna in our art historical models that highlight the work of only those who advertise, advertise, advertise. If one genuinely believes that we need to move away from an art world driven primarily by commerce and desperation for fifteen minutes of fame, then perhaps we need to revisit just the recent past to see how a meaningful art world existed not so long ago and that it can still be engendered by artists and critics to have a relevant life today.

Ms Jaitely, the answer is blowing in the wind


Indrapramit Roy
Jaya Jaitely, in her recent edit page article Secular Make- believe, tries to kill several birds with one stone. She takes a potshot at hapless intellectuals for taking the easy route of filling up column inches in newspapers condemning the inaction of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. In the same breath she takes a dig at her political rivals, the foreign-born Sonia Gandhi and her Congress party, and goes on to virtually condone the weeks violence in Gujarat, blaming it on mob fury provoked by the Godhra carnage. Unfortunately, that is the thesis the Hindutva brigade will love to perpetrate. Sad as it may seem, coming from a selfprofessed true secularist, the thesis needs to be countered. For the Sangh Parivar, anyone who opposes their version of truth is either a pseudo- secularist or is anti-nationalist, and that in turn means being a Congress cohort trying to appease Muslim sentiment. Jaitely would have us believe that had there been loud and clear condemnation of the Godhra tragedy, the rioting and blood letting that followed would have contained. She is wrong. Otherwise J.S.Bandukwala of Vadodara, a prominent social activist, among the first to condemn the Godhra violence, would not have been targeted repeatedly in full knowledge of the local officials and the police. It is a known fact that mobs do not act rationally. However, the moot point is who leads the mob and who provides the rationale for their shameful behavior? The answer is blowing in the wind, if only Jaitely would care to listen. Jaitely goes on to tarnish the press, especially English newspapers, by insinuating that wherever the present government failed to take action against Muslim anti socials and activities funded by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan, it was because of the fear of the secularist media. The open secret, in fact, is that whenever the media calls a spade a spade it runs the risk of being branded anti-Hindu and is often intimidated. In this riot, too, journalists were attacked. Yet they asked questions that made the government squirm. It is the media that is being intimidated, not the other way around. Jaitely then presents her ideas on fiercely manifested Muslim identity, apparently propped up by foreign funds. In her wonderful logic she asks: If this sudden and recent prosperity was indigenously generated, why should Muslims fear Bharatiya Janata Party rule? The twisted implication is that all anti-BJP Muslims get their money from across the border. Its amply clear that Modi chose not to act immediately after the Godhra carnage, knowing fully well what grave provocation it was. As an ordinary citizen we have no means to know whether a file moved from the chief ministers office to that of the home minister or telephone calls were made to Delhi, but it must be stated emphatically that no effort of the government was visible at the street level, where it mattered most for at least 48 hours after the tragedy. This cannot be wished away, howsoever much Jaitely, or for that matter, Mr Modi, may want. In Jaitelys version of things, a combination of three things kept the violence fuelled in Gujarat: the perceived inaction in dealing with ISI activities; the traditional (sic) loot and arson by anti-social elements in troubled times; and the inadequate response of the opposition. Not a word about Vishwa Hindu Parishads calculated attempt to rekindle communal frenzy in the name of temple building. Not a word about Bajarang Dal activists leading rampaging mobs. Not a word about the utter failure of the administration or its unwillingness to rein in its own extremist elements hell bent on avenging Godhra and ultimately playing into the hands of the very people who created Godhra in the first place. It is, indeed, awful that when the perpetrators of the Godhra carnage are probably congratulating themselves for sinking India in bloodbath, one public figure wallows in mud-slinging.

(This was published in the Tuesday, March12, 2002 issue of The Indian Express, Letters to the Editor Column)

The notion of experience is sometimes held to be so central that nothing can displace its effects. Not even further experience!
- Benoy P.J. in Authenticity of experience in Breeze Among Dead Leaves

August - September 2012 Setember October 2012

The Baroda Pamphlet

Autonomy of Art: A Few Thoughts in the Context of the May 2007 Baroda Incidents
Shivaji K Panikkar I would like to argue that the historical role of reactionary forces lies in pushing art into a private, non-political realm, rendering any revolutionary position in art impossible; this pushes contemporary art practices further into the realm of private spaces making them into mere public secrets/scandals.
Among the many questions that arose in the context of the Baroda incidents since May 9th, 2007 that provoked us to be concerned with, particularly two directions had been centrally crucial.The foremost focus in the context of the resistance movement after the May 9th attack on the Faculty of Fine Arts, The M.S. University of Baroda,was the argument of the autonomy of educational institutions and the need to protect them and their right to remain independent of politico-religious or any kind of populism. The second issue, the autonomy of art, or commonly referred to as the freedom of expression was somehow not been stressed upon for various reasons in the resistance movement, but is also equally, or more, important in the larger context of Modern Art practice in the country. What happened on 9 the May, 2007 at the FFA was that a student who had displayed his printmaking works for the annual postgraduate evaluation was arrested by the police without any intimation or discussion with the Faculty authorities and was detained in police custody for five days. In fact, the process of evaluation was still on when a handful of people, openly declaring their right-wing affiliations, barged in and disrupted the evaluation ments, so much so that the abusive hooligans roamed around freely in the campus threatening vandalism after manhandling tonomy, which totally is a secular and profane space. By assigning such autonomous space to Art I am not saying that it exists gotiating their vulnerability to reactionary forces, especially to the attacks on Art and artists.Given the lack of protection and the intolerance of reactionary forces, and from within, the production and circulation of contemporary art, the strategy of sealing off the controversial images - or anything that may be even slightly controversialfrom the public sphere, limits and stultifies its socio-political (revolutionary) moral purposes and the values they represent. This will lead only to limiting the revolutionary potential of art; as a consequence, art may be relegated to the rarified worlds. I would like to argue that the historical role of reactionary forces lies in pushing art into a private, non-political realm, rendering any revolutionary position in art impossible. This pushes contemporary art practices further into the realm of private spaces, turning them into mere public secrets/scandals. Thus, one of the contemporary terminologies that are commonly used by artists today is strategy, which, to me, suggests a compromise worked out in the face of an oppressive situation. I would like to refer to the attitude of the Art conscious elite here. It is their attitude of protectionism that somehow lends to a belief that artists can practice by keeping them-

the student and throwing him into police custody? In any case, the display was for an examination, and was not a public exhibition. As the in-charge Dean, I considered it my responsibility to protect the student, the Faculty and the examination process which were under attack. It was crucial to take such a stand as the very idea of university autonomy was at stake. The protest of the students and that of the art fraternity allover the country that followed also was articulated in terms of the need to protect Art and spaces of higher education. In the above context I would like to articulate the question related to freedom of expression as follows: do the students in particular and artists in general have any right to be experimental or playful, while using any religious imagery? Isnt anything worth calling as Art is always born out of fearlessness, playfulness and a celebration of an absolute sense of freedom? Is it that Art and artists freedom are sealed off from religion and its imageries? Is it not true that Modern Art throughout, and in general, has been oppositional to the conventions; anti-establishment, subversive and transgressive of religions, even anarchic and blasphemous in many instances? The question foremost is do we have a right to critically think of religion at all? As such, Art, like free thought, has not ever compromised its rights to be critical of religions, and, further, as far as modern artists are concerned, they had not been making religious icons or images for worship, and so why they need to take into consideration the views, feelings and sentiments of the faithful? They make Art (the capital A is very important), which refers to its au-

procedure. It was in no way a public exhibition. The allegation made was that the art works by the particular student had offended a section of society and hurt their religious sentiments. In the process what had been challenged and attempted to be destroyed was the autonomy and independence of the educational institution. All would agree that an academic space is meant to be experimental, critical and exploratory, and it in no way is meant to please or hurt anybodys politico-religious sentiments. Reactionary forces speaking in the name of public sentiments surely try to bend others to follow their dictates, and they may at times be successful in oppressing and compromising persons and institutions. While this might be so, is it acceptable that the student or the Faculty can be attacked in the name of certain trivial and ill-informed religious senti-

in its ivory tower; it is constantly responsive and reactive politically, culturally, socially, etc. But, when you accept anything as Art, it automatically gets relieved from other entrenchments and categories such as morality, ethics, acceptability or non-acceptability. What is being violated by the Right-wing is this very right of Art to have its sovereignty. And, as for the modern secular beliefs are concerned, no tradition or religious beliefs, are unquestionable, sacrosanct spaces sealed off from critical possibilities. All traditions also belong to us as culture, for example a religious icon from the past housed in a museum is primarily Art which is far removed from the space of faith, and thus is available to all for further creative uses, academic, critical and artistic. Furthermore, I would like to add that often art is an expression of the inexpressible, that it has a potential to crossover the established moral and ethical values, so that the under-expressed or unexpressed underbelly of life often finds an expression through art. Society needs it, so as to grow further, so that is one reason that I personally take a lot interest in the art that borders upon non-art (say pornography), or that which challenges or shocks us out of the conventional security and safety. It is in this sense that I believe in the absolute freedom of expression of artists and art institutions, and surely, I observe, study and, to a large extent, enjoy the tension and discomfort that exists between such art and the society at large. However, it saddens me to a great extent that the specific ways in which Indian art institutions and artists have been ne-

selves strategically away from the gaze of an intruding public. Perhaps this refusal to engage the public sphere head-on is derived from the fear of reactionary forces or from a lack of concern about the larger social space for art. On the whole, there is an attempt to avoid anything controversial to come up within the purview of the public. In the process, there is a loss; the loss of our ability or our facilities; the loss of our credibility, rigor and commitment, and we seem to be losing our spacesthe public spaces that many works of art once used to occupy. In such conditions, how do we uphold and resurrect values like democracy, autonomy of institutions and the right to express through art? While trying to resist fascist pressure, havent we paid a heavy price? The situation is particularly disturbing since reactionary forces seem to have acquired enough power to drive fear into us, and make us shrink. (Photographs courtesy: K.KMuhamed)

desire paths publishers invites manuscripts from authors. We publish both Academic and trade titles. we are open for both fiction and non fiction writings. our preference would be for proposals which critically engage the society, culture, art, literature and cinema. The proposals should explain the overall structure along with the chapterization of the book. Please send your proposals to editor@desirepaths.in

The Baroda Pamphlet

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

What is Wrong with (Kochi) Biennale?


