Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spot light on Indian Independents

Sunday Herald Tribune  - Durban , SA, 17 July 2011

Veruschka Mungaroo

When did you start making movies and what was your first project? 

I started making documentaries in my early twenties. I extended my student activist days in street theatre to cinema. Digital cinema was my refuge. I fixed a digital camera and a micro phone in my body and travelled through my villages, filming people and their lives whose voices are never heard or concerned. I used the videos as a tool for a participatory dialogue within the communities addressing the core issues like Caste Inequalities, Culture and Practices, Gender, Human rights, Globalisation, Water Politics etc. My first video was "Mathamma" which kindled a wide discourse and intervention in the cultural practice of a community which offers their children as brides to their deity called Mathamma and how eventually they become sex workers.

Your Dead Sea will be featured at Durban International Film Festival in the International Competition. In a nut shell, what is the movie about?

Sengadal, the Dead Sea is my debut feature fiction which captures the fragments of simple lives beaten by three decade long ethnic war in Srilanka. It unfolds in a border village at Dhanushkodi,the southernmost tip of India which is a ruin in State ledgers but  breathes life through the fishermen families who refuse to leave this ravaged land once hit by sand storm . Fishermen fishing in fear in ignorance of friendly and enemy waters in the borders get dumped as rebels, spies and smugglers and unceremoniously beaten to death or shot or maimed. But still everyday we say their boats get launched and the life gets going. Srilankan Tamil refugees who are dispossessed of their land and gods arrive in this crucible dead or alive. 

This is again a community cinema in which Dhanushkodi fishermen, Rameswaram refugees and general public have acted and helped in production and all the incidents portrayed in the film are facts as told by them.

Is the film considered to be a mainstream Bollywood movie? If so, why and what is, in your opinion, a mainstream Bollywood movie. How would you classify or genre your movie?

Bollywood is a clean trade. Mafias gamble their money in Bollywood and their ethics is based on the business of winning it. Ignorance of masses is their investment and it is foolish for anyone to think bollywood's motive is Art other than profits. 

I have short circuited myself from the mainstream from my student days as I had different principles in Life. I have been always be part of alternative art and literary movements and rebelled against feudalism which is otherwise the character of mainstream. As an art practitioner I identify with the small communities who refuse to be by standers but try and do some intervention on the sight of oppression. Sengadal the Dead Sea is still considered an impossible attempt of making a people's film dealing direct politics that too from the land I come from, where populist cinema is considered to be a supply chain of chief ministers, where virtual heroes are worshiped as Gods and ultimately the saviors of masses.

Dead Sea is a factual fiction feature and it is a community film made and executed by them voicing out their life and concerns.

What is the difference between mainstream Bollywood films and independent films? Are independent films arty ones and what is your definition and what is considered to be an Indian independent film?

Right now, in Bollywood, it is the time of celebration of mediocrity. It is amusing to see how it is pushed to some representation of excellence. In Post globalization scenario, Market is more powerful than State. And Market pretending to be socially concerned is a high voltage drama and its seduction is irresistible to masses. But Art is something else. Art is always independent of market, state or any other power structures. Infact it challenges.

Indian Independent film is an untouchable indeed and it is going through the toughest times. Corporate Governments and Open Market have shrunk the space for any independent expression and it looks like almost a null. Censorship operates in many ways institutionally and non institutionally to curb the independent makers and their voices. We are looked at by the establishment as some terrorists and independent videos as some bombs.When an independent art practitioner rises to reach wider audience, State and Market has all ways to see the maker dies before he ever attempts.

I should also say, with all these factors, independent cinema in India and world over still thrives. Digital Technology has made the medium more democratic and now more people afford to make cinema . It is no more the medium of some filthy rich people. There is hope but still so much to do and fight.

The storyline is very unusual.  What made you delve into this topic and how have audiences reacted to it so far?

