11 Jun 2016

Stop policing, don't sanitize art: Swara to Nihalani

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Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar on Friday came out in support of Anurag Kashyap's "Udta Punjab", and in an open letter to Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani she said that "sanitizing art and popular culture was not the healthiest thing for society".

stop-policing-dont-sanitize-art-swaraShe also said that an atmosphere of 'sanitization' and 'policing' produces fear among artists and creative people.

"I want to bring to your attention that a deliberately sanitized art and popular culture may not be the healthiest thing for a society. No society in the world is sanitized. There is a lot that is wrong, dirty, shameful, filthy and abusive everywhere in the world," she wrote in the letter.

"Art reflects its context and the society it was created in. To produce a sanitized art, that is unable to accommodate or reflect the less savoury aspects of society is to wear blinders, unnecessarily," she added.
She further wrote: "It is also the beginning of becoming delusional. The flip side of a sanitized atmosphere is sterility. And sterility is the opposite of birth, the antithesis of the creation of new things, in biology and in culture."

In the letter she also wrote: "Another harmful side-effect of this kind of atmosphere of sanitization and policing is that it produces a Pavlovian fear among artists and creative people.

"You may say that there is nothing wrong with a little discipline and policing in public life but do note Sir that the only work of art a policed society is able to produce (with State permission) is propaganda," she added.

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