Chandran.T.V

The first edition of KochiMuziris Biennale, the brainchild of the much celebrated artistcurator, Bose Krishnamachari, is slated to be held on December 12, 2012. (To catch a glimpse of its fanciful imagination from the very beginning, the date may be rearranged into a certain visual order; 12.12.12). Soon after it was formally announced at a spectacular function, it sparked off a controversy which rocked the print and electronic media crossing the regional boundary. However, the state government has now rolled back its earlier decision to fund the project and has further issued an order to probe the alleged financial impropriety of the Biennale Foundation headed by Bose and Riyas Komu. In this context this article tries to sketch out in broad strokes a few important points to discuss as to why the dreamy project is running into a rough weather of controversy. A chunk of the discussion tries to draw upon the tone and tenor of contemporary art which is largely a product of international festivals like biennale, or biennial, to which the Kochi Biennale seems to be contributing its share. The logical explanation that the Kochi Biennale foregrounds in its website for the selection of Kochi (Kerala) as its most appropriate venue is that a largescale international visual festival, as it was thought, should be held not in the metropolitan cities like Mumbai or Delhi where the contemporary culture of art practices and its audience are flourishing, but in a place where artistic culture comparatively remains underdeveloped, yet the possibility of development is open to be explored. It seems to be a wise decision. It painted in full colour many flamboyant synergetic hopes; if translated into reality, they would put an end to the incessant migration of Malayali artists to North Indian cities seeking a safe shelter to pursue their creative ventures. As there are some antecedents which show that outmigration of artists had gradually come to an end

in certain European cities after grand visual festivals were inaugurated there, such hopes were not out of place. They were further accentuated by the presence of the world-famous artist-curator who spearheads the project. His celebrity status, his experience of having endless mega shows curated in India and abroad and his inexplicable magical power as an artist-curator to transform anything into an artwork and anyone into an artistic genius and all played every significant role in rendering credential to the project. That made artists in the beginning running crazy about it.

Rs.73 crore project is explained in a single page which, apart from that, in fact explains nothing other than making itself an agglomeration of grandiloquent verbosity like post-enlightenment multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, modernism, ethnicity, democracy, culture industry, etc. In one of his interviews, the president of the Biennale Foundation goes to the extent of saying that the Biennale seeks to create a new language of these cultural phenomena in the culture industry(!). It is quite strange that no one has noted that the proposal is nothing but an airy-fairy wishy-

ulative skill on which largely rest grand cultural events of todays world order. Hence they succumb to controversies and allegations. If one has to think otherwise, the Foundation should have come forth to debate on many issues centering around its concepts and mode of operation, but, floundering without a foundation, it has more often resorted to slipway-tactic having no cogent arguments to offer. If Kochi as the venue of the biennale was basically determined by the idea of regenerating its local art scene, the veracity of such declaration has to be expressed with the same fervour by chalking out definite programmes with potential effect. A programme towards that line is hardly seen in the project. Moreover, no member of the Biennale Foundation or any expert appointed by it has ever tried to seek suggestions and views of any noted personality who has been working in Kerala over decades and has earned national or international reputation in the field of art. Nor did anyone independently study divergent problems of Keralas art that the Biennale seeks to promote. The absence of such efforts and programmes makes it apparent that the Biennale as an art promotional venture was not taken for its true meaning, though it was put up as a top priority. Although the government has made no attempt to study the feasibility of the proposal, its decision to shell out an amount of Rs. 50 crore shows that the economic aspects projected in the proposal has been taken too far. Secondly it is highly doubtful for many reasons if the economic claims would prove to be real. To approach the problems involved both in the regeneration of local art scene and economic development, it suffices to have a cursory glance at certain examples from a European context. Since the world economic crisis of 1974, the famous harbour city of Liverpool in England has been faced with unprece-

The Rs.73 crore project is explained in a single page which, apart from that, in fact explains nothing other than making itself an agglomeration of grandiloquent verbose like post-enlightenment multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, modernism, ethnicity, democracy, culture industry etc. In one of his interviews, the president of the Biennale Foundation goes to the extent of saying that the Biennale seeks to create a new language of these cultural phenomena in culture industry (!)
The second important claim cited was that the Rs.73 crore project would benefit from a return of Rs. 1500 crore and would bring about a profound change to the economic structure in and around the city, generating more employment opportunities in various sectors. Everything appears with seductive charm, but remains incredible because the project basically lacks a rigorous substantive plan of action having a pragmatic orientation. A grand project like the Kochi Biennale, is generally expected to have an elaborate project proposal. The feasibility and sustainability of the project, which assumes first and foremost importance, is to be first studied in detail. Unfortunately, the project proposal of the Biennale is a far cry from this general notion. Both in its project proposal and the mission statement, one would fail to grasp what exactly the project is about. The washy blundering with high-sounding words. There is still something curious to note here. Since the fountainheads of the Biennale Foundation have come into prominence in Indian art, they are only required to put up for government sanction something skelter-helter. They could do it by picking up certain concepts and terms current in critical writings in art history without properly understanding their historical and cultural contexts. The swirl of verbiage may be employed here as an effective tool to camouflage the contentlessness of the proposal, and at the same time to make an illusion that it is radiating with an intellectual hallow. However, it could strike a positive chord: the bigwigs in the government machinery sanctioned the project without casting any doubt upon it. But the fact is that the proposal is totally scrappy, absurd and a folly in essence. This is well-nigh an expression of the manip-

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

The Baroda Pamphlet

5
Such spectacular flip-flops are still articulated in the narrative modes of high-art and appraised as masterpieces. A wanton visuality has thus come to pre-dominate the world of art in which anything goes is the rule of the game. Any number of re-definitions or de-definitions coupled with professional jargon in stock would come to offer a free rein to the curator-writer to interpret, thematise, contextualize a work, finally leading it to be recorded in history. In this entire business many important questions regarding art were thrown out of its sphere forever, of which the most important one was what is art. But that question was not completely left unanswered. Art is what an artist or art does, or art is idea etc seems to reverberate as the rallying cry of the artists who perform anything and everything within the normative framework of new art which inherits its properties from the old Duchampian tradition. In this condition one feels art is everywhere in everything. It is hard to find out what is that which does not make art. For this matter, what Roland Barthes said long ago about sex sounds to be absolutely meaningful with regard to art as well-In America sex is everywhere, except in sex. Since the Duchampian view, art is idea, was reinvented in the 1960s from certain specific historical context of the West and has continued ever since, artists under the grip of a mimetic impulse largely tended to perform trendy deadpan ideas in the context of high-art as a shortcut method to acquire a high-art status. It got wider acceptance allover the world through curators who employed enlarged possibilities of the new means of communication and transportation. As Noel Caroll observes, Art news and art deals, video cassettes and DVDs of work were constantly orbiting the planet. This gave rise to an international art circuitry regulated by curators providing a constant channel of information that flows from large-scale exhibitions to museums and galleries and then back again (Caroll). Both this networking system and the newly fashioned curatorial enterprise take into their fold art practices of different cultures and regions that stand side by side, deflating their meaning of being culturally different. Levelling down the cultural differences it established a single world -a unified, transnational institution of art, (Caroll) which essentially rests on

dented economic decline, unemployment, crime, depopulation, urban derelictions and social violence. They were all exacerbated in the early 1980s. At the height of the political rule of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s around 30 million pound (approximately US $ 50 million) was invested in the restoration of certain parts of Liverpool. British analysts were at pains to show the economic importance of the arts. They

Anyway, Liverpool which gained the strength of the local art scene for its Bienniale is not an exceptional case. Bilbao in Spain and Marseilles in France have similar stories to narrate. Now I must refrain from mentioning them further to turn to another curious instance which would throw much more light on this line of thought from a different angle.