India is been always a big brother to its neighboring countries. India is the one that nurtured Tamil weapon movements in Srilanka and also made them lose the war and their cause at the end of three gruesome decades of loss and suffering. Srilankan War Crimes are now exposed in the international media and there is an outcry for a trial on the excesses committed by the government in the International Court of Justice and Law. Recent UN reports clearly states that the SL government has conducted genocide. As an Indian, I am ashamed because my government has supported the war and has been a kingpin. 

Srilankan Tamils are the community in their fight for their right to self determination who have lost thousands of lives so brutally to the hands of State and Revolution. Srilankan Tamils had to constantly negotiate with the dominant Sinhala State of Srilanka and the rigid control of community exercised by Tamil militant organization Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Ealam (Ealam is the imagined Tamil State fought for by the militants)whose extremist and militarist stances have created a culture of fear and anxiety among the Tamil Polity. This has led to migration of hundreds and thousands of people fleeing across the coasts as refugees to India and other countries. 

The misery spells over the Indian shores and the fishermen in the coastal borders suffer their very right to profess their traditional fishing rights. They speak the same language as the ethnic minorities in Srilanka and the racist Srilankan Navy kill them in the name of "Border Crossing".

As one of the voices of Dissent against Indian government aiding the Srilankan government's genocide, being a silent witness was slowly making me numb. It is still awfully painful to helplessly watch what is going on to my fraternity in Srilanka. I wanted to cry aloud and that is Sengadal the Dead Sea. 

What was the inspiration behind the movie and are you personally attached to the storyline of the movie?

I initially went to Dhanushkodi to know more about Rose Mary (the war widow, who lost her husband in Srilankan Navy Shooting) and her services to refugees’ community. Through her I came to know about the fishermen community at large and their abysmal lives. Their plights and their ability to live expanded me emotionally. I was inspired by the charecters like Kangesu, Munusamy, Aandy, Kaaliyamma, Muthuraasu and many other fisherfolk who shared their food and shelter along with their life stories. Those stories have jolted me and made my spirit linger in Dhanuskodi's shores and sands.I was like a wandering crow sometimes, a mourning dog sometimes, a digging turtle sometimes and I was smelling fish and salt during those days. 

Then I decided to tell this experience of mine to the world. I still remember that night when stars were hanging like ripe fruits of my ancestors twinkling to my wishes.

Do you think that Indian independent films are sidelined or is not given as much attention compared to mainstream Bollywood movies? If so, why?

I bet Independent films will do better with the audience if they are promoted well with the same PR budget a mainstream movie has. No media reports or even recognizes avant-garde attempts. I am sure, it is the same scene in South Africa or anywhere else in the world. Cinema is still a bloody capitalistic tool and it involves money in its every aspect, say making, disseminating etc., Everybody wants to earn 200 when they are willing to invest 2.That is how the whole world thinks and operates. 

Independent art is a voice of conscience and it will always be sidelined for its very character of what it does to its readers/viewers. Bollywood stops you think and it will always be celebrated exactly for that and it is common sense.

In your opinion, why has the Indian film industry not touched on relevant issues like the Dead Sea
but mostly stick to love triangles?
What other stories other than love triangles and gangster fights make my people more regressive and dumb? Film as an industry will be interested only in those narratives and characters and a certain way of telling them within the formula, as it only requires consumers for its produce.
Is there a strong message that you are trying to portray in The Dead Sea? If so, what is it and why specifically this message?

Dead Sea is a documentation of  what I found as Truth. I am not a messiah and I do not believe in giving any message. I come across something which disturbs me and feels me that this experience has to be shared to the fellow human beings.I witness, become a witness but at least proactively express when I am not able to change lives and situations.  Fortunately I write and had learnt cinema and when I am convinced that I can express through that medium, I try and do that.

We wage wars and lose wars but we continue to welcome tomorrows with another war. When we acknowledge it, it is Art and when we do not acknowledge it, it is History. We resist, revolt, die or live partly and I see my art as an extension of those. I cannot be part of Power but can be a voice of dissent and Dead sea is such a voice if dissent.

Name some of your other films and works?

