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End of Cold War

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TERM PAPER COMPARATIVE POLITICS

By
PRAKASH BHANDARI {SAU/IR (M)/2015/O8}
Submitted to: Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu
Date of submission: 02/11/2015
Word Count: 3520 approx.
(excluding bibliography)

Table of contents S.No. | Title | Page no. | I. | AbstractIntroduction | 3 3 | 1. | Satyajit Ray: The Master Storyteller: | 4 | 2. | Maqbool Fida Husain | 6 | 3. | Arundhati Roy: | 8 | III. | Conclusion | 10 |

Abstract:
Basically, before the 20th century, the study of the politics was shaped by history, ethics, philosophy, and law, but from the late 19th century onwards, scientific approach to study politics gradually emerged. Comparative politics, in my view, do not study and analyze big issues of politics only. It also provides us the stage to study and analyze the political, social and economic situation of a particular society or state from the lens of art, literature, cinema, dramas, etc. Not only that, art and literature are the mirror of the society, so to understand particular society and political system, studying and analyzing art, literature is important. Being a student of comparative politics, here I have a good opportunity to study and compare three distinct images of a particular society. In this term paper, I am going to study three distinct pillars of Indian art and literature, which represent three different images and ideas. Satyajit Ray, MF Husain, and Arundhati Roy are an Indian film director, painter, and writer respectively which represents the postcolonial Indian society.

