Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Schools breeding hatred
access_time 14 Sep 2023 10:37 AM GMT
access_time 16 Aug 2023 5:46 AM GMT
Ramadan: Its essence and lessons
access_time 13 March 2024 9:24 AM GMT
Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightThe poison is not in...

The poison is not in words, but inside

The poison is not in words, but inside

It's no wonder that a prominent dancer's comments on her YouTube channel, insulting her co-star's colour and body, have drawn a lot of criticism. But even after being controversial and condemned by people from all walks of life, she has been sticking to her stand. There is no point in making a fake apology out of fear of the public and the media for something one is not convinced of - especially when there are plenty of public figures who do so. However, dance artiste Satyabhama's conviction that what she said is right deserves to be questioned. The dirt in the mind comes out as words. More than the words, it is the mind that has to be cleansed. The reason she insulted prominent dancer RLV Ramakrishnan's Mohiniyattam dance was his complexion and lack of 'beauty'. Satyabhama said that Mohiniyattam is meant only for women, 'Mohanan' (male who enchants) cannot replace 'Mohini' (female who enchants), people with a raven complexion are not suitable for it, and even the mother who gave birth to him would not stand his sight. To put it mildly, her attitude was as undignified as the language she used which reflects a mean attitude of seeing skin colour as a criterion of greatness, talent or beauty. It is not difficult to see that contempt for black in the context is also a symptom of caste hatred.

There is nothing wrong in criticizing the content or presentation of dance forms or the artists' expressive styles. No detailed information is available about the origin or history of Mohiniyattam, which is considered to be the unique enchanting dance form of Kerala. But historians say that it has evolved over the centuries. Her remarks that Mohiniyattam is not for men is more a product of personal animus rather than any artistic appreciation. Those in the know say that the dance form has evolved a lot from the lowly practice of displaying the female body as an object to the feudal lords. Anyway, RLV Ramakrishnan is known as one of those who reformed this dance form. Satyabhama erred not only in the language used in her criticism but also in its content. The references indicating caste and colour prejudice were indeed unedifying. Strong protests have been raised from many quarters against Satyabhama's stance and language. At the same time, it must be asked how many people have genuinely accepted the true ideals of human equality beyond the outward expression of the protests. There is no point in blaming Satyabhama alone without acknowledging that casteism and colour prejudice still dominate our attitudes today. Even in the language, the use of phrases like 'white-washing' and 'black hands' carry a colour prejudice in an invisible form. And caste consciousness is still a burning reality of our social life. Only that it sometimes comes out through some people. Even art is unable to refine man. Who decides beauty? And who decided that only white constitutes beauty? Does art too have caste and colour?

The fact that emerged here is that polluted notions come out in dirty language. As for language, our public domain is turning into a huge garbage dump in which there is no difference between politicians and cultural workers. In this ministers and people's representatives are no exception. The filth disseminated through the mic and social media corrupts our public sphere. We are becoming a group with no respect for others as if the language used to politely express opposition and dissent has been lost. The problem is not the absence of law and conventions. We have no role models in leaders. In recent times the ones who made significant contributions to the Malayalam dictionary of filth words are prominent figures from various political parties. Language, dance, art and culture all should take their origin from the man within man. The solution is to recapture that man.

Show Full Article
TAGS:RLV RamakrishnanSatyabhama
Next Story