Window seat: legacy of memories

The partition of India was violent and traumatic. It was poorly planned and hastily executed. Never before in human history has violence and population displacement on such a scale taken place, not even in the Holocaust. By a conservative estimate, more than 1.5 million people died in the post-partition violence. Countless women and children have suffered atrocities of the worst kind. Although India and Pakistan share a common culture and people of the two dominant religions – Hindus and Muslims – have lived together for ages (some historians believe they date back to the late 7th century), incidents of violence reached an unprecedented level. scale and level in the four years before 1947. The resulting trauma was profound. Feelings of acute insecurity, emptiness, gloom and depression gradually invaded both communities.

Every large-scale tragedy often gives rise to great art and literature. It happened with the partition of India too. Since the 1940s themselves, films, literature and other art forms have explored the consequences of partition, even as much of the population and politicians were determined to divide the country. on religious grounds. After the score, which saw violence and brutality on an unprecedented scale, poets, writers, painters and filmmakers depicted the violence and bloodied faces of uprooted people who, faced with formidable socio-economic and political hazards, dreamed to find a new home, although carrying in their hearts the memories of a lost homeland. They also portrayed selfishness and the breakdown of human relationships. Hope and despair found an equal place in their work.

The films of NimaiGhosh, RitwikGhatak, MS Sathyu,ShyamBenegal, GovindNihalani, ChandrapakashDwivedi, Pamela Rocks, Deepa Mehta,Kamal Hassan, GurinderChadha, Nandita Das and many others are considered authentic and complex documents of tragedy.

Writers and poets like Nanak Singh, AmritaPritam, Khushwant Singh, BhishamSahni, Rajendra Singh Bedi, SaadatHasanManto, SunilGangopadhyay, AtinBandopadhyay, Tapan Roy Chowdhary, Prafulla Roy, NarendraMitra and dozens of others have described this in words.

Painters like Jatindra Chowdhury, SatisGujral, ParitoshSen have done this in their paintings.

Indian films, literature, performance and fine arts have portrayed that “the partition of India was not merely a division of a geographical landmass, but its significance lay deeper, in the suffering of the separation between people, in the suffering of losing one’s loved one and loved ones, and in the suffering of being uprooted from the farm of one’s ancestors.

While the photographs recorded history with all its brutality and sadness, its disappointments, its hopes and aspirations, the cartoons mocked the powerful, showed what had led to the situation and what was happening.

To the credit of all the artists, directors and writers, none pointed the finger at the other community. Indian score literature and visual arts are important for the absence of such a blame game. The loss was on both sides. Sadness invaded everything. All art forms lamented what happened and sought ways to reconcile and anticipate its repetition in the future. There is the silver lining; there is hope for humanity.

Bangalore-based RV University is organizing an international seminar titled: “The Other Side of Independence’s Representation of Silence: Refugee Trauma and Triumph in Indian Film and Literature” from 23-25 ​​September 2022. I I was invited by to deliver the keynote address there. I will focus on this aspect of cinema, literature and other art forms produced in the context of the score.


Paris-born filmmaker, critic and thinker Jean-Luc Godard, arguably one of the greatest influences in world cinema, died on September 13, 2022.

Born into a wealthy Franco-Swiss family on December 3, 1930, Godard rose to prominence as a pioneer of the French New Wave film movement of the 1960s.

Godard was one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential post-war directors, known for classics such as “Breathless” and “Contempt,” which broke with convention and helped pioneer a new way to make cinema, with freehand camera work, jump cuts and existential dialogue.

Godard once said, “A film should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.”

He had many admirers and supporters. However, he was not universally revered. Among his harshest critics was the late Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, himself a pioneer of European cinema, best known for his 1957 films ‘The Seventh Seal’ and ‘Wild Strawberries’. He once said in an interview: “I never got anything out of (Godard’s) films. They felt constructed, false intellectuals and completely dead. Cinematically uninteresting and infinitely boring.

Most of Godard’s influential and commercially successful films were released in the 1960s, including “Vivre Sa Vie”, “Pierrot le Fou”, “Two or Three Things I Know About Her” and “Weekend”. He moved on to making films steeped in leftist anti-war politics in the 1970s before returning to a more commercial mainstream. Recent works, however – including 2014’s Au Revoir au Langage and 2018’s Le livre d’images – were more experimental and did not appeal to audiences except Godard fans.

Tribute cartoon by JayarajVellur.

Farewell Godard

In an eccentric twist of providence, an Odia-language film titled Farewell Godard was directed by Amartya Bhattacharyya, which premiered at the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival 2021. In India, the film was officially selected at festivals like IFFK (Kerala), KIFF (Kolkata), Bengaluru (BIFFES) , Pune (PIFF) etc. Adieu Godard also won Best Film in the Indian Language Competition at the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival 2022 and “Third Best Indian Cinema Award” at the 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival 2022. It was released in September 2022.

Like most of Godard’s films, it also drew sharp and extreme reactions from audiences – half praising and half belying the 83-minute story of a rustic old man. Here is the scenario: In a small Indian village, an old man is addicted to watching pornography with his friends. One fine day, he inadvertently brings back a DVD with a Godard film inside. Attracted by the novelty of the film, he begins to praise all of Godard’s work, which leads him and his friends to attempt to organize a Godard film festival in their village.

world bamboo day

Today, September 18 happens to be World Bamboo Day. This day marks the celebration of the bamboo plant, known for its versatile uses.

Looking at its shape, bamboo has been widely used as slang. From the relatively innocuous “he marked me” to “he kissed me”, bamboo had many colorful uses in many Indian languages. I just learned that in Southern California, “big bamboo” also means “busty girl.”

About the Author:

Mrinal Chatterjee, a journalist turned media scholar, lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction and plays.

He can be reached at [email protected]


This is the personal opinion of the author. The opinions expressed in this article have nothing to do with those of