Friday, October 3, 2014

Our Intelligence Bureau as Art Censor

Notices in the Goa newspapers that the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai was accepting applications from artists for their 2015 exhibition season led me to take along a CD of my work (of which I provide a few samples below), on a trip to the city on 21 September.

The Gallery’s web site said that in addition to submitting the CDs in the month of September, artists should pay Re.200 for an application form: the selection committee would consider both in making its decisions in the next few weeks.

The web site was quite specific that the applications were for the 2015 season.

At the Gallery office a lady directed me to the adjacent Library room, saying the CD would have to be inspected before acceptance.

In the Library, a man peremptorily dismissed my submission because I was “not on the list.”

He further said that application forms were only available for the 2021 season.

When I referred to the Gallery’s published guidelines, his lip curled in contempt: “I don’t know what you saw.”

I could not appeal to higher authority, for the Secretary of the Gallery was away and would not be back until the 10th of October.

From experience I would say that this is yet another piece of work by rogue members of the Intelligence Bureau who seem to think I need to be punished for writing about the agency’s unconstitutional existence and complete lack of accountability.

The British designed and used the Intelligence Bureau as an instrument of oppression, and after independence our netas took no action to either cleanse it or bring it within some form of constitutionally accountable framework.

Worse, the politicians nominally in charge have pandered to its corruptions.

A corrupt media dependent on a stream of IB leaks to feed its hunger for scandals to expose have been disinclined to cover any of this.

The entirely predictable result has been the emergence of the Intelligence Bureau as a threat to our democratic system.

It should be the subject of judicial and parliamentary probes and a determined effort at reform helped by those within it committed to protecting civil rights and democratic values.

And now for something completely different:

Film Stars: Acrylic on Canvas 25X39 inches

 Whirligigs: Acrylic on paper 14X22 inches

 Kali Yuga: Acrylic on canvas 36X42 inches

 Mother India: Acrylic on canvas 36X49 inches

 God's Own Country  Acrylic on canvas 50X37 inches

Goa Days  Acrylic on paper 22X30 inches

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