My collections of poems are ‘Ottrailaiyena’ (solo, as a lone leaf), ‘Ulakin Azhakiya Muthal Penn’ (The first beautiful woman in the world)and Parathaiyarul Raani(Queen of Sluts). I have currently taken up a visual art fellowship with PSBT on Tamil Women Poetry and Desire through the ages of Sangam, Medieval and Modern periods. My specialisation is on Media and Conflict resolution and I had been an EU Scholar in art practice, secured a commonwealth fellowship in 2009 and currently been awarded Charles Wallace Art Fellowship. My films include Mathamma, Parai, Break the Shackles, Love Lost, Altar, Waves after Waves, Connecting Lines, A Hole in the Bucket, Goddesses.

 Tell us a bit about your personal background.

I was born into a farmer’s family, south of Tamilnadu. I should be farming but unfortunately not for not very valuable reasons. My late father was a Tamil professor and the first to earn a degree in our family. My mother is a country goddess in her soul. I have a younger brother who is also into media practice. My father was a left progressive writer and my grandfathers and uncles are communist leaders holding state and national positions. I owe my understanding of my society to my Marxist background and bringing up and as a social being I am committed to fight injustice since my youth. There was a crucial time in my youth to decide to continue as a full time activist or artist. I stand somewhere as Artivist I guess. Inequalities in my society unsettle me and for me art is a way of communicating to my own people and I continue to learn and unlearn through the process. Though qualified as an Engineer, I chose art and that is the way to freedom and being for me. I have convictions to live my choice whatsoever. 

Have you experienced any controversy about The Dead Sea?

Dead Sea was banned by Central Board of Film Certification for its political content and the way the film criticizes Indian and Srilankan governments. I fought the case with the Appellate Tribunal authorities and the grievances court subsequently quashed the order and guide lined for re examination. And now, the film is cleared with an Adult Certification without any cuts and I think this is the victorious moment for artists who believe in freedom of expression. How difficult is to prove the artist can challenge an establishment in this so called democracy and how fat a lie is this freedom.

I can never compromise in my artistic freedom and I strongly believe that no STATE has any business in dictating ART. Truth can be un comfortable but it is our responsibility to deal with it and not turning away from it. Dead Sea blatantly reveals how this Nations, Borders, Boundaries are all against the humanity and test the very basic right to live in this world. Dead Sea speaks about the constant negotiation of ordinary lives in between gun of revolution and gun of state.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

“Censorship feels like it’s mutilating my organs”


