The Future of Art

September 20, 2015

The FTII students just completed 100 days of their protest; they also completed ten days of an indefinite fast. There is no answer from the Indian Government. The general non-artistic, non-intellectual, but well-to-do public looks on with indifference, mildly mixed with scorn and distaste.

Let us take a moment to see what is being acted out here.
A sophisticated and intelligent group of youngsters have concerns about the way their lives are being handled, and they use tools of communication to try to get our attention.
We disapprove and ask them to shut-up and do-what-they-are-told-to-do.
They continue to speak, and ask...
We don't have answers to their questions. And we don't try to find out.
They continue to speak, and ask... 
We have no response. So we ignore them.

A hundred days is too long for artists to stay away from the work they love. A strike is not a way of life. It must end, and a solution must be found.
They decide to fast. An indefinite fast. If art cannot move us, maybe lives at stake will?

By continuing to ignore this, what are we really doing?
We are saying, loud and clear, that they must not question. They can die, but they cannot question.

And the future generation of artists; what example are we setting for them? Will they show the same restraint? What tools will they choose to register their own dissent?

Because believe me, there are more out there. Young, innocent, some even yet unborn...
They are watching...

This was, and is, an attempt to register concerns using the noblest and most peaceful of methods. No destruction, no harm, no violence. Only words, and songs, and films, and paintings... and support from hundreds of artists, educators, students, parents... And then, as a last resort, the ultimate offering - own human life.

This was what the land of Satyagraha taught us. The idea of India will lie shattered if these democratic tools lose their value. My loyalties lie with the souls who fought for our freedom and gave me the right to write these very words, and I hope yours do too.

The strike is on.

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