24 January, 2021

Art For Their Sake

We urgently need art that reflects injustices to which most Indians are tethered

Art For Their Sake
With India facing enormous social and economic problems, the role of art and literature has become extremely important in today's context. There are broadly two theories about art and literature: 'art for art's sake' and 'art for social purpose'. According to the first theory, art and literature are meant to create beautiful or amusing works to please and entertain people and the artists themselves. If they are used for propagating social ideas they cease to be art and become propaganda. Proponents of this view include writers like Keats, Tennyson, T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound in English literature, Edgar Allan Poe in American literature, Agyeya and the 'reetikal' and 'chhayavadi' poets in Hindi, Jigar Moradabadi in Urdu and Tagore in Bengali literature.

The other theory says art and literature should serve the people by making them aware of oppression and injustice and increasing their sensitivity towards these issues. This school would include...


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