Madhuchhanda Ray Choudhury

In January 2011, the Indian Censor Board banned the screening of Leena Manimekalai’s film Sengadal, The Dead Sea. Depicting the plight of Tamil fishermen refugees as they flee a war ravaged Sri Lanka into India, Sengadal, like Manimekalai’s eight other films, gives voice to an oppressed community.
Only after a long and exhausting legal battle was Sengadal recently cleared for public exhibition with an A rating (for adult audiences only). Manimekalai feels “this is a moment of victory for one’s artistic freedom. This confirms that art prevails over the state’s power.”
A strident supporter of artistic freedom, Manimekalai refuses to confine herself to a single creative medium. Apart from being an independent film maker, Manimekalai has also penned three poetry collections. Her films have won accolades in film festivals both in India and abroad and have been screened by many social activist groups. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, India, Manimekalai’s art is a rebellion against caste and gender persecution.
In this interview with Sampsonia Way, Manimekalai reveals how her past shaped her artistic vision and explains the challenges that plague her as she strives to retain an independent voice.
You were originally trained as an engineer. What turned you towards film-making?
I am a madwoman, and my vision is an open sea. I never wanted to be someone counting the boats going by. In fact, I am number blind. Additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions appear like double lies to me. As a child, I pretended to be good at math and science just to keep my parents happy. As a middle class girl of a ‘third world’ family, when you get qualified and enrolled in a professional degree, you can only do ‘n’ number of things, and your family questions your actions less. But I hate a secure life. One’s mind stops working when ‘secured.’
When I started my independent life, I stopped trying to make others happy and started chasing myself through writing, cinema and being in love. Of course, this was a difficult and unsafe choice, but I decided to be faithful to my desire and freedom of choice. I happily abandoned my Instrumentation Engineering and started following my intuition. Now I am able to question inequalities, resist oppression and strive towards change.
What was your childhood in India like?
I was born into a farmer’s family, south of Tamilnadu, in a village called Maharajapuram at the slopes of the Western Ghats of the Virudhunagar district. My late father was a Tamil professor and the first to earn a degree in our family. My mother is a real earthy soul with an unlimited spirit and energy. I went to school in an urban Anglo-Indian Convent where I was strictly scheduled by early morning athletics, eight hours of subject classes, two hours of bharathanatyam (dance), one hour of carnatic music, and weekend hindi classes. However, my body always resonated with my aimless summer life of cattle, pagan gods and goddesses, the occult, Sathuragiri hills, rain-fed rivers, deep wells, cycling, swimming, stealing fruit, and the kittipuli (country games) in my village. A gypsy inside me wakes up the moment I think of my home.
How did your sense of revolution grow out of this environment?
All of the men in our family seemed to be interested in revolution and practiced hard-core left politics. They held district-level, state-level and national-level positions in the Communist Party of India. The women in the household ran the kitchens, cattle and paddy fields to make a living. I guess all my questioning and rebellion started from that point of conflict. The other major issue is India’s caste system. I refused to identify with my family, or any community which directly stamped on me a caste and put me as inferior to some and superior to others. This hierarchical system, which enrolled me for a life I didn’t choose, has made me question my very existence.
You started your career with several large media companies in India. What was that like? Why did you instead turn to documentary film-making?
In two years during my early twenties, I switched jobs 11 times. I was never loyal to companies. The canonical figures of mainstream cinema were so feudal I did not belong to them as an apprentice; either they spit me out, or I left. But cinema as a tool of expression still captured my imagination. Digital cinema was a democratic, independent space not dictated by the market, and its possibilities enthused me in a way the industry did not. Independent cinema can help someone find their voice; it is also for people who want to be heard. I am perpetually seeking both of these things, so I attached my body to a handy-cam, microphone and mac-book, and started my endless drive toward exposing society’s hidden truths and dark places.

Photo: The Hindu
Your film Parai on caste discrimination, specifically on Dalit women, was cut 19 times by the Indian Censor Board. Could you talk about that experience?
The experience with Parai is intriguing. It was more a movement than a piece of video. Yes, the censor board demanded 19 cuts of a 40-minute film, which I set aside. But the film was also presented to the National Women’s Rights Commission and the National Human Rights Commission. The commissioners were forced to take action against the censorship since they were featured in the film taking petitions from the affected Dalit women. Seventeen oppressors were arrested by the District Collector, and the issue gained momentum. Thousands of copies of the film were made and distributed state-wide for advocacy and awareness programs.
Censorship is an insult to a thriving society and it feels like it’s mutilating my organs. It ceases my being. Religion, State, Caste, Culture, Gender, Language, and every other institution are monstrous agents of censorship. I resist, and that gives me some reason for hope.
Despite the Censor Board’s decision, you managed to screen the film by alternative means in about 200 villages. How did you do it?
I short-circuited myself from the mainstream outlets and travelled to hundreds of villages with a set of DVDs, a player and a projector. I showed films on the white walls of corporation schools, on the loins of villagers and on street corners at night. People were always willing to talk, share and debate over the work; this participatory dialogue is what completes my films. I owe all my understanding of my society and people to my experiences of screening films. Each screening is both a process of learning and unlearning.
Do you have a moral or artistic philosophy toward making and screening your films?
I only choose subjects in which I can also place myself as a subject without any compromise. Dealing with a community is not like dealing with actors. I have to be more responsible and committed to fight until the end. I do this with all of my energy, even when I don’t get anywhere. I do not believe change happens in one night through one film. Change is a long process. This is why I attempt to create a participatory dialogue with my films. I experiment, and sometimes I fail, but the idea is to seek answers collectively. Only when all the elements—the film, its maker and the audience—participate and interact equally, does the film attain its fullest form.

