THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Expressing deep angst about the changing human conditions in the country and the transformation taking place in the political landscape, art editor Sadanand Menon said here on Saturday hegemonic ideologies were seeping to the system and mere sloganeering would not be enough to counter it.
Delivering the Chinta Ravindran memorial lecture on the topic ‘Culture in the time of Maggie noodles and Patanjali’ he said society has increasingly been developing a ‘dry eye syndrome’ by losing the faculty of feeling to grieve even when a boy is killed in the open by a group of goons.
In the past few years, the incessant noise had been overwhelming the cultural sphere and there were multiple efforts to make people aware of their ‘caste, creed, religion, history, love for cow on a daily basis.’
Referring to the emergence of the middle class in the post-liberalisation era, he said the middle class was rediscovering its power. But ever since the introduction of liberalisation and the emergence of the middle class in the country, everyone was becoming a prisoner of brands. “You are prisoners in the world of brands, As we can’t go without it, the struggle turns tougher’ he said.
“When 839 journalists covered the Lakme fashion show in Mumbai, there was just one journalist to write about the farmer suicides that occurred in Maharashtra,” he said.He said, 25 years down the line, the country’s middle-class population had increased to over 300 million. But at the same time, the lives of over 800 million people have plunged into miserable state.
Presiding over the function, mediaperson Sashikumar said it was time to reassert the Left credentials. He said the objective reality was marginalisation of progressive forces and emergence of fascism.
“We should not normalise what is not normal. The role of the intellectual is to stand against the popular. It is time for the intellectuals formerly associated with the party and movement to reassert their left credentials,” he said. Writer Paul Zacharia delivered the introductory speech. C S Venkiteswaran and Sunil P Ilayidam also spoke on the occasion.