Ramon Magsaysay award winner T M Krishna on Saturday said cultural authoritarianism was far more powerful than economic power and what was happening in Bollywood now was another example of that power. He was replying to a query on the development in Bollywood in the wake of a threat by MNS to Hindi film “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, during an interaction at the Kovalam Literary Festival in Thiruvananthapuram.
“I think what is happening today in so called Bollywood is another example of that power. You will have all the money in the world. But if certain cultural oppression is practised, that has greater pressure and impact than all the money you have,” Krishna said.
Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, slated for Diwali release on October 28, had been embroiled in controversy over the past few weeks after MNS opposed the screening of movies featuring Pakistani actors after the Uri terror attack.
Earlier in the day, the decks were cleared for its release after Karan Johar and Producers’ Guild President Mukesh Bhatt met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and assured him that filmmakers would not work with Pakistani artistes, given the people’s sentiments in India post the Uri attack.
Asked about the controversy surrounding triple talaq and Uniform Civil Code, Krishna sought to know whether they had been mooted with the right intention. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board had taken a stand to oppose the Centre’s affidavit, which said the practise of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims needed a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.
AIMPLB and other Muslim bodies had said they would boycott the Law Commission’s proceedings in the matter and had accused the Modi government of waging a “war” against their personal laws. They also said a Uniform Civil Code would “kill” India’s pluralism.
Krishna said the the biggest tragedy of the country was that “we have surrendered, gifted politics to politicians”. Another important thing was loss of the Left, resulting in weakening of progressive movement in the country, he noted.
“When I say Left…not as a political party. But the idea of Left. I think that is one of the biggest reasons why the progressive movement that allowed diverse conversion, disagreement and everything has died down,” he said.
“I think if Left wakes up….then we will have an interesting discourse. Artists will say different things and if that does not happen, we will have a problem.”