Manimekalai with Sethurakku, a fish hunter, shooting Goddesses .
Despite highlighting the unflattering lives of certain Indian women, your film Goddesses won the Golden Conch at the government-sponsored Mumbai International Film Festival in 2008. However, your most recent film Sengadal, which deals with the plight of Tamil refugees, has been stayed by the Indian Censor Board. Can you explain the structure of censorship in India?
When the Mumbai Film Festival tried to introduce censorship only for Indian entries, independent filmmakers all over the country stirred against the double standards of the Films Division of India, and the festival had to withdraw their regulations. But still the fight continues with the National Awards and the Indian International Film festival. It is a slap in the face of independent Indian Cinema. Making a film is only half the battle; what use is it if it is not seen?
In India a film needs a censor clearance for both telecast and theatre releases. Why is a filmmaker, who has taken up cinema seriously, denied the right to reach a wider audience? Consequently, why is my audience denied their basic right to see a film uncut? It is a scary situation not only for artists but for all citizens of this “democratic” country. Our basic freedoms of expression are at stake.
In addition to the dozen films you’ve self-produced, you have also published several books of poems. How has the public received your written work?
I still consider myself an evolving poet, but my first Tamil poetry anthologyOtraiyilaiyena (As a Single Leaf) has seen three editions so far. On the other hand, my second book, Ulagin Azhagiya Muthal Penn (The First Beautiful Woman in the World), has invited mixed reactions: It received the Iyal Poetry Award for 2009, a call for its banning by some Hindu People’s Party, and repressive attacks by some ultra left fanatics like Makkal Kalai Ilakiya Kazhagam. My third poetry collection Parathaiyarul Raani (Queen of Sluts) has just been released.
Does you poetry also have enemies?
Obviously, my poetry is dangerous to religious and ideologically fanatic minds. Language is my first enemy; its norms, design and usage are controlled by the dominant patriarchy. My language’s linguistic codes are embedded in a culture- and gender-specific socialization that prohibits women from communicating about issues that are considered socially disruptive. In my work, I try to challenge this structure. I stray from every possible institution because none of them have done justice to women in the whole of human history. Poetry is life and not imitation; if this life is dangerous, then let me face it; for me, safety is slavery.

எதற்கெடுத்தாலும் இந்திய இறையாண்மை - விகடன் நேர்காணல்.

எதற்கெடுத்தாலும் இந்திய இறையாண்மை - விகடன் நேர்காணல்

இரு நாடுகளின் துப்பாக்கிகளுக்கு இடையில் சிக்கிக்கொண்டு தினம்தினம் உயிர் பறிக்கப்படும் ராமேஸ்வரம் மீனவனின் வாழ்க்கையை அவர்களின் மொழியில் பேசுகிறது லீனா மணிமேகலையின் ‘செங்கடல்’ திரைப்படம். அதற்கு தரச் சான்றிதழ் தரமறுத்த சென்சார் போர்டுடன் போராடி டிரிப்புனலுக்கு போய் ஒரு ‘கட்’டும் இல்லாமல் வெற்றியோடு திரும்பி வந்திருக்கிறார் லீனா.

