ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cultural Shenanigans

I am writing apropos the article 'UP Cultural Scene' by K N Kacker (May 6). I had myself gone to Lucknow in 1998 to deliver the Radha Kamal Mukherjee memorial lectures there. Also I took with me a number of originals like the Charles D'Oyley lithographs of 1830s, an original drawing of Roop Krishna, and a number of works of Radical Art, from an exhibition that I had curated at the Academy of Literature and Fine Art in Delhi, which had been forced to shut down by activists of the VHP who were not only abusive but also tried to lynch the eminent artist Jatin Das.

At the time this happened I realised one had to stand up for the right of freedom in cultural expression, especially at times like these when cultural prejudice has led to shameful acts like the destruction of Babri masjid and the recent attacks on churches. So I was determined to utilise the invitation by the Lalit Kala Akadmi to restore the right of free debate in matters of culture and I did so. I delivered the lectures.

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