Noted historian and political thinker Aijaz Ahmad has said that American popular culture is catching up among the Indian middle class.
Inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Purogamana Kalasahithya Sanghom here on Friday, he said that global capitalism had taken over every sphere of life. ‘’All are pro-imperialists. All NGOs pay respect to Narendra Modi. Bourgeoisie has no problem with imperialism. Transnational finance capital is taking its roots deep in every country with every government in the world accepting the supremacy of capital,’’ he said.
The youth are taking interest only in the present and not in the future. In such a scenario, degeneration of our culture was going unnoticed, Aijaz Ahmad said.
He pointed out that the electronic media and cinema were under the control of the corporate houses. In the given situation, it is very difficult for the progressive movements to counter the invasion of the American popular culture as it involves enormous amount of money, he said.
‘’In a completely transformed situation, we have to re-launch the movement, experiment all new forms of movements to confront the invasion of American culture,’’ he said. The vast majority of people were under the influence of a culture defined by the electronic media, he added.
The late Marxist ideologue P Govinda Pillai’s last book, ‘Bhakthi Movement - Renaissance or Revivalism?, was released at the function. Releasing the book by giving a copy to poet Sugathakumari, former vice-chairman of Planning Board Prabhat Patnaik said that PG would have been extremely satisfied in completing such a book. Many in the country believed that Bhakthi movement represented a resistance against the caste system.
“It was a consolidation of resistance against a feudal order. It was during the 6th century, when a whole new oppressive class was reigning, that the Bhakthi movement was started in the country, which lasted for one thousand years,’’ Patnaik observed. He also recollected that the Movement had also sought a certain egalitarian order.
Referring to the emerging economic situation in the world, he said that there was threat to the global capitalism, and in India, too, it is going to be in a crisis. Cultural movement had a great role to play at this juncture, Patnaik said.
Presiding over the function, poet O N V Kurup said that even the Leftist publications were also publishing literature that had been acting as a catalyst to the degeneration of our culture. He exhorted the progressive literary movement activists to imbibe the spirit of our ancient culture. ONV pointed out that by rejecting those works such as Ramayanam and Mahabharatham, progressive movement had committed a blunder that had created lot of confusion and doubt.
Former Education Minister M A Baby honoured ONV, Sugathakumari and Puthusseri Ramachandran at the function.
V N Murali welcomed the gathering. Pirappancode Murali, Kadakampally Surendran and others also attended.