KOCHI: The demolition of statues of Lenin and Periyar cannot merely be seen an act of political vandalism, but it should also be viewed as an affront to the creativity of the artist who modelled it, said Carnatic musician TM Krishna. He was speaking on ‘Art in Democracy’ at the Krithi International Literary Festival at Bolgatty Palace here on Thursday.
“Such acts of vandalism should not happen. I often ask myself why we are offended only at the insult to political ideology and not the ones targeted at creativity. Did we ever think the statue of Lenin or Periyar is also a work of art? Did the vandalism insult only the ideology of Lenin and Periyar or was it an insult to the creativity of the sculptor? This question deeply bothers me. Why don’t we see the creative spirit of the person who made the statue? We should try and understand what constitutes art and the role of art in society. Gandhiji may be irrelevant to the people who demolish it but every Gandhi statue is unique,” said Krishna.
On the political situation in the country, he said it has been coming for some time, but we did not see it. “If we are in a horrible situation, it has been coming for some time. The political scenario created by Modi and co did not fall from the skies. Today, we find it agonising and a painful experience. Despite our best efforts to avert the prevailing political scenario from happening, it happened nonetheless. The presumption that art does something for society is nonsense. I want to debunk the idea that art is going to magically alter society. Unless we challenge literature, art or artist, the status quo will prevail,” he said.
Krishna said every art has its own context and way of communicating. They have different feelings. The way we respond to Carnatic music is totally different from our reaction to cinema. That’s the magnificence of human mind. Human beings realise we have to enrich ourselves in different ways. Every art form is a treasure that helps transform something in you. There is something that binds art and democracy. Democracy seeks freedom and seeks expression devoid of fear, he said.