Thursday, June 12, 2008

National Culture Policy and hidden danger within it

“Let me make it clear at the very outset that the exercise of drafting a National Culture Policy does not presuppose the existence of or the identification of a ‘national culture’. That would be absurd and meaningless and therefore out of question. The first point then is that what exactly are we trying to do by drafting a National Culture Policy.”

------Shyam Benegal, a film director, is on the drafting committee of the National Culture Policy

So it’s another trap which will be another kind of control plan of bourgeoisie nationalist over multicultural, purely diverse society. Very absurd idea that somebody is used to be as national culture. As already accepted and shown by what is a national culture which is always reflected by Bolliwood-filmi song-dance, nothing beyond this. Already mostly middle class society feel the heat of it and its taken to all part of life, including traditional festivity. Nowadays mostly traditional festival or traditional marriage ceremonies etc are dominated by an imposed culture influenced by overdose of bolliwood –flimi-song-dance whatsoever known form of it. National prime-time reality shows are nothing but platform of hindi-bolliwood flimi functionality. So in this scenario a national culture policy by government will be fully fatal incident and another blow to people who shares a very bright –diverse – grounded culture with different language with lot different custom. But there are beneficiary also as known already a rich-elite class and this class is blooming in the name of neo liberal economy and globalization with new world order, will about to make most out of this national culture policy.

“As everyone knows, India has a vast and varied cultural heritage and there is a government intervention both at the central as well as the state level in matters related to culture. The intervention has been in many areas like museums, preservation and maintenance of historical sites, organizing cultural festivals and so on. The question whether government intervention in cultural affairs is necessary or desirable is a separate debate but as of now we are reconciled to this fact that government intervention does exist.”

As Shyam Benegal said we see here real future worry for people who mostly poor but still keep maintain a traditional way of living along with rich heritage. As any culture is an ever-evolving subject, it will be boomerang to anybody if intervenes in between the evolving process. And when it’s from a bourgeoisie government then of course there are some hidden agenda to control people and its true spirit and is recommend by bourgeoisie section of society or elite middle class.

“Supporting a cultural environment must also take into consideration the distinction between popular culture and mass culture. Popular culture evolves from the participation of a large number of people. Mass culture, on the other hand, is created for the people, generally imposed and has the tendency to manipulate through the use of mass media like television. Essentially an urban phenomenon, mass culture is an important tool in urbanising the country. It has a tendency to homogenise. The recent IPL cricket tournament is a good example. It changed our cultural life by taking our 45 evenings. Similarly, Bollywood, a term which I abhor because it does not represent the whole of Indian cinema and has a tendency to create a hegemony.”

As Mr Benegal truly point out confrontation of popular culture and mass culture and an extreme tendency to control mass culture through popular culture which is reflected and already proved in most of recent activities of country.

[Bolliwodd flimi culture/products emerged, imposed and often projected as national culture and placed comfortably among Indian elite middle class which is an irony and vital tragedy to Indian diverse culture and its people]

But these all cultural confrontations are not alien things as it’s bound to happen in all over world. Now all effective and real out put are coming which is result of cultural imperialism. So not only India, any kind of National Culture Policy is fate to all mass people of world in various countries as aggressive capitalist bourgeoisie class required as a new weaponry along with their other products to influence and divert motivation and destroy diverse cultural spirit. Again a vast identity crisis is awaiting as it already followed.

And for mass people no alternative but keep culture side by side along with other struggles.

article by Shyam Benegal

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