Monday, Feb 17, 2003
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Sir, This refers to Rahul De's article, "Which Mrs. Iyer"? (Feb. 8). By postulating Mrs. Iyer's role in the film in terms of humanism or strategist, he seems to have misconstrued the message of Aparna Sen's film which has to do not only with communal harmony in that human beings should help one another in time of need but also the ways in which civil society should function.
No civil society functions based on humanism alone. Given that man is selfish and possessive by nature, the political philosophy which greatly influenced the growth of civil society in countries such as England for example was based on the concept of social contract.
To expect a middle class person like Mrs. Iyer to save Raja only out of humanistic considerations may be good as an ideal. Modern civil society does not function only on the basis of ideals.
* * *
Sir, How an intellectual probe can offer a kaleidoscopic view of human actions (Mrs. Iyer's), painting them in myriad colours that were intended neither in letter nor in spirit, is conspicuous in this literary piece.
I am not sure whether Mr. De used the movie as crutches or as a catapult to further his point.
Nor did he conclude convincingly as to whether he would want us to need the likes of Mrs. Iyer in our society or not.
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