As Maria Transforini observes, The moment in which the small post-modern city becomes a global cultural actor, it also risks, like Saturn, to devour its own children, those small and medium-sized actors that are the connective tissue of urban culture.
firmly believed that money given to the arts was not a mere expenditure, but also good investment which would trickle down, leading to job creation and economic benefits. The Tate Gallery of LonFerrara, a small Italian provincial town, has a rich cultural tradition dating back to the Renaissance. Because of its traditional agrarian economy, Ferrara never experi-

indulge in extravaganza to cater to its own ostentatious interests. Briefly speaking, an entrepreneurial cultural elitism performed in the name of cultural tourism immediately transformed Ferrara into a post-modern city without ever having been a modern one. As Maria Transforini observes, At the moment in which the small post-modern city becomes a global cultural actor, it also risks, like Saturn, to devour its own children, those small and medium-sized actors that are the connective tissues of urban culture. This observation is of vital importance with regard to the Kochi Biennale which may be held in a place where the local art practice is much more conspicuous than anywhere else in the country. However, one fails to see if such concern has ever been shared by the organizers of the Kochi Biennale. Rather it seems they were more concerned about keeping the international venue of the Biennale uncluttered with local art and make them free from the vexation of confronting the issues of globalism and localism in art. This safe, but culturally disastrous, idling position has to be seen as something intensely working on par with what has been more often the rule of the game in many international art festivals and biennales held the world over in the last two decades or so. There are around 140 biennale held all over the world, says Thierry de Duve. A great share of them had proliferated since the 1980s primarily as a result of a change in which entrepreneurial culture took hold of the economic policy of the governments at the global level. As already witnessed in the case of Ferrara, it was thought that art and culture, like a consumable object, can be made as competitive and profitable commodities to effect greater economic growth. The idea, profit without production that basically determined this dramatic shift gave rise to cultural managers as managers of perception in the entrepreneurial culture that acts upon the field of art and economy for the governments. Needless to say, they were primarily shaped not to construct an art village but a Jurassic Park to attract the tourist gaze and thereby to imprint a distinctive mark in the world tourist map. So much so that aesthetic values ascribed to a work of art is inordinately disregarded and the non-aesthetic gains the upper hand in what is projected and praised as art in the

don opened a new branch, Tate Gallery, the North, in Liverpools Albert Dock. Too many expectations for economic boost and tourism attractions were highlighted. And 2 million to 3.5 million visitors flew to the newly converted art-city of Liverpool. However, the whole project immediately turned out to be a great disappointment. The art-centered tourism in Liverpool made a very modest impact on the tertiary sector economy of the city. This condition remained the same for the initial four years (1988-1992). The fiasco of the Liverpool project was carefully studied. It was found that the local art scene in Liverpool, which was not integrated in the project was the root cause of its failure. Following the inferences of the study, an extensive project, was reformulated basically to address the problems of the local art scene. Various programmes in epic scale were chalked out to regenerate the local artists. They were offered studio and exhibition spaces, thus reducing outmigration of artists to London and featuring their open studio events and alternative exhibitions arranged by the local community of artists, the North-West Art Board and the City of Liverpool on the occasion of Bienniale celebration, collaborating with galleries, universities, artists co-ops and individuals. It is this elaborate project of promoting local art that remained a great asset for the regeneration of the city, since 1992, says Pedro Lorente. And its logical culmination was the Liverpool Bienniale being successfully celebrated over the years, primarily as a public showcase for the latest art.

enced modernization and remained in exclusion with an economy in slow motion, cut off from major industrial developments and communication systems. In line with major developmental programmes, the city major in 1986 declared: We must aim at making Ferrara into a city that produces and consumes culture at the highest level We believe that cultural consumption, even at a mass level, can turn into a source of jobs, of skilled labour, of tertiary activities. This entrepreneurial cultural policy was greeted by the local intelligentsia and reformist bourgeoisie alike. Various programmes on music and the arts were inaugurated and held subsequently at regular intervals featuring national and international artists. To cite an interesting instance, the Ferrara Art Committee as part of this Grand Events (Grandi Eventi in Italian), organized a series of exhibitions from 1991 to 1995, featuring the works of Claude Monet and his friends, Marc Chagal, Greek and Etruscan art, Rossini, Luchino Visconti, Paul Gauguin and the Russian Avant Gardes. A total of 955000 visitors had visited the shows. Still there was a loss of 617 million lira! As Maria Transforini says: The lack of a private market of galleries and therefore of an art-buying public. . . just on the lack of an academy of fine arts (except for the musical field ; an academy of music does exist) has not helped the growth of an articulated field, that is, the circuit of art-related jobs (collectors, dealers, artists, critics etc.). Yet Grandi Eventi has been celebrated in each of its turn, but only to

Expressing whole-hearted readiness to welcome the Kochi Biennale, we are in fact expressing a pathological condition of cultural amnesia that is taking a strong hold of us. It has conversely prepared in us a new consciousness, a new perception to look at the curatorial hocus pocus or curatorial pseudo-art as art.
biennales. As Kian Woon noted in a case study of the Singapore Biennale started in 1995, The government apparatuses have been extremely active in generating a cultural (arts) policy that tends to emphasize an economic rationale. It is not surprising that those who are at the receiving end of the policies find that the arts development in Singapore is being reduced to business ventures undertaken at the national level. Artists, who have been active in making experimental works, therefore, seem to believe that the government is interested only in commercial large-scale impressarios... which at the same time have been used in ministerial speeches and reports as indications of a cultured enterprise. the Western notion of art deeply rooted in the Duchampian tradition. Some evidences for this is the proliferation of biennales, observes Noel Caroll, Like film festivals, these high art extravaganzas are partly predicated on attracting international tourism, but they also function to assemble a large number of artists from different geographical regions and cultural backgrounds and thus to showcase, especially for curators, a wide range of work that can feed into the ever-expanding museum and gallery system worldwide. This whole managerial business of curatorial art comes into friction with the world of art proper basically because it shifts the

The Baroda Pamphlet

Setember October 2012 August - September

productive energy of the art world into a curatorial sphere, says Paul Crowther. This shift results into the production of any gesture or artistic statement into art distorting the truth about the meaning of art proper. In order to be noticed in the spate of images and artworks, an artist resorts to doing something shocking or startling, which through the curatorial intervention gets legitimized within the art historical context. Paul Crowther calls this process curatorial pseudo-art which he goes on to say, involves an address to the media rather than to other artists. One sign of this is the increasing celebrity staus accorded to curators, gallery owners and collectors. In this respect, for example, it is significant that the Kassel Documenta of 1997 was discussed not so much in terms of the artists involved but rather as Catherin Davids Exhibition ... The aura of art now leaves the artist and with an ever-increasing radiance that shines around the omnipotent curator who is the object of worship. He has an inexplicable magical power to transform anything into an invaluable art work. By no stretch of imagination his extra-human pataphysical height can be measured. Therefore artists, critics, writers, art teachers, students and all are very keen to worship him as Yours faithfully. It is in this demeaning situation that the Kochi Biennale was initially greeted by artists, because it was also engineered by a much celebrated curator who is believed to have put some artists under his wings. Expressing whole-hearted readiness to welcome the Kochi Biennale, we are in fact giving expression to a pathological condition of cultural amnesia that is taking a strong hold of over us. It has conversely prepared in us a new consciousness, a new perception to look at the curatorial hocus pocus or curatorial pseudo-art as art. The willingness to buckle under its pressure on the one hand shows a great retreat to the private cocoon, to use Hans Haackes expression, and a loss of hope in searching out possibilities of criticism and resistance from ones own value system, which has not yet totally vanished. On the other hand it represents the immeasurable power of the new consciousness that pervades the art world by taking in its clutch even renowned artists and art critics for something which runs against their own preaching or principles.

An overt expression of this can be seen in many ways. An interesting one that immediately crosses my mind is a series of workshops stretched exclusively to deal with the subject of curatorship, conducted in the past couple of years in important Indian cities with the participation of noted art historians, critics and art students. Oriented to accomplish the aspirations of a funding agency, the workshops were meticulously designed to function as a vital force in training art historians and students to convert them into managers of perception in the wide range of curatorial production of art and market values. Why criticism has lost its strength and liveliness, when it is desperately expected for now to be more scathing and rigorous than ever before, has to be located within these developments. Fascinated with curatorial juggernauts in an entrepreneurial culture, art historians and critics in large measure seem to be immensely happy to shrug off their intellectual honesty and responsibility to become the sheer entourage of cultural managers or curators. Thus, as James Mayer says, the vitality of critical debate on art appears to have shifted from discourse to curation. In such a state of affairs, critical debates in the real sense of the term, find no place for full-blooded expression. In its terrible void, curators began to feel highly elated to occupy the territory of art without being seriously concerned with addressing the questions embedded in the history and present day cultural practices of art. Consequently, art was dissociated from its history and from the complex system of social relations and meanings. The art world as cured and re-invigorated by the curator is an extremely exclusive and autonomous domain, independent of the external world of reality, for which art is a signifier and invites visibility. In such an isolated pleasure island, images no longer imagine the real because it is the real; it can no longer transcend reality or dream it, since images are virtual reality. In virtual reality, it is as if things had swallowed their mirror, Baudrillard strikingly puts it. Here lies the locus of the problem. While things swallow the mirror, nothing comes to replace the mirror to see the reality once again reflected. Under this phenomenal confusion which pervades every realm of art, one feels utterly bewildered to determine what a genuine argument for authentic art would sound like, and who speaks for it. That confusion and bewilderment are looming larger, for instance, when one of the most acclaimed writers like Geeta Kapur springs forth in support of both the Kochi-Biennale and its artists-curators: There is more to it than meets the eye. To grasp it we have to look at it in some detail. Geeta Kapur has written prolifically on a wide range of subjects and artists of modern and contemporary arts and cultural practices of India. In the whole body of her critical writing one would find that she has been very careful to make no mention of the works of the great artist-curator