Introduction: India is the country with the world's ancient civilization; however the modern political history of India was shaped only after the India's independence from the British Raj. On one hand, India is the home of the world's second largest population and on the other hand, based on the number of an electorate, India is also considered as the world's largest democracy. India is following the British political system, i.e. west-ministry system. Since its Independence, India is practicing the democracy, but so many questions and issues about the Indian democracy and democratization are on the surface that are still unanswered. It is well-known fact that, India is a country of religious, cultural, ethnic diversity. So, several questions may be centered on issues like poverty, economic dispersion, and secularism, the situation of minorities, the economic reform and the form of development. Not only political scientists and scholars, but writers, novelist, movie directors, painter, artists, etc. are also raising many questions about the process of democratization.
The history itself makes clear that politics is not only based on political and military power or hard power on the other words. Social power also peruses capability to produce effects on contemporary politics. Here it is important to notice that, social intellectuals like writer, novelist, artists, filmmakers, etc. also play a crucial role to create awareness among the people and further, to shape political and social changes. In the context of India, in the post-colonial age, India gave birth to so many intellectuals who lead the political and social movement through their literature, paintings, cinema, writings, etc. One of them, film director Satyajit Roy is the most famous one who works to introduce neo-realist approach in Indian cinema. From his films, he always reflects poverty in the remote village, discrimination of caste, and the economic disparities in the surface. Similarly, painter and artist MF Husain is another image of India, who establish the concept of modernity in the Indian art and utilize his creation against racial discrimination, social and economic injustice. Arundhati Roy comes up with her progressive idea in her writings and regularly raising voice against the social and economic injustice, the class discrimination and the discrimination against minorities.
Satyajit Ray: The Master Storyteller:
Cinema's characteristic forte is its ability to capture and communicate the intimacies of the human mind: Satyajit Ray
"If you're able to portray universal feelings, universal relations, emotions, and characters, you can cross certain barriers and reach out to others."
Satyajit Ray is one of the well renounced Indian film directors. He was popular for his humanistic nature of filmmaking. It well reflected that he tries to explore the transition phase of India society through his movies.
While visiting London in 1950, there he got chances to meet world recognized filmmakers. There he was particularly influenced by the popular Italian movie The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica's), in which the human feelings and problems after the WWII are portrayed in simple natural settings. Then he returned to Calcutta with a dream to make movies reflect human feelings, problems, and their social situations. He selected the popular book, Pather Panchali and tried to reflect the story from his style with humanist themes. In that movie, he came with the neo-realist approach and challenged the traditional approach to Indian cinema.
Satyajit Ray is still popular in the word of Cinema for his humanistic approach to film-making. Most of his films are about the social reality, human problems with relationships, human conflicts, emotions, joys, and sorrows.
Satyajit Ray is well known for his identical story telling. So he's also known as a ‘master storyteller.' He was well skilled in filmmaking to demonstrate the humanism, the reality of society.
Pather Panchali:
Satyajit Ray debut in the film world with popular movie ‘Pather Panchali'. The movie tries to reflect the social and economic situation of the remote villages of West Bengal around the early twentieth century. The film is about the grim struggle of a low-income family for their survival. Further, it also has universal humanist appeal, the human dignity.The interesting thing about the movie is that the film develops all its characters slowly with equal importance.
Due to the financial problem, he just selects nonprofessional actors in his first movie and work hard for three years. As a result of his new style of story telling and humanist theme, Pather Panchali gained overnight success and from his first movie Ray established himself as a successful director.
According to Ray, he considered dramatization and characterization more important than the plot. When we evaluate his movies and character, it is not difficult to find that, his emphasis is in his actors, the naturalness of the character and effective order of the themes and character. Due to his distinct themes and style of storytelling, he established himself as a major artist in the film world.
He was also taken as the greatest cultural icon of India and also included in the category of great sitar player Pandit Ravishankar and writer Rabindra Nath Tagore. He introduced the realist concept in the Indian film area, so he is also regarded as the father of the neorealist movement in Indian cinema.
Many books have been published about Ray, and some of the popular books are Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray (1971) by Marie Seton and Satyajit Ray, the Inner Eye (1989) by Andrew Robinson.Three movies by Ray namely Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajita (1956) and Apur Samsar (1959) are the greatest creation by Ray, and these cinemas are still regarded as the greatest achievement of the Indian Cinema.
He also criticized the old traditional values and culture in the present society. In his movie Devi (1969), he criticizes the superstition and belief and in the other short story "Sadgati"(1981) he tries to show the situation of so-called ‘Dalits' in the society and criticize the untouchability.the
I think it is good to take Satyajit Ray as the towering figure of the world cinema world. His innovative creations and his uniqueness of storytelling make him a great figure of the world cinema.
Satyajit Ray was born in Kolkata on May 2, 1921, in an educated family. His father, Sukumar Roy was the poet, writer, and illustrator. So from his childhood, Ray had an effective environment and guidance to be introducing and learning music and art.
From the school level, he became the fan of movies and literature. He was spending his more and more time in reading and watching movies. Photography and music were also other fields of his interest. He later told that "At the age when Bengali youth almost inevitably writes poetry, I was listening to European classical music." So it is not difficult for us to understand his passion for the music and arts.
He completed his graduation in 1939 from the Rabindranath Tagore's university, at the age of 18. Ray then decided to give up further studies and spend his time and efforts in the creation of art and music. At first he had a dream to become a film star, but later he came in the contact with western film producers like John Ford, Ernst Lubitsch, he shifted his interest towards film directors.
Ray started his career in the film as a commercial artist, and later he founded a film society in Calcutta, which was the first film society in Calcutta. So he utilized the society to develop his career in the area of cinema.
Around 1950, he gets a chance to visit London, where he got the opportunity to meet and learn from the world leading film producer. There he saw hundreds of movies, but the movie ‘Bicycle Thief ‘by Vittorio De Sica made a profound impression on him. Later in his book ‘Our Films' he mentioned that, "All through my stay in London, the lessons of Bicycle Thieves and neo-realist cinema stayed with me." Not only have that, but the trip to London has also become a turning point in his career.
After returning to Calcutta in the late 1950s, he started to work for Pather Panchali and tries to start the trend of realist cinema making in the Indian land. Pather Panchali is the novel by the Writer Bibhuti Bhusan Banerjee.
Before that, Ray does not have experience in filmmaking, so he just started to collect a group of young persons to work with him as technicians. Due to his weak financial situation, he picked all non-professional actors for his first movie.
To explain and illustrate the concept of Pather Panchali, he prepared many sketches, write much dialogue in his notebook.

Maqbool Fida Husain
I kept on trying to use so many media and ideas in my work because our horizon is so vast and Indian culture is so rich that I think what we are today, culturally, we have a unique position, and I don't think one lifetime is enough to encompass it.
: M. F. Husain

Maqbool Fida Husain is 20 the century, most charismatic, and the world recognized Indian Painter. He is more popular as MF Husain. World recognized magazine ‘Forbes' take him as "Picasso of India" and his workings made him recognized all over the world.
His works of art earned both fame and controversies. His paintings are a blend of cubism and reflect classic Indian styles. From his paintings, he tries to reflect social and political scenario of the current situation. His paintings include diverse topics. Personalities such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Hitler, Mao, etc. were reflected from his paintings; similarly the rural and urban economic and social situations were also the issues of his paintings.
It is no doubt that, he redefines his arts and paintings to the great extend and tries to reflect the political and social aspect of then society. He is not only renounced as a painter, but he also does lots as filmmaker, photographer, printmaker also.
Hussain was born as the son of mother Zunaib and father Fida in Muslim family on 17 September 1915 in Maharashtra. When he was small, he started his career with painting, cinema poster in Mumbai. At the same time, he also worked for a toy company, where his work was to design and building toys.
E. Alkazi, in his one of the popular book .The Modern Artist and Tradition', writes that "one of the most revealing aspect of an artist work is his sense of the past: his capacity to assimilate in his mind and to be the consciousness of his race, and his ability to direct the totality of that awareness through the filter of his creative imagination into an engagement with the contemporary situation". From his creative artistic works, it is easily proven that MF Husain possessed the unique ability to give birth to a pictorial language of a contemporary situation of India. Not only that, but he also criticized several negative aspects of the Indian society. The content and perspective in his paintings always promote modernity in Indian art movement by criticizing old traditional and cultural values. To say the least, Hussian was at the front line of the modern Indian art, because he always promoted a modern and internationally recognized art movement in the Indian artistic world. He is the one artist who did so many things and brought about the Indian modernization.

