24 November, 2020

Totem And Taboo

The Baroda episode portrays the ways politicians hijack debates on free art Updates

Totem And Taboo
"Only since Ravi Varma clothed gods did today's prudery begin taking roots." Anjolie Ela Menon

"We've a vast tradition of nude pictorial depiction. In fact, it's what we study." Vivan Sundaram


Is it a coincidence that every time the Narendra Modi government finds itself in hot water, a saffron-tinged 'cultural' issue crops up that helps divert attention from its troubles? The saffron brigade's assault earlier this month on the Fine Arts Faculty, MS University, Baroda, provided a timely diversion for the Gujarat dispensation, under fire for the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. The architect of the May 9 attack was Niraj Jain, a VHP-Bajrang Dal activist, and his target, 23-year-old final-year student Chandramohan Srimantula, a Lalit Kala award-winner.

It was upon being...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Shruti Ravindran

Latest Magazine

November 30, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section