Wednesday, November 06, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 61 (Vol # 7) Dated 06 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 61 (Vol # 7) Dated 06 Nov 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL of Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are going ahead from the last paragraph on page No 486 of Volume 7 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated continually)

Present Deplorable State of Drama
30.           What is the present state of affairs in the field of Drama in India today?  What was       a powerful mass media capable of influencing the people's minds is even now capable doing that.  But, is it enough if it incites, inflames and titillates?  Is it right to do so?  By drama and cinema much good can be done to the society ideally.  But what happens practically?  While saying that much good and useful things can be done for the society by the power of the atom, they seem to keep on piling up weapons of mass destruction, isn't it?  That is exactly what is happening about the usefulness of drama and cinema too!

31.          What should responsible writers and directors of such art forms do?  They should be persevering towards ennobling the minds of the masses. They should be writing and enacting such dramas, endeavouring to channelize the people's feelings and senses in a socially acceptable manner towards mutual amity and peacefulness.  What happens is the exact opposite.  The one watching a drama or cinema today, when he walks out at the end of it, is worse off than before he had entered that hall or theatre.  Not only in terms of the cost of the tickets and cost of the snacks and beverages; but, is mentally and morally more corrupt than what he was, just a few minutes back!  'Desire and Anger are the worst enemies of mankind to be abhorred and kept at arm's length', declares the Bhagawat Gita!  In what happens on stage and screen nowadays, these two are the predominant thrusts.  They instigate mutual hatred exploiting every division and schism and pamper to animalistic carnal desires, as though there is nothing else.

32.          It is true that such media are eternal crops of long gestation.  I have been talking only highly of it all this time.  But in the olden times there were limits to the quantum and quality of liberties one could take as an author, director and actor.  Once those limits have been crossed, the art form itself seems to have been wasted.  There were unwritten but well known laws about what can be shown on stage / screen and what is taboo.  Some scenes were conveyed without being enacted, by way of being mentioned in conversations. 

33.          To act on the stage there was a separate caste known as 'Bharata Putras', who never used to let others enter their caste.  There was no chance as existing now, for boys to run away from home and make a living in cinema or for the woman to enter that field and become a star.  In addition to all this though they used to keep a physical distance between the sexes and were committed to their own rules of decency and élan, only real husband and wife could act in the role of a wedded pair.  This used to be known as 'natee-sutradhara' tradition.  Nowadays all these restrictions and regulations have gone by the wind. Many children opt to thieving and pick-pocketing due to the influence of the cinemas it seems.  This is the reason for women not caring anymore for their name and reputation and dress up flaunting their physical assets.  More than any time in the past, the threat to the moral standards of the society from the art of drama is very high now because, at least till it was only enacted on stage as a drama, the public getting exposed to it were less.  But now as cinema, with CDs and U-tube and Face-book; any number of copies can be printed and can be seen on Tele Vision, I-pads and even Cell Phones; thus affecting a much greater percentage of the public!

34.          Yes it is true that the Art of Drama is great and if conducted wholesomely in a positive way, it can be more cost-effective than maintaining a large police force so as to keep the people well informed and well behaved.  But looking at the side-effects, to me it looks that this cinema and drama are things that should be done away with completely!  It is enough to keep it at the level of visual-education as documentaries and may be for some scientific studies and experiments.  I am tempted to say that for social reform and growth of religion, the Art of Drama / Cinema are not required at all, whether they are useful otherwise or not.  Others may praise me.  But for the sake of popularity, if I keep mum and do not say what occurs to me as bad and sinful, there can be no greater sin.  If we cannot control that industry legally, in my opinion, it should be done away with totally.  Some people may think that if they produce films based on PurãNãs, Swamiji will approve of the same.  But when I am of the opinion that even social movies are unnecessary, there is no question of discussion on whether I will approve of our actors donning any religious and divine roles or not!

35.          Starting from Veda-Adhyayanam, we have lost many assets of this great tradition of what is Sanãtana Hindu Culture!  Looking at the way drama, cinema and other such mediums of communications are going on and looking at their deleterious effect on the society, I feel that this ancient Art of Drama may also go defunct and vanish.  As Cinema has become some uncontrollable flood of fury and depredation and continues to become worse, I am tempted to say, let our ancient Art of Drama go defunct into oblivion.  Just because I am saying, I do not think that everything is going to change for the better.  Whether they change or not, I am only doing my duty, by commenting on the deplorable state of affairs and say that they must make an effort to keep some levels of decency and decorum!

(KTSV Adds as a post script. World has changed a lot since PeriyavãL made these above observations.  With U-Tube, Face-Book, Twitter and all of them available on Computer and I-Pads and Cell-Phones, almost everybody has access to enormous amount of a whole wide-spectrum of choice from the horrendous and dreadfully regrettable to truly and eminently wonderful.  Like for example, I could refer to the original of the sloka in 'Uttara Rama Charitam' by Bhava Bhuti quoted in paragraph number 7, in Deivathin Kural # 58 (Vol # 7) dated 29 Oct 2013, by locating it using the search engine Google.  That shows that there are people making use of the modern abilities and facilities for ensuring that not all the assets of our ancient traditions are lost for ever.  The readers are assured that after completion of this Volume # 7 (in some 100 or so e-mails) the whole of Deivathin Kural will be published after due editing and systematization as an e-book.)

(To be continued with the next topic.)




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