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‘Nationalism being used to find sense of belonging’

‘Nationalism being used to find sense of belonging’

13 Feb 2018 No comment 5 hits

Panaji: The common man today is such a mix of many contrasting identities that he or she does not belong anywhere culturally. And so, he or she takes refuge in nationalism to belong somewhere, said noted Marathi language playwright, novelist, dramatist and director Makarand Sathe, in his opening lecture at the 11th DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas 2018. Sathe was speaking on the theme ‘Nationalism, culture & theatre: In the times of globalisation’.
He said that usually, when many ideas come together, it should ideally result in an enrichment of the people. However, this confluence has left the modern world fragmented and in chaos, he said.

“There is the woman, an Indian by origin, but a Londoner. She is a divorcee. She plays the saxophone. The identity has so many aspects, which do not even overlap over one another. Earlier, too, there were different identities in each individual but at least he/she fitted in a certain framework. Today there is no framework as such that we fit into. There is nowhere to belong to. Individuals are distraught. They want to belong somewhere,” said Sathe.

This, the novelist said, is leading to an increasingly fragmented society, which has in turn resulted in phenomenon like Brexit.

Sathe said that in a country like India, the population is not just diverse in aspects such as the languages spoken, but that despite living besides one another, people are also divided by a sense of time in terms of when economic and other forms of development reach them.

The writer said that in colonial times nationalism was used against the foreign power, but that its use now, by the state and certain groups, has brought back the concept of nationalism with renewed vigour.

Talking about culture, he said that there is no single culture even in small countries such as France or Spain. He added that in a bid to impose this sense of culture on people, violence is used. “And this violence is being justified, which is alarming,” Sathe said.

He said that like the writers and artists of earlier eras, today’s writers and artists, too, need to voice out their political views for the betterment of society. “Today it has become glamorous to be apolitical when it should actually be the other way around,” he said.

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Source: ‘Nationalism being used to find sense of belonging’

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