Husain spent his childhood and his youth in extreme poverty, and with minimal art education. Later, due to his passion for paintings, he struggled hard to learn art and paintings, so Husain is also known as a student and a teacher of his own. Husain is also as ‘barefooted' because he usually walks in bare feet. At the age of two, Husain lost his mother. So his emotions and situations are deeply reflected, basically in his early paintings. Not only that, he emotionally expressed his poverty, struggle and emotions in his autobiography, ‘To wear or not wear'.

Later he joined the Progressive Artist Group in Mumbai in 1947, and the group of young artist worked to break the traditional way of paintings and art and introduced the modern concept and internationally engaged practice in Indian art, which was the modern art movement in India.
Husain and modernity:
There is no doubt that, Husain leads the modernist art movement in India by joining the progressive Artistic Group in 1947. While engaging with that group Husain and other young progressive artists determined to break the traditional approach and promote a modern art movement in India. His faith was in the "act of paintings" and expressed his dissatisfaction with the traditional and mainstream way of art. So this dissatisfaction promotes the purity, freshness and uniqueness in his artistic works. In this context E. Alkazi that, "Husain's works are guided by a richness of experience, feelings, and sensitivity". His modern way of paintings made pressure and challenges to the traditional and mainstream approach.
From his paintings and artistic works, Husain always spread the spirit of modernity, progress, and tolerance. Husain in the one who was deeply committed to the composite, multi-religious, secular values.
Husain's "Indian Civilization" series embraces the idea of modernity, where the paintings reflect the mood of the mid-20th century. This series has moved the paintings from the ideal approach towards the real approach. It is assumed that Husain was inspired by the "Cubist Style" of Picasso and Beorges Braque which present reality in paintings in the early 20th century. In the series, he characterized Hindu gods and goddess in the modern style.Indian Civilization is the series of eight triptych paintings, where each painting reflected the cultural and historical journey of India from three perspectives. Arundhati Roy:
Arundhati Ray is the well known Indian writer, novelist, and social activist. She was born on 24 Nov 1959 in Shillong Meghalaya as the daughter of a Christian mother and Hindu father. The Booker Award winner, Arundhati Roy, for her debut novel "The God of Small Things", tries to study and critically analyze the major issues of the contemporary society and democratic practices. From her short stories, essays, interviews, and novels the author to make her readers aware of the same.
In her all writings, she is reflecting the social and political issues, so in the short period she emerged as a figure in contemporary literature. Many regarded her as a social activist rather a novelist because she employed herself on social and political issues. In the literary world also, so many writers raised their voices to bring social and political awareness and played the important role to bring changes in the society. It may not be wrong to state Roy as one of such writer because of her every writing, she reflected social and political issues without any hesitation and fear.
Early life and struggle:
Roy spent her school days in Kerala. At the age of 16 she left her home and went to Delhi, and started homeless life. In Delhi, she passed her younger days under the small tin-roofed hut. Not only that, then she needs to collect and sell empty bottles for making her life.She experienced the poverty, social differences, and the black sides of Indian model democracy. Then she decided to spend her life on writing about the political issues.
Attraction towards political issues:
"The God Of Small Things" is the Single novel written by her, but this single creation makes her popular. In that novel, Roy received the renounced Man Booker prize in 1997. She was more devoted to political issues, so then shifted her writings towards political issues. She writes about the black sides of the Indian democracy. In her popular essay collection listening to the Grasshoppers, she criticized many black aspects of the Indian democracy. Similarly, she also concentrated her writing on Narmada Dam projects, about the corrupt industrial houses, and on Indian Nuclear Weapons.
Disagreement with democratic pattern and corporatism:
Arundhati Roy strongly expressed her disagreement with the current form of democracy in India and the way of development. She has written many essays and books on the democracy and corporatism. From her writings, Roy reflected that how capitalism talks about democracy and human right in the name of modern society and on one the same capitalism snatched those fundamental rights and forced people to become a machine in the name of development. From her books, she wants to make the world known that what kind of democracy is in India and how few largest corporations control countries' politics, media, and political parties. In her book Capitalism a Ghost Story, she has written "Wealth has been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and these few corporations now run the country and, in some ways, run the political parties. They run the media". By providing example she further argues that," after the opening up of the economy, we are in a situation where, you know, 100 of India's wealthiest people own—their combined wealth is 25 percent of the GDP, whereas more than 80 percent of its population lives on less than half a dollar a day. And the levels of malnutrition, the levels of hunger, the amount of food intake, all these—all these, you know, while India is shown as a quickly growing economy, though, of course, that has slowed down now dramatically, but at its peak, what happened was that this new—these new economic policies created a big middle class, which, given the population of India, gave the impression of—it was a universe of its own, with, you know, the ability to consume cars and air conditioners and mobile phones and all of that."
She clearly stands herself on the opposition side of the open economic structure and the way of the development, because she defined this system as a neo-colonialism and told that, this system is only in the support of fewer corporate house and opposition poor and middle class who are in the majority. She further criticized this present way of development and argued that" millions of people being displaced, pushed off their lands either by big development project or just by land that had ceased to be productive. We have had 250,000 farmers committing suicide". For the poverty, economic disparities, environment damages, etc., she blamed for the present situation of development and in her word the Neo-imperialism.
She also talks about the discrimination of minorities, Adivasis and the situation of women in India in her writings. "Listening to the Grasshoppers" is the next book by Roy, in which she criticized the democratic pattern that is practiced. In that book she clearly mentioned that, minorities and Adivasis are roughly treated as the second class citizens. By giving the examples of the case like the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, and the Gujrat Case of 2002, she questioned that, what kinds of democracy is in practice in India?
Conclusion:
I want to start the conclusion of this paper with famous saying, “the world will not suffer due to bad man’s act but the due silence of good men”. So that, intellectuals like writer, painter, novelist, etc. have a crucial role in guiding society towards the right way. India also gives birth to such responsible intellectuals that have the capacity and strength to reflect the reality of the society and increase awareness to the masses.
India is a country with diverse society, where society is divided into several sections. In such diverse society, naturally people don’t have the identical perception. In such context, social sections like writer, artist, author, painter and public intellectuals need to play a critical role to lead the society. Here, we cannot forget the contribution of Satyajit Ray as a film director. He played a role as an intellectual reformer and give suitable direction to the aspiration of the Indian cinema. Similarly, as painter MF Husain also leads the modernist art movement in India by giving progressive ideas from his paintings. Arundhati Roy is not only the author and novelist, but also an active social activist. Roy with her novel and other writings attacks on various social and political evils. Due to her influential writings, she made her voices vital to the contemporary politics.