(whom she now comes to admire lavishly). He was greatly disappointed, because, as he says, the history makers... writers or curators, ignored or deleted me between the years 1995 to 2005. Eyeing a venerable place in history, therefore, he ventured on re-making history, re-writing and de-curating Indian contemporary art, which were to find a gross distortion of meaning, when he had mounted a series of exhibitions of his own works by placing himself as an important artist worthy of being encrypted in history. The burgeoning art market which rests on a clever manipulation of the media alone had contributed in projecting him the way he wished to be: an artist-curator was thus born with no antecedents in Indian history. A glimpse of his works will be sufficient to conclude that they all come to epitomise in the Indian context what Fredric Jameson long back called flatness or depthlessness as a new kind of superficiality that marks the emergence of a new formalism of postmodern art. Bereft of artistic volition or of any conviction, except that which feeds into the voracious demands of the market, his works are exactly a stock-intrade mimicries of the debased expression of postmodern art in the West, bearing no individual subjective element but impersonal and repulsive humdrum formalism. For him, and equally for the whole band of artist whom he claims to have promoted in India, art is nothing but an idea fetishised into a commodity. The fetishised art objects helped him only to oil the wheel of business in the art market. And it is through such stylistic jugglery and thread-

makes the labels attached to their work something of a surprise. He goes on to say ... Much of the work in this show isnt very good, but has been included anyway because it looks Indian or, rather, Indian enough. [Y]ou get the sense of this shows curators sitting down to decide what Indian was most likely to mean to a western audience and tailoring their choices accordingly. The result is that Indian Highway feels condescending, both to that western audience and to the artists in the show. This scathing criticism serves to explain in a considerable measure how both the celebrated art works and the celebrities of Indian art are received by the western audience, particularly while Indian art shines abroad. The fact that the most famous artist-curator was also included in the Indian Highway makes it more significant in this respect. This partially explains why Geeta Kapur did not give voice in her writings to the so-called world-famous artistcurator until very recently. However, it seems something so strange and paradoxical that now she comes out of the blue to appreciate the same artistic personality for his fame and popularity when the Kochi Biennale was embroiled in constant controversy. Furthermore, she appears to react disparagingly against those who were opposing the Biennale by denigrating them as victims of their parochialism and personal ego. This goes contrary to the fact that some of them had earned national and international acclaim whom she had herself repeatedly written about

bare conceptual contortions with dominant depthlessness and superficiality, that the refused artist under reference has now made himself as a towering figure in Indian art which is something of a surprise. It remains so in the terrible dearth of critical analysis in India. However, there was an interesting piece of writing which strips bare the newly-emerged Indian artists including the celebrated artist-curator. The much celebrated show, Indian Highway, showcased the works of twenty Indian artists in the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2008. In a review published in The Independent, Charles Darwent writes, ...we come away from the Serpentine with the idea that Indian art is a pallid form of Western art, albeit with a mild curry flavour...If after 61 years of independence, Indian artists are still preoccupied with colonial attitudes, then Indian Highway explains why [M] aybe it is a market thing. Unless you are a specialist, it is unlikely you will have heard of many of the artists in this show. This

until very recently. This selfeffacing shift in her position seems to be a contradiction, and to a great extent it is. But, all the more, it reflects, on the one hand, a condition engendered by the all-encompassing power of the curatorial imperialism of an entrepreneurial culture that it can easily find itself triumphant in making anyone volatile to re-adjust his or her position to fit into its stride. On the other hand, it perfectly shows an abnormal tongue momentarily borrowed (Jameson) under the terrible pressure of what Baudrillard calls the phenomenal confusion that penetrates the art world in which nothing is beautiful or ugly, correct or incorrect-a world whose feelings, to follow Jameson, are now free-floating and impersonal and tend to be dominated by a peculiar kind of euphoria. In essence, the Kochi Biennale by all means, it seems, appears to enfold this world of euphoria which makes its promotional venture frivolous and vitiated.

Meta-dilemma
Kiran Subbaiah

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

The Baroda Pamphlet

Noduva Bage
Noduva Bage (Ways of Seeing) is a Kannada translation of the now popular book on visual arts by John Berger called Ways of Seeing, published in 1972. The book was a hardcopy version of BBC serial on art appreciation by John Berger, Sven blomberg, Chris Fox, Michael Dibb and Richard Hollis, published by Penguin publishers. The Kannada book is a translation by There are about 125 art schools in Karnataka, arguably the largest in any Indian state. The students feel the need for reading material in Kannada which has not been met with, but for stray and plagiarized notes. The book also intends to initiate a tradition of translation in Kannada, which would be an addition of an altogether deviant dimension to the construct of a cultural expression through the existing

Without your dilemma what would you be left to deal with? Surely the washing machine would break down now and then, your pay check may get lost in the mail, or your mother-in-law may not have been keeping too well lately. You can have all these accidentals to deal with, apart from the regulars like doing the laundry or making ends meet or staying fit. You can bring them up as the excuses, chores that have taken up your time leaving you with your dilemma unresolved. That could very well be the earnest reason. It could also be because your dilemma (only the most important one of course) is irresolvable, but that is something you are not so sure about. If you had been sure that your dilemma was irresolvable, you would have happily renounced dealing with it. Until that is ascertained, you have no choice - your dilemma haunts you. The choice you do have is to which of the two you confer greater priority, your life, or your dilemma. You could concentrate on improving the life you live, try and procure for yourself the best the world has to offer; French cuisine, horse riding, happy ended movies - innocent indulgences to distract you from, if not make you oblivious of your dilemma at least from time to time. Or you could make your dilemma the center of focus and invest all the time you can salvage to meditate on it. All the other things in life should be kept well away from encroaching upon your meditation. Then indeed you must live by the most modest of means, like a monk - a voluntary prisoner of your conviction. Judging by the experience of dealing with your dilemma so far, you realize that you have indeed made some progress. Although nowhere near resolved, you have come to understand it better. Youve checked out its grounds in significant detail, caught a few hints that have inspired hope and the motivation to work towards possible solutions. Some revelations were slow in coming, through a mixed process of toil and pleasure - like giving birth. Others occurred by accident, at poetic moments illuminated by an unusual collision of the mind and the world, when you werent necessarily dealing with your dilemma and just carrying on with your usual life. These micro enlightenments suggest the possibility of a greater enlightenment - the ultimate emancipation from your dilemma. The latter of the revelations suggests that it may be best to bestow equal importance to both: dealing with your dilemma, and aspiring for better means to live. A monk in the midst of acquisitions: like a lotus leaf in the water (or a droplet of water on a lotus leaf). Then, if at the end, your dilemma remains unresolved you would feel comforted by the coziness you create for yourself in life your home, friends, grandchildren. Complementarily, with the fragments of knowledge and momentary illuminations you gather in the course of pursuing your dilemma now and then, you will not have to regret finding yourself at the end of your life, in a spiritual vacuum. Your dilemma will keep you company in your deathbed. Thats indeed the best bet. The one most people take. Im not sure whether this fourth option I propose here is actually possible, but if you have managed to renounce both worldly possessions and the spiritual quest, live like a monk and ignore your dilemma. You probably wont fare badly either. Wandering through the world with no motives whatsoever, or just sitting back and watching the world pass by on its course, you might chance upon something most obscure and yet incredibly fascinating that no one can fathom.

H.A.Anil Kumar, a Bangalore-based Art Historian and Critic. Published by Kadalu publishers (also published books in English under Peak publishers, by Sridhar Gowda and Geraldine Rose), the book consists of about 250 images in black and white, and is faithful to the original design (and arguably the argument). The book consists of seven chapters out of which three are visual chapters. This is a cultural experiment in the art of book making, in line with Andrea Malrauxs notion of Museums without Walls.

Kannada language. There are three kinds of Kannada acknowledged till now: Kannada through Kannada literature, Kannada films and Kannada journalism. Kannada through visual arts is more vocal than verbal. Hence the translation intends to address even these subversed issues. Priced at Rs.195/- the book is sold at a discount of Rs.150/- to art students as well.

On Writing
Piyush Thakkar
1* Could he write? A poem Or something similar Could he, some time? Neither has he mapped out the morrow Nor could he place the day before Yet to figure out the math of Times extremes Doddering with the aid of his shadow in light Plunging in the abyss of insomnia in dark Moaning but unable to make out the night Or set his palm alight Roiling in the soar and fall of rhythm Unmindful of a pause gasping to reach full stop

How would he value the flights and excavations of forebearers? Caught in swirls and scattered Before uttering even a bare word - how would he name this agony? Intrigued and thwarted every moment by self-story How far could he trot along with you? Would he write? Could he? A poem or something similar sometime? 2* It Oozes. Like tearing heaviness in legs After walking for miles on end. Like bloodied hush Palling over a tongue Bitten for ceaseless blabbering.

Like dark grotesque omen Etched on frozen eyes Cracking at last under endless suffering of silence. Like the hollow in a rock Chanced on while excavating for your face. May be like this Or like that Nope! I cant bring myself to write, never ever Tis not my cup of tea, just give up your vain efforts Leave it! Even drain off whatever little youve Drown it in this bullheaded river And see its the day of total eclipse, the right time to do it! Dont delay Flagellating pinching yourself thus as you

Get screwed stoned Fling yourself in despair dejection defeat What oozes And seeps Drop by drop In body groaning in slumber Is perhaps A poem Or A poem. 1. First published in Etad 189, March 2011, edited by Kamal Vora and Naushil Mehta 2. First published in Sandhi -17, January- March 2011, edited by Babu Suthar and Indra Shah Translated from Gujarati by Dr. Hemang A. Desai

A Story by Lokesh Khodke in the next issue.

The Baroda Pamphlet

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

Feminist encounters with Pornography.


