Tag Archives: satyajit ray

On Criticism

Criticism is something which has always fascinated me. I have read many a times that constructive criticism is good and have seen people claiming that they are fine with criticism. However, like everything else, it is easier said than done. To be very frank, there have been quite a number of times when I abhorred the person who criticized me. I am sure it has happened with majority of the people, at some point.

I always felt that it is way too easy to criticize someone or her works than to actually understand her and her works. Hence, I consciously try to keep myself away from criticizing people, even if I don’t like them or whatever they are doing. Nonetheless, I find it rather astonishing how some people keep on passing judgment about others day in and day out. It is next to impossible to like everyone, every film, every book, every song and so on and so forth. However, using harsh words for everyone and everything that you dislike, not keeping in mind what the other person beside you might be feeling, is something which I personally detest.

While going through my Twitter Timeline or the Facebook status messages, I find that there are people who like to criticize something or the other. Some do it articulately, with clever usage of words and some do it blatantly. For some people everything that is new is bad, and for others vice versa. Prejudice and dogma are the traits, which I feel, can result in stagnation of your growth as a human being, emotionally as well as professionally. Yet, we love to stick to them and see anything beyond that. We will criticize a universally acclaimed personality without even going through his works. When someone confronts you and ask you to first read and then criticize, the critique will come up with bizarre reasons of not reading their works. It might be an attack on their characters, their way of living or something negative which they might have heard of. Then again they will compare them with other reputed people who, according to them were more talented than them yet due to various reasons did not reach that point of success. For such people, those famous creations are not even worthy enough to read or watch. The word ‘logic’ is often missing from their point of views. It is true success is something which more or less everyone craves for and a few can go to any level to reach that level of success. But, it is also true that if you are not talented and hard-working you will never able to succeed and maintain your honour. In the field of literature and culture, your creations are not limited to the narrow confinement of your office. It is the readers, audience and the viewers who will make or break you. Whatever is good will be appreciated if people are able to understand them. The inimitable creations of a Rabindranath Tagore or a Satyajit Ray are universally liked by people. The laurels and adoration that they have received and continue to receive from all corners of the world can never be simply fluke or due to destiny. Their creations must have struck the right chords with its innumerable readers and viewers and it is foolish to even overlook that very achievement, if not the others. Yes there are millions of people who might not understand or like their works. It is perfectly fine not to like them, but to demean them and their works is something which can be avoided. More so when you have hardly any knowledge about their works. No need to value them or their fine works, but the negativity can be spared.

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Water – An Enemy

Yes, water can act as an enemy. Yesterday, I saw a tele-serial which dealt with the issue. It was a story of a doctor and her fight, set up on the backdrop of a temple. The doctor witnessed a peculiar trend of people being admitted to her hospital with similar symptoms at a particular point of the week. She found out that people visiting the nearby temple, known for its miracles, and consuming the ‘charanamrita‘ were the ones with the symptoms of the fatal disease. With more probing, she came to the conclusion that the charanamrita water, being polluted, was the main culprit. From here started her fight against superstition and stigma. She tried to convince the management of the temple as also the people, but without any success. She proposed to shut down the temple for a few days in order to clean the water. The management took offense to it. The local system was also of no help. She received a little help from the media initially, but found herself alone at the end. Eventually, she had to give up her life to prove herself correct.

The story, for me, is nothing new. Satyajit Ray, in his movie, Ganashatru made in 1989, has already dealt with the crisis. The phenomenon of people consuming polluted water in a temple and still considering it holy shows how glaring the problem is. In India, Ganges, the holy river has a large number of temples at its banks. As we visit these places of worship, we are alarmed to see the amount of waste floating in the water which people use. Religious fanaticism and superstition do not deter people from referring that water as ‘holy’ and which can cause miracles ! It is understandable in a country where a large segment of the people are illiterate.

The actual problem lies with the management, who take advantage of such superstition and fanaticism. India is a land of temples where many of them have been pronounced as tourist spots. We can actually witness a lot of foreigners thronging here and there along the threshold of the temples and the areas surrounding it. Being a tourist spot the temples draw a huge amount of money as donation. Hence, the management does not want to close a temple for even a single day. Here, comes to the forefront the perils of greed even when the place is on the verge of an epidemic. It is the media which can play an active role in unmasking the voracity of the management during such times. On the contrary, what we generally witness is the collusion of the media and the bureaucracy.

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