References:- Primary sources

1) Roy, A. (1997). The God of Small Things. New Delhi: IndiaInk, p. 2) Roy. A. (2011). Walking with the Comrades, New Delhi: Thomson Press India Ltd: Penguin Books, (ISBN 9780670085538). 3) International journal of communication, Vol. 17, No. 2, (2007), p.21-39 ISSN: 0975- 4) IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 19, Issue 1, Ver. XI (Feb. 2014), PP 35-38 5) Roy,A.(2009.Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers.Haymarked Books(ISBN 160846024X, 9781608460243), PP 1-29 6) John W. Hood. Beyond the World of Apu: e Films of Satyajit Ray. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2008. xi + 476 pp ISBN 978-81-250-3510-7. 7) Copper, J. (1991) SatyajitRayA Study of HisFilms. Film Quarterly. [Online] 44(4). P. 44-46. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1212777 [Accessed 28-10-2015] 8) Copper, W.A. (2000) The Cinema of Satyajit Ray: Between Tradition and Modernity

Secondary sources: 1. http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/Indianpoliticalsystem.html 2. http://freeessaysamples.com/essay-samples/comparative-political-systems 3. http://freeessaysamples.com/essay-samples/comparative-political-systems 4. http://www.enotes.com/topics/satyajit-ray/critical-essays 5. http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=23985 6. https://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Culture/Cinema/SRay.html 7. http://www.geni.com/people/Satyajit-Ray/6000000009593804823 8. http://www.satyajitray.org/bio/making_pather_panchali.htm 9. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/requiem-for-mf-husain/article2091413.ece 10. http://deadcurious.com/2014/05/29/india-takes-london-storm-m-f-husains-indian-civilization-va/ 11. http://www.asianartnewspaper.com/article/mf-husain-and-modernist-painting

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