Niloofar Roshani
Nowadays, it is not possible to deny the huge influence of cable and satellite TV, internet and social networks on different aspects of peoples lives. There is no possibility to stop the current flow of information, which also includes all forms of pornography. Filtering websites or blocking porn channels doesnt help to control the flow of pornography, which has been spreading all over the world and is not limited only to western countries. Even in countries where pornography has been banned, there are many underground activities to extend porn CDs, DVDs or magties and religions. So the idea of what may be tasteful to someone might seem perverted to someone else. That is one of the reasons why most often pornography is a secretive act whether consumed individually or in groups; admitting to consuming pornography is frowned upon by society and is often classified as a form of perversion. Lets contemplate pornography in two contexts, namely class and gender to further complicate the situation. Pornography is one of the crucial productions of the ruling class and known to go hand in hand with the global military and drug trade circuits. The huge amount of money that is spent on it shows that the production is in the hands of big capitalists, especially in US. Today, pornography is one of the biggest productions and most profitable businesses among capitalists who, obviously, form the ruling class in the society. If you examine porn magazines like Playboy and Debonair, you will observe the nude photos of women beside other advertisements. One can see the latest models of Mercedes Benz automobiles, bottles of champagne, liquors, luxury hotels, mobiles, dresses, and lingerie advertised with nude women and sexy ladies beside the products, as if they are available to you like any other commercial goods for your satisfaction. These pictures are nothing more than sexual objectification and degradation of women as sexual goods or means. All porn magazines are in the mens section in any stall or library and are known as male magazines; the title itself shows that the production is for the male gaze. Increasingly an argument is being made that the female readership of porn is also on the increase. This raises two questions first if porn magazines like Playboy cater to both men and women, why is it that only female nudity is displayed? Why do these magazines rarely print the male nude body, and even if they do, is it for the gay market or for the female sexual desire? Secondly, and more importantly is the question really about pornography catering to men does the inclusion of female spectator/reader make it right ? Does female readership suggest female liberty or further deepening of male centric sexual desire? Further, even if porn magazines are considered as a way for female sexual liberty, its class characteristics are not deniable. Of course, there are differences when, for instance, Madonna posturized her nude body and when some woman is forced to do so just for money or under threat from the mafia. The racial exploitation and objectification of bodies Asian women as child women orientalised servility or animal-like black bodies are matters of grave injustice. Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, etc. which spend millions of dollars every month, leave no doubt that pornography is far beyond promoting a libertarian outlook on todays issues and representing adult entertainment; its more about a big business which is promoted by the ruling class. The ruling class is compelled to present its interest as the common interest of all members of society to give its ideas in the form of universality, and present them as the only rational, universally valid one. Economic interests are often masked in cultural expressions like sexual liberty. Pornography is clearly an example of a situation in which the interests of one powerful section of the society have been universalized as the interests of the society as a whole. As pornography is the ruling class production, the consumers also mostly belong to the middle class and upper middle class who can afford to pay for porn productions. Of course, there are several circuits of poor reproductions, localised versions which further exploit models and workers in the porn sector. What, then, about the sex-positive feminists claim, that there is a growing number of women in the porn industry such as Candida Royalle, Petra Joy, Anna Span, Tristan Taormino, and Maria Beatty, etc. who are calling the shots from behind the camera. But still the number of female producers, who are producing for both women and men, and especially for women, is much less than the number of male producers and most of the porn productions are produced by men for men with the help of objectification of womens sexuality. Even when the eye of the camera is female, is the gaze female more race age sensitive or does it reaffirm dominant ideas of body and desire? Pornography, like prostitution, is a social reality of every modern society, and no one can deny it. Although pornography can be a way to challenge sexual morality in a society, it is still a ruling class production and its modern forms focus more on commercialization of the sexual act rather than eroticism. Pornography is a big industry and mostly a product of huge businesses like Playboy, Hustler, and Penthouse, etc. Popular beliefs maintain that the lure of easy money draws people, particularly the youngsters, to the world of pornography. This belief is supported by trade and fan magazines that glamorize the industry by focusing on the lavish lifestyles of its members. While the industry cultivates the idea of porn as profitable, income varies greatly by individuals. While money earned from appearing in pornography videos may seem high compared with many other jobs, annual incomes generated from porn alone typically approximates middle-class earnings. I generally do not support anti-porn feminists who attempt to ban pornography because I believe that banning pornography, does not help women at all. Banning pornography converts it to an underground business where there cannot be any supervision and control on it like in so many countries where prostitution illegally exists and prostitutes have no legal rights, having their lower and sometimes worse conditions than those who legally work as sex-workers in other countries.Hence it is better if pornography is legalized because then, at least, there could be some supervision and control on it. Like child pornography, which has been banned in many countries, I believe there should be more control and supervision over different forms of pornography, also especially in the form of movies where real sexual acts are shown especially in the form of rape and violence which are really harmful for consumers. No doubt that these forms of pornography lead to sexual crimes in the society as anti-porn feminists claim, and could also be harmful because of the humiliation and degradation of the female porn-stars. Today, if pornography is unavoidable in global and networked societies if pornography is brought within the ambit of the state, it could help to decrease sexual violence for both men and women. Pornography can help sexual minorities expressions in the society, although it is not the only way for them to express themselves. Nowadays with the help of networked societies, there are so many ways for them to express their sexuality rather than showing up in commercial forms of pornography through porn magazines and porn movies. Facebook is a good example that shows pornography in forms of text, photos, and videos that are used through fan pages and no money is transfered in this form and its members offer and use it without any money being charged. Even sexual minorities also have chances to express themselves through these fan pages. To sum up the discussion, I can say that pornography is a huge industry for big capitalists, who produce pornography by sexual expression, exploitation and objectification of women. Anti-porn

Economic interests are often masked in cultural expressions like sexual liberty. Pornography is clearly an example of a situation in which the interests of one powerful section of the society have been universalized as the interests of the society as a whole.
azines, which are sold illegally. Indeed, banning pornography as the anti-pornography supporters are requesting seems to be useless and is just avoiding the main question instead of resolving the issue. Today, watching a porn movie or reading an erotic text is just a few clicks away, sometimes free of charge and it seems that most of them are produced by unknown people, unlike other well-known producers in this business like Playboy or Penthouse. Pornography has always been a controversial subject among feminists. Some feminists are opposed to pornography, arguing that it is an industry which exploits a women and is complicit violence against them, both in its production (where they charge that abuse and exploitation of women performing in pornography is rampant) and in its consumption (where they charge that pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation and coercion of women, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment). They charge that pornography contributes to the male-centered objectification of women and thus to sexism. The other side is sex-positive feminism which centers on the idea that sexual freedom is an essential component of womens liberty. As such, sex-positive feminists oppose legal or social efforts to control sexual activities between consenting adults, whether these efforts are initiated by the government, other feminists, opponents of feminism, or any other institution. Based on these two divergent perspectives, I would like to tease out the complex issues involved in taking just a pro-porn or anti-porn position; can pornography be defined clearly? Is pornography a platform for womens sexual equality? Is it a part of the popular culture of growing up of eroticising everyday lives? Can pornography be understood just as a product of capitalism? And most importantly, the definition of morality differs across cultures, nationali-

Banning pornography converts it to an underground business where there cannot be any supervision and control on it like so many countries where prostitution illegally exists and prostitutes have no legal rights having their lower and sometimes worse conditions than those who legally work as sex-workers in other countries.
feminists argue that pornography is the cause of violent acts against women and the overall subordination of women in the society and is one symptom of the patriarchal mistreatment of women. However, it would be naive to assume that violence against women would end by restricting pornography.
The acceptance of woman as object of the desiring male gaze in the visual arts is so universal that for a woman to question or draw attention to this fact is to invite derision, to reveal herself as one who does not understand the sophisticated strategies of high culture and takes art too literally, and is therefore unable to respond to aesthetic discourses. This is of course maintained within a world - a cultural and academic world - which is dominated by male power and, often unconscious, patriarchal attitudes. In Utopia - that is to say, in a world in which the power structure was such that both men and women equally could be represented clothed or unclothed in a variety of poses and positions without any subconscious implications of dominance or submission - in a world of total and, so to speak, unconscious equality, the female nude would not be problematic. In our world, it is.
- Linda Nochlin

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

The Baroda Pamphlet

Interview with Vasudha Thozhur


Moushmi Sharma
Moushmi: Your work intends to examine the nature of celebration. Does it give your audience a new understanding of celebration, something that they probably experienced, but never realised? Vasudha: I am speaking of celebration within a certain cultural and political context where cheap rations and cheap enterM: You say, Music mimics music to an audience that mimics enjoyment and can no longer appreciate the difference. Kindly explain. V: In some of the music that I have heard at these venues, all the known parameters that enable us to distinguish music from other sounds are entirely missing.

