Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"An FIR against Nandy is the triumph of stupidity" --Chandrabhan Prasad

Although popular Dalit writer and thinker Chandrabhan Prasad feels what Ashis Nandy said at the Jaipur Literature Festival was undignified and vulgar, he tells Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt that matter should have ended once the professor apologised. 
Nandy has already apologised for his remarks and Prasad thinks that should suffice.
He says, "Once the professor regretted what he had said, the matter should have ended there. Dalits should deploy the weapon of forgiveness. Differences of opinions can't be settled in police stations. An FIR against Nandy is the triumph of stupidity."
However, Prasad notes, "Professor Nandy should gracefully accept that a mistake was made".
When told to comment on the way Nandy is being criticised shows growing intolerance towards number of artistes, painters and thinkers, Prasad disagrees. He says, "To the contrary, artists, painters and thinkers are socially insensitive and intolerant. Please show me any anti-caste painting? Please show me any poem on Dalits' segregation from the media, films and the art world?"
Prasad agrees that Professor Nandy is not castesit and anti-Dalit.
"When Professor Nandy says that elite corruption can be hidden whereas Dalit corruption hits the headlines it is a valid statement," Prasad says, adding, "Remember, I never described him as casteist or anti-Dalit. Prof Nandy is a liberal thinker."
When told that critics like him are not allowing any criticism of any Dalit leader, Prasad disagrees. He says, "That is not true. If you can recall, I was the first to critique late Kanshi Ram's Bahujan theory, I criticised (Lok Janshakti Party chief) Ram Vilas Paswan going with (Rashtriya Janata Dal president) Lalu Prasad Yadav. I keep asking Dalit leaders as what is there stand on the Euro Zone crisis, on the weakening rupee against dollar. As I have said so many times, in a democracy, a person is entitled for even anti-Dalit views. If you recall, I was the first to oppose any kind of censorship on the film Aarakshan".
Talking about corruption in Indian society, Prasad says, "Corruption is a social problem. The post-1990 explosion of wealth in India produced greedier hands as well. It is very serious; it has sipped into the DNA of Indians. It will go on its own provided India's industrialisation and urbanisation accelerates faster."

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