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'Youth see a bad India'

In his inimitable style, Sukumar Azhikode gave a slamming to politicians, misguided youth and the Hindutva brigade. He was in the city recently to deliver a lecture on `India's aesthetic heights'.


Dr. Sukumar Azhikode, social activist and writer, was in the city recently.

`India's aesthetic heights' was his subject at a three-day lecture series organised at the YMCA Hall. Azhikode asserted that one of the main issues facing the country was that our youth were not responding to the crises in society.

According to him, the younger generation was not being guided properly to become good leaders. Blame it on the "vested interests of the present-day leadership". Citing the example of Vikarna, a Kaurava who questioned Bhishma for Panchali's vasthrakshepam, Azhikode said that the politicians should mould the youth instead of indulging in meaningless word play.

"Nehru had discovered India before ruling it. Nehru had called upon the youth to go to the villages. But today, the youth see the wrong picture of the nation. A noted American writer says the entire world politics is leading to unlimited cruelty," Azhikode said.

Recalling his visits to the Ajanta caves and the Sun temple in Konark, Azhikode said that Fergusson was of the opinion that an artist from India would make anything look beautiful.

India is considered an agricultural economy. But centuries ago, the subcontinent was a major commercial centre. The wood palaces of Pataliputra were comparable to those in west Asia. Times had changed.

In Khajuraho, there were around 120 small temples that belonged to the Saivites, Vaishnavites and the Jain communities.

"These temples had stood together even when the Saivites and Vaishnavites were at loggerheads. In Khajuraho lies a silent message against the Gujarat massacre," Azhikode said.

According to Dr. Azhikode, a major factor that contributed to the extinction of ancient Indian art was that the artist never got appreciated for his work.

Dr. Azhikode also shared his views on Hindustani Music. "Hindustani is a blend of Hindu and Muslim genres of music. The culture that supported this music called our country Hindustan. The `Hindutva' brigade has gone to the extent of saying that it was because of Hinduism that India was called Hindustan. Instead of fighting in the name of religion, let's make music for our society," he said.

R.S.

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