Excerpt from the Bastar Diary


Navjot Altaf
Based on my long conversation with Mehtaram, Lakmu and Manglu Baghel-March 2011 and my reflection of a book Art and Sustainability: Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity by Sacha Kagan 2012. Proposal to start a steel project signed between Chhattisgarh government and Tata Steel in the Lohandiguda block covering 10 villages near Indravati River, one of the most fertile areas in Bastar region has been condemned by Adivasi farmers communities and other poor families .The process of combating the force and presWhat comes through is that indigenous populations do not reject necessary technological development and cultural transformation ignorantly, they are aware of consequences of insensitive development projects, forced displacements of communities and their conditions in other parts of the country and the goal of the global/

I think that we need to be aware of the fine distinction between form and content in more ways than one. When celebration becomes a packaged commodity that one buys, one needs to at least understand what is happening. It creates an artificial divide between everyday life and enjoyment - work becomes drudgery and enjoyment a sort of hysterical release, and both are robbed of their power, our lives are given over to those who wish to organize it for us.
tainment are historically known forms of state bribery, to obscure a crumbling or corrupt administrative system. I think Sometimes men sing both the male and the female parts, resulting in an excruciating form of wailing that to me mourns

Navjot in conversation with Mehtaram and Manglu Baghel at Takraguda. Bastar 2011

The Anatomy of celebration, The party plot, photographc micro narratives, Inkjet print on Aluminium composite panel, 50.8cm x 87.63 cm,(20 panels). 2010

it raises questions in the viewers mind, which is the intent - that we investigate it together, and perhaps arrive at different answers. Apart from the content of the work, there is also an attempt to bridge the gap that has developed between the artist and the viewer - hence, for instance, the title Notes and Investigations . M: As you live right next to the party plot and are a witness to hosts of weddings and functions, do you feel celebration enhances our life? Is the essence of celebration still alive in todays business-oriented society? Your take please. V: I think that we need to be aware of the fine distinction between form and content in more ways than one. When celebration becomes a packaged commodity that one buys, one needs to at least understand what is happening. It creates an artificial divide between everyday life and enjoyment - work becomes drudgery and enjoyment a sort of hysterical release, and both are robbed of their power, our lives are given over to those who wish to organize it for us. No doubt, there are moments of true collective celebration, which sometimes need organizing, but when the structure takes over the impulse, it degenerates into rituals which are sometimes self-destructive - the decibel levels that I am talking about are definitely so.

the death of music. And again the decibel level, which actually reduces ones capacity to hear. But it comes in a package which is hired for the evening, and no one has the time to evaluate its quality, so the alienation - between the music and the audience - progresses unhampered. M: Why do you say celebration is a visual experience with a darker edge? Have you experienced this edge yourself? V: Because of the element of self-destruction that is evident in most mass-scale celebrations, and the lack of civic considerations that is so much a part of it, as we all know. In fact the two go hand in hand, as we are a duality, and exist in relationship, a fact that we do not even recognize anymore. This is how we seek to obliterate the other, when we feel the slightest threat to our sense of security. From this very banal level to the level of massacre, it is the same principle that is in force. Extermination of the other is the culmination of this impulse, which is why one can continue to celebrate while ones neighbours are being slaughtered. In this body of work one has played down the grand narrative and shifted the focus to the micro-narratives that require a subtler analysis.

sures by the state authorities to sell agricultural land owned by them for industrial development has been extremely stressful and painful. While listening to Mehtaram Kashyap, a farmer and Sarpanch in Takraguda village, two artists Lakmu and Manglu Baghel who make memorial pillars and other villagers, speak about how the loss of land and rights over natural resources is difficult to understand within commonly-accepted notions of ownership because the relationship to land, forest or water is rooted in very different conceptual frameworks. They have associations with nature and believe in reciprocal touching, gestures that bring together, receive, welcome and belong to the maintenance of be-

capitalist economy to maximize the economic power of the already privileged. So they are asking to direct development towards goals worthy of humankind in order to sustain life now and in the future. Such protests, make us question the supposed link between happiness and mainstream conception of so called sustainable development which as physicist Fritjof Capra points out assumes economic growth to be the normative target for humanity We need to realize that sustainability in eco systems as well as in human society is not an individual property but a property of an entire web of relationships: it involves a whole community Sustainable communities evolve their patterns of

Workshop with children. Kopaweda Pilla Gudi. Kondagaon 2011

ing, human dignity and culture of sustainability. The belief in interconnectedness / interdependence of living beings has been part of the wisdom of people for centuries, which have been transmitted orally across generations. My being there has sensitized me to knowledge systems, tacit knowledge which is not always known explicitly and oral cultures encouraging the participatory life of the senses linked to experience of several levels of reality.

living over time in continual interaction with other living systems, both human and non human. Sustainability does not mean that things do not change: it is a dynamic process of co-evolution rather than a static stateThe first step in our endeavor to build sustainable communities must be to become ecologically literate. He stresses very strongly that Ecoliteracy should be the most important part of education at all levels. Continued on page 12

Continued on page 12

10

The Baroda Pamphlet

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

The Annihilation of Caste


Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Prologue [How this speech came to be composedand not delivered] [1:] On December 12, 1935, I received the following letter from Mr. Sant Ram, the Secretary of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal: My dear Doctor Saheb, Many thanks for your kind letter of the 5th December. I have released it for press without your permission for which I beg your pardon, as I saw no harm in giving it publicity. You are a great thinker, and it is my well-considered opinion that none else has studied the problem of Caste so deeply as you have. I have always benefited myself and our Mandal from your ideas. I have explained and preached it in the Kranti many times and I have even lectured on it in many Conferences. I am now very anxious to read the exposition of your new formulaIt is not possible to break Caste without annihilating the religious notions on which it, the Caste system, is founded. Please do explain it at length at your earliest convenience, so that we may take up the idea and emphasise it from press and platform. At present, it is not fully clear to me. ***** Our Executive Committee persists in having you as our President for our Annual Conference. We can change our dates to accommodate your convenience. Independent Harijans of Punjab are very much desirous to meet you and discuss with you their plans. So if you kindly accept our request and come to Lahore to preside over the Conference it will serve double purpose. We will invite Harijan leaders of all shades of opinion and you will get an opportunity of giving your ideas to them. The Mandal has deputed our Assistant Secretary, Mr. Indra Singh, to meet you at Bombay in Xmas and discuss with you the whole situation with a view to persuade you to please accept our request. ***** [2:] The Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal I was given to understand to be an organization of Caste Hindu Social Reformers, with the one and only aim, namely, to eradicate the Caste System from amongst the Hindus. As a rule, I do not like to take any part in a movement which is carried on by the Caste Hindus. Their attitude towards social reform is so different from mine that I have found it difficult to pull on with them. Indeed, I find their company quite uncongenial to me on account of our differences of opinion. Therefore when the Mandal first approached me, I declined their invitation to preside. The Mandal, however, would not take a refusal from me, and sent down one of its members to Bombay to press me to accept the invitation. In the end I agreed to preside. The Annual Conference was to be held at Lahore, the headquarters of the Mandal. The Conference was to meet at Easter, but was subsequently postponed to the middle of May 1936. [3:] The Reception Committee of the Mandal has now cancelled the Conference. The notice of cancellation came long after my Presidential address had been printed. The copies of this address are now lying with me. As I did not get an opportunity to deliver the address from the presidential chair, the public has not had an opportunity to know my views on the problems created by the Caste System. To let the public know them, and also to dispose of the printed copies which are lying on my hand, I have decided to put the printed copies of the address in the market. The accompanying pages contain the text of that address. [4:] The public will be curious to know what led to the cancellation of my appointment as the President of the Conference. At the start, a dispute arose over the printing of the address. I desired that the address should be printed in Bombay. The Mandal wished that it should be printed in Lahore, on the grounds of economy. I did not agree, and insisted upon having it printed in Bombay. Instead of their agreeing to my proposition, I received a letter signed by several members of the Mandal, from which I give the following extract: 27-3-36 Revered Dr. Ji, Your letter of the 24th instant addressed to Sjt. Sant Ram has been shown to us. We were a little disappointed to read it. Perhaps you are not fully aware of the situation that has arisen here. Almost all the Hindus in the Punjab are against your being invited to this province. The Jat-PatTodak Mandal has been subjected to the bitterest criticism and has received censorious rebuke from all quarters. All the Hindu leaders among whom being Bhai Parmanand, M.L.A. (Ex-President, Hindu Maha Sabha), Mahatma Hans Raj, Dr. Gokal Chand Narang, Minister for Local Self-Government, Raja Narendra Nath, M.L.C. etc., have dissociated themselves from this step of the Mandal. Despite all this the runners of the JatPat-Todak Mandal (the leading figure being Sjt. Sant Ram) are determined to wade through thick and thin but would not give up the idea of your presidentship. The Mandal has earned a bad name. ***** Under the circumstances it becomes your duty to co-operate with the Mandal. On the one hand, they are being put to so much trouble and hardship by the Hindus and if on the other hand you too augment their difficulties it will be a most sad coincidence of bad luck for them. We hope you will think over the matter and do what is good for us all. ***** [5:] This letter puzzled me greatly. I could not understand why the Mandal should displease me, for the sake of a few rupees, in the matter of printing the address. Secondly, I could not believe that men like Sir Gokal Chand Narang had really resigned as a protest against my selection as President, because I had received the following letter from Sir Gokal Chand himself: 5 Montgomery Road Lahore, 7-2-36 Dear Doctor Ambedkar, I am glad to learn from the workers of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal that you have agreed to preside at their next anniversary to be held at Lahore during the Easter holidays, it will give me much pleasure if you stay with me while you are at Lahore. More when we meet. Yours sincerely, G. C. Narang [6:] Whatever be the truth, I did not yield to this pressure. But even when the Mandal found that I was insisting upon having my address printed in Bombay, instead of agreeing to my proposal the Mandal sent me a wire that they were sending Mr. Har Bhagwan to Bombay to talk over matters personally. Mr. Har Bhagwan came to Bombay on the 9th of April. When I met Mr. Har Bhagwan, I found that he had nothing to say regarding the issue. Indeed he was so unconcerned regarding the printing of the addresswhether it should be printed in Bombay or in Lahorethat he did not even mention it in the course of our conversation. [7:] All that he was anxious for was to know the contents of the address. I was then convinced that in getting the address printed in Lahore, the main object of the Mandal was not to save money but to get at the contents of the address. I gave him a copy. He did not feel very happy with some parts of it. He returned to Lahore. From Lahore, he wrote to me the following letter: Lahore April 14, 1936 My dear Doctor Sahib, Since my arrival from Bombay, on the 12th, I have been indisposed owing to my having not slept continuously for 5 or 6 nights, which were spent in the train. Reaching here I came to know that you had come to Amritsar. I would have seen you there if I were well enough to go about. I have made over your address to Mr. Sant Ram for translation and he has liked it very much, but he is not sure whether it could be translated by him for printing before the 25th. In any case, it woud have a wide publicity and we are sure it would wake the Hindus up from their slumber. The passage I pointed out to you at Bombay has been read by some of our friends with a little misgiving, and those of us who would like to see the Conference terminate without any untoward incident would prefer that at least the word Veda be left out for the time being. I leave this to your good sense. I hope, however, in your concluding paragraphs you will make it clear that the views expressed in the address are your own and that the responsibility does not lie on the Mandal. I hope you will not mind this statement of mine and would let us have 1,000 copies of the address, for which we shall, of course, pay. To this effect I have sent you a telegram today. A cheque of Rs. 100 is enclosed herewith which kindly acknowledge, and send us your bills in due time. I have called a meeting of the Reception Committee and shall communicate their decision to you immediately. In the meantime kindly accept my heartfelt thanks for the kindness shown to me and the great pains taken by you in the preparation of your address. You have really put us under a heavy debt of gratitude. Yours sincerely, Har Bhagwan P.S. Kindly send the copies of the address by passenger train as soon as it is printed, so that copies may be sent to the Press for publication. [8:] Accordingly I handed over my manuscript to the printer with an order to print 1,000 copies. Eight days later, I received another letter from Mr. Har Bhagwan which I reproduce below: Lahore, 22-4-36 Dear Dr. Ambedkar, We are in receipt of your telegram and letter, for which kindly accept our thanks. In accordance with your desire, we have again postponed our Conference, but feel that it would have been much better to have it on the 25th and 26th, as the weather is growing warmer and warmer every day in the Punjab. In the middle of May it would be fairly hot, and the sittings in the day time would not be very pleasant and comfortable. However, we shall try our best to do all we can to make things as comfortable as possible, if it is held in the middle of May. There is, however, one thing that we have been compelled to bring to your kind attention. You will remember that when I pointed out to you the misgivings entertained by some of our people regarding your declaration on the subject of change of religion, you told me that it was undoubtedly outside the scope of the Mandal and that you had no intention to say anything from our platform in that connection. At the same time when the manuscript of your address was handed to me you assured me that that was the main portion of your address and that there were only two or three concluding paragraphs that you wanted to add. On receipt of the second instalment of your address we have been taken by surprise, as that would make it so lengthy, that we are afraid, very few people would read the whole of it. Besides that you have more than once stated in your address that you had decided to walk out of the fold of the Hindus and that that was your last address as a Hindu. You have also unnecessarily attacked the morality and reasonableness of the Vedas and other religious books of the Hindus, and have at length dwelt upon the technical side of Hindu religion, which has absolutely no connection with the problem at issue, so much so that some of the passages have become irrelevant and off the point. We would have been very pleased if you had confined your address to that portion given to me, or if an addition was necessary, it would have been limited to what you had written on Brahminism etc. The last portion which deals with the complete annihilation of Hindu religion and doubts the morality of the sacred books of the Hindus as well as a hint about your intention to leave the Hindu fold does not seem to me to be relevant. I would therefore most humbly request you on behalf of the people responsible for the Conference to leave out the passages referred to above, and close the address with what was given to me or add a few paragraphs on Brahminism. We doubt the wisdom of making the address unneces-

Setember October 2012 August - September 2012

The Baroda Pamphlet

11
the address was entirely mine, and if they were not liked by the Conference I would not mind at all if the Conference passed a resolution condemning them. So anxious was I to relieve your Mandal from having to assume responsibility for my viewsand also with the object of not getting myself entangled by too intimate an association with your ConferenceI suggested to you that I desired to have my address treated as a sort of an inaugural address and not as a Presidential address, and that the Mandal should find some one else to preside over the Conference and deal with the resolutions. Nobody could have been better placed to take a decision on the 14th than your Committee. The Committee failed to do that, and in the meantime cost of printing has been incurred which, I am sure, with a little more firmness on the part of your Committee, could have been saved. I feel sure that the views expressed in my address have little to do with the decision of your Committee. I have reason to believe that my presence at the Sikh Prachar Conference held at Amritsar has had a good deal to do with the decision of the Committee. Nothing else can satisfactorily explain the sudden volte face shown by the Committee between the 14th and the 22nd April. I must not however prolong this controversy, and must request you to announce immediately that the Session of the Conference which was to meet under my Presidentship is cancelled. All the grace [period] has by now run out, and I shall not consent to preside, even if your Committee agreed to accept my address as it is, in toto. I thank you for your appreciation of the pains I have taken in the preparation of the address. I certainly have profited by the labour, [even] if no one else does. My only regret is that I was put to such hard labour at a time when my health was not equal to the strain it has caused. Yours sincerely, B. R. Ambedkar [10:] This correspondence will disclose the reasons which have led to the cancellation by the Mandal of my appointment as President, and the reader will be in a position to lay the blame where it ought properly to belong. This is I believe the first time when the appointment of a President is cancelled by the Reception Committee because it does not approve of the views of the President. But whether that is so or not, this is certainly the first time in my life to have been invited to preside over a Conference of Caste Hindus. I am sorry that it has ended in a tragedy. But what can anyone expect from a relationship so tragic as the relationship between the reforming sect of Caste Hindus and the self-respecting sect of Untouchables, where the former have no desire to alienate their orthodox fellows, and the latter have no alternative but to insist upon reform being carried out? B. R. AMBEDKAR Rajgriha, Dadar, Bombay 14 15th May 1936 Preface to the Second Edition [1937] [1:] The speech prepared by me for the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal of Lahore has had an astonishingly warm reception from the Hindu public for whom it was primarily intended. The English edition of one thousand five hundred copies was exhausted within two months of its publication. It is has been translated into Gujarati and Tam-

sarily provocative and pinching. There are several of us who subscribe to your feelings and would very much want to be under your banner for remodelling of the Hindu religion. If you had decided to get together persons of your cult I can assure you a large number would have joined your army of reformers from the Punjab. In fact, we thought you would give us a lead in the destruction of the evil of caste system, especially when you have studied the subject so thoroughly, and strengthen our hands by bringing about a revolution and making yourself as a nucleus in the gigantic effort, but declaration of the nature made by you when repeated loses its power, and becomes a hackneyed term. Under the circumstances, I would request you to consider the whole matter and make your address more effective by saying that you would be glad to take a leading part in the destruction of the caste system if the Hindus are willing to work in right earnest toward that end, even if they had to forsake their kith and kin and the religious notions. In case you do so, I am sanguine that you would find a ready response from the Punjab in such an endeavour. I shall be grateful if you will help us at this juncture as we have already undergone much expenditure and have been put to suspense, and let us know by the return of post that you have condescended to limit your address as above. In case, you still insist upon the printing of the address in toto, we very much regret it would not be possiblerather advisable for us to hold the Conference, and would prefer to postpone it sine die, although by doing so we shall be losing the goodwill of the people because of the repeated postponements. We should, however, like to point out that you have carved a niche in our hearts by writing such a wonderful treatise on the caste system, which excels all other treatises so far written and will prove to be a valuable heritage, so to say. We shall be ever indebted to you for the pains taken by you in its preparation. Thanking you very much for your kindness and with best wishes. I am, yours sincerely, Har Bhagwan [9:] To this letter I sent the following reply : 27th April 1936 Dear Mr. Har Bhagwan, I am in receipt of your letter of the 22nd April. I note with regret that the Reception Commitiee of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal would prefer to postpone the Conference sine die if I insisted upon printing the address in toto. In reply I have to inform you that I also would prefer to have the Conference cancelledI do not like to use vague termsif the Mandal insisted upon having my address pruned to suit its circumstances. You may not like my decision. But I cannot give up, for the sake of the honour of presiding over the Conference, the liberty which every President must have in the preparation of the address. I cannot give up, for the sake of pleasing the Mandal, the duty which every President owes to the Conference over which he presides, to give it a lead which he thinks right and proper. The issue is one of principle, and I feel I must do nothing to compromise it in any way.

I would not have entered into any controversy as regards the propriety of the decision taken by the Reception Committee. But as you have given certain reasons which appear to throw the blame on me, I am bound to answer them. In the first place, I must dispel the notion that the views contained in that part of the address to which objection has been taken by the Committee have come to the Mandal as a surprise. Mr. Sant Ram, I am sure, will bear me out when I say that in reply to one of his letters I had said that the real method of breaking up the Caste System was not to bring about inter-caste dinners and inter-caste marriages but to destroy the religious notions on which Caste was founded, and that Mr. Sant Ram in return asked me to explain what he said was a novel point of view. It was in response to this invitation from Mr. Sant Ram that I thought I ought to elaborate in my address what I had stated in a sentence in my letter to him. You cannot, therefore, say that the views expressed are new. At any rate, they are not new to Mr. Sant Ram, who is the moving spirit and the leading light of your Mandal. But I go further and say that I wrote this part of my address not merely because I felt it desirable to do so. I wrote it because I thought that it was absolutely necessary to complete the argument. I am amazed to read that you characterize the portion of the speech to which your Committee objects as irrelevant and off the point. You will allow me to say that I am a lawyer and I know the rules of relevancy as well as any member of your Committee. I most emphatically maintain that the portion objected to is not only most relevant but is also important. It is in that part of the address that I have discussed the ways and means of breaking up the Caste System. It may be that the conclusion I have arrived at as to the best method of destroying Caste is startling and painful. You are entitled to say that my analysis is wrong. But you cannot say that in an address which deals with the problem of Caste it is not open to me to discuss how Caste can be destroyed. Your other complaint relates to the length of the address. I have pleaded guilty to the charge in the address itself. But who is really responsible for this? I fear you have come rather late on the scene. Otherwise you would have known that originally I had planned to write a short address, for my own convenience, as I had neither the time nor the energy to engage myself in the preparation of an elaborate thesis. It was the Mandal which asked me to deal with the subject exhaustively, and it was the Mandal which sent down to me a list of questions relating to the Caste System and asked me to answer them in the body of my address, as they were questions which were often raised in the controversy between the Mandal and its opponents, and which the Mandal found difficult to answer satisfactorily. It was in trying to meet the wishes of the Mandal in this respect that the address has grown to the length to which it has. In view of what I have said, I am sure you will agree that the fault respecting the length of the address is not mine. I did not expect that your Mandal would be so upset because I have spoken of the destruction of Hindu Religion. I thought it was only fools who were afraid of words. But lest there should be any misapprehension in the minds of the people, I have taken great pains to explain what I mean by religion and destruction of re-

ligion. I am sure that nobody, on reading my address, could possibly misunderstand me. That your Mandal should have taken a fright at mere words as destruction of religion etc., notwithstanding the explanation that accompanies .them, does not raise the Mandal in my estimation. One cannot have any respect or regard for men who take the position of the Reformer and then refuse even to see the logical consequences of that position, let alone following them out in action. You will agree that I have never accepted to be limited in any way in the preparation of my address, and the question as to what the address should or should not contain was never even discussed between myself and the Mandal. I had always taken for granted that I was free to express in the address such views as I held on the subject. Indeed, until you came to Bombay on the 9th April, the Mandal did not know what sort of an address I was preparing. It was when you came to Bombay that I voluntarily told you that I had no desire to use your platform from which to advocate my views regarding change of religion by the Depressed Classes. I think I have scrupulously kept that promise in the preparation of the address. Beyond a passing reference of an indirect character where I say that I am sorry I will not be here. . . etc. I have said nothing about the subject in my address. When I see you object even to such a passing and so indirect a reference, I feel bound to ask, did you think that in agreeing to preside over your Conference I would be agreeing to suspend or to give up my views regarding change of faith by the Depressed Classes? If you did think so, I must tell you that I am in no way responsible for such a mistake on your part. If any of you had even hinted to me that in exchange for the honour you were doing me by electing as President, I was to abjure my faith in my programme of conversion, I would have told you in quite plain terms that I cared more for my faith than for any honour from you. After your letter of the 14th, this letter of yours comes as a surprize to me. I am sure that any one who reads them [both] will feel the same. I cannot account for this sudden volte face on the part of the Reception Committee. There is no difference in substance between the rough draft which was before the Committee when you wrote your letter of the 14th, and the final draft on which the decision of the Committee communicated to me in your letter under reply was taken. You cannot point out a single new idea in the final draft which is not contained in the earlier draft. The ideas are the same. The only difference is that they have been worked out in greater detail in the final draft. If there was anything to object to in the address, you could have said so on the14th. But you did not. On the contrary, you asked me to print off 1,000 copies, leaving me the liberty to accept or not the verbal changes which you suggested. Accordingly I got 1,000 copies printed, which are now lying with me. Eight days later you write to say that you object to the address and that if it is not amended the Conference will be cancelled. You ought to have known that there was no hope of any alteration being made in the address. I told you when you were in Bombay that I would not alter a comma, that I would not allow any censorship over my address, and that you would have to accept the address as it came from me. I also told you that the responsibility. for the views expressed in

12
il. It is being translated into Marathi, Hindi, Punjabi and Malayalam. The demand for the English text still continues unabated. To satisfy this demand it has become necessary to issue a Second Edition. Considerations of history and effectiveness of appeal have led me to retain the original form of the essaynamely, the speech formalthough I was asked to recast it in the form of a direct narrative. [2:] To this edition I have added two appendices. I have collected in Appendix I the two articles written by Mr. Gandhi by way of review of my speech in the Harijan , and his letter to Mr. Sant Ram, a member of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal. [3:] In Appendix II, I have printed my views in reply to the articles of Mr. Gandhi collected in Appendix I. Besides Mr. Gandhi, many others have adversely criticised my views as expressed in my speech. But I have felt that in taking notice of such adverse comments, I should limit myself to Mr. Gandhi. This I have done not because what he has said is so weighty as to deserve a reply, but because to many a Hindu he is an oracle, so great that when he opens his lips it is expected that the argument must close and no dog must bark. [4:] But the world owes much to rebels who would dare to argue in the face of the pontiff and insist that he is not infallible. I do not care about the credit which every progressive society must give to its rebels. I shall be satisfied if I make the Hindus realize that they are the sick men of India, and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and happiness of other Indians. B. R. AMBEDKAR Preface to the Third Edition [1944] [1:] The Second Edition of this Essay appeared in 1937, and was exhausted within a very short period. A new edition has been in demand for a long time. It was my intention to recast the essay so as to incorporate into it another essay of mine called Castes in India, their Origin and their Mechanism, which appeared in the issue of the Indian Antiquary Journal for May 1917. But as I could not find time, and as there is very little prospect of my being able to do so, and as the demand for it from the public is very insistent, I am content to let this be a mere reprint of the Second Edition. [2:] I am glad to find that this essay has become so popular, and I hope that it will serve the purpose for which it was intended. B. R. AMBEDKAR 22, Prithwiraj Road New Delhi 1st December 1944
Continued from Page 9 / Bastar diary

The Baroda Pamphlet

Setember Octoer 2012 August - September 2012 Continued from Page 9 / Interview with Vasudha

When disjunctive knowing is alienated from the life world, how do young adults get interested in expanded modes of knowing. How to develop listening or visioning, sensitivity and attentiveness to the complexities of human knowledge from very young age. Eco feminists philosophy that stresses on the notions of care and relationship with all life and its potential to create experience make relationships and expand mental activity beyond the linear confines of purposive consciousness Eco-feminists philosophy, eco politics, ecological aesthetics which deal with multi layered systems of relationships make sense Artist working with the young can create passion for perception, to perceive, to feel, learning by linking, not by isolating and dealing with the questions /concerns, such as how does the consciousness which is empowered by mainstream education system that perpetuates techno-optimism ,atomistic and individualistic worldview does not upset the balance of the body and other knowledge systems, and how could
Niloofar Roshani has completed her M.A Sociology and also has done her P.G.Diploma in Gender, Culture, and Development Studies at Womens Studies Dept from the University of Pune. Kiran Subbiah is a visual artist based in Bangalore. Navjot Altaf is a visual artist based in Mumbai. Prof. Shivaji Panikkar is an art historian and is at present the Dean of The School of Culture and Creative Expression, Ambedkar University, New Delhi. Vasudha Thozhur is a visual artist based in Vadodara. Piyush Thakkar is a visual artist and also a poet based in Vadodara. T.V. Chandran is an art historian and he also teaches at the Trivananthapuram College of Fine Arts. Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and is also an associate professor at The School of Art & Aesthetics, J.N.U, New Delhi. Jagadish Chandra is an art historian now based in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Indrapramit Roy is a painter and he also teaches the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara.
Copyright of the articles belong to the respective authors. All the views expressed in the writings are of the respective authors. The publication does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed by the contributors.

the current questions like Takraguda protest, present values, worldviews enable the young to explore, understand and express How, over the decades the world of arts has become a hyper specialized professional field, proclaiming as autonomous, encouraging consumers and practitioners to isolate themselves from other social groups or web of life can be understood in the context of development, hyper-consumerism and culture of sustainability / unsustainability How can the sense of the quality and poetry of life be raised that French sociologist and philosopher Edgar Morin evokes According to Morin to bring in change only ecology based politics seems capable of seeing such a project through The new avenues could converge towards a historic metamorphosis of society. (Published by Le Monde) My concern about the culture of sustainability is close to his concerns when I work with children or communities in Bastar or elsewhere

M: How best do you think celebration can be celebrated in the world of art? V: When we begin to see art where it is happening, as opposed to being directed as to where to look for it. M: Has the notion of celebration changed for you over the years? Does being a constant witness to glitzy celebrations influence your idea of the term? V: Personally, ritualized forms of celebration impose certain constraints which always make me uneasy. Difficult though it might be, one needs to learn to celebrate every moment, with all the challenges that it might contain. The Anatomy of Celebration/ Interview with Moushumi Sharma/Asian Age, (interview conducted on April 6th 2012) Acknowledgements: Bhavna Khakkar/Latitude 28, New Delhi

Issue no-1/August-September 2012, Printed and Published by Sumita Mukherjee on behalf of Desirepaths Publishers, 401, Shree Prutha Residency-2, Shubham Park, Gotri Road, Vadodara-390021.Phone-+919624562416. Director: Rana Mukherjee Propretior: Sumita Mukherjee Editor: V.Divakar Research Editor: Rollie Mukherjee Copy Editor: Tanmoy Gangopadhyay Design: Chinnan, Sreejith Design interns: Shefali jain, Veda Kolleri

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Issue no-1/ August 2012, Printed and Published by Sumita Mukherjee on behalf of Desire Paths Publishers, 401, Shree Prutha Residency-2, Shubham Park, Gotri Road, Vadodara-390021.Phone-+919624562416. Printed at Pixel Graphics, Saffron complex, Fatehganj, Vadodara.Propretior: Sumita Mukherjee, Editor:V.Divakar.