இந்தப்படம் இலங்கை இந்தியா அரசுகளை விமர்சிக்கிறது. அதனால் தணிக்கைச் சான்றிதழ் தரமுடியாது என்றார்கள். அதை எதிர்த்துத்தான் ட்ரிப்புனல் போனேன். இங்கே கவிதை எழுதினால் கட்சிக்காரர்கள் போலீசில் புகார் தருகிறார்கள், கருத்தியல் குண்டர்கள் இணையதளங்களில் அவதூறு செய்கிறார்கள். திரைப்பட விஷயத்தில் அதிகாரிகளிடம் கத்திரிக்கோல் இருந்துகொண்டு ஆட்டிப்படைக்கிறது. ஒரு கலையை எப்படிச் செய்ய வேண்டுமோ அப்படித்தான் செய்ய முடியும். அரசாங்கத்தின் கீழேயோ, கட்சிக்காரர்களுக்கு கட்டுப்பட்டோ கலை இயங்க முடியாது. இதையே பிரகாஷ்ராஜ் ஜி.ஜியாக போட்டு, சரண்யாவை ரோஸ்மேரியாக போட்டு எடுத்து வியாபார நோக்கோடு படம் எடுக்கலாம். இப்போதெல்லாம் தேசிய விருதுகள் கூட வியாபார சினிமாக்களுக்கு தான் தருகிறார்கள்.

எனக்கு எப்படியும் மக்களிடம் உண்மையை கொண்டுபோய்ச் சேர்க்கணும். ராமேஸ்வரத்தை சுத்தி என்ன நடக்குதுன்னு எல்லோருக்கும் தெளிவாக தெரிஞ்சாகணும். இங்கே வந்து எங்கே பார்த்தாலும் புள்ளி விவரங்கள்தான் கிடைக்கிறது. அவைகள் ஒன்றுக்கும் உதவாது. தனுஷ்கோடியை எடுத்துக்கொண்டால் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான தமிழ் மீனவர்களை இலங்கை ராணுவம் கொன்றிருக்கிறது. பதிவு செய்யப்படாத எண்ணிக்கையையும் சேர்த்து தான் சொல்கிறேன். ஏராளமான விதவைகள், தாயை, சகோதரியை, சகோதரனை இழந்தவர்கள் சூழ நிற்கிறது அந்த ஊர். உருட்டுக்கட்டையில் தாக்கி மர்ம உறுப்புக்களை சிதைப்பதிலிருந்து இன்னும் எண்ணற்ற மனித உரிமை மீறல்கள். இப்படிப்பட்ட வாழ்க்கையை புள்ளி விவரங்களில் அடக்க முடியுமா? மீனவர்களாக இருக்கிற காரணத்தினால் மட்டுமே அவங்க ஏன் கொல்லப்படனும்? கருப்பாக இருப்பதையும், தமிழில் பேசுவதையும் தவிர அவர்கள் செய்த குற்றம்தான் என்ன? இப்போதுவரைக்கும் அவர்களுக்கு என்ன நீதிதான் கிடைத்திருக்கிறது? சினிமா வியாபாரிகள் சென்சார் அதிகாரிகள் பாராட்டுப்பெற்ற படம் என விளம்பரம் செய்கிறார்கள் - அவர்கள் என்ன கலையுலகின் பிரதிநிதிகளா!

சென்சார் போர்டின் மீது கடுமையான கோபத்தில் இருக்கிறீர்கள்?

சென்சார் போர்டு என்ற ஒன்று இருப்பதே ஒரு கலைஞனுக்கு அவமானம். ஊடக சுதந்திரத்தை பலி கொடுத்ததனால் தான் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான மக்களைப் போருக்குப் பலிகொடுத்து விட்டு , இப்போது சேனல் நான்கு தொலைக்காட்சியில் ஆவணப்படம் பார்த்து உச்சுக் கொட்டிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறோம்.தணிக்கையே உண்மையை மறைக்கத்தான் பயன்படுகிறது. தணிக்கையாளர்கள் மக்கள் ஆட்சியின் முதுகெலும்பில் அடிக்கிறார்கள். குஜராத்தில் நடந்த அக்கிரமங்களின் ஒரு சிறிய பங்கு கூட இன்னும் நம்முன் வைக்கப்படவில்லை. மணிப்பூரில் ராணுவத்திற்கு எதிராக தாய்மார்கள் தன் ஆடைகளைத் துறந்து போராட்டம் நடத்தினார்கள். ஐரம் சர்மிளாவின் பத்தாண்டுகளுக்கு மேலான அஹிம்சைப் போராட்டத்தை எந்த மீடியா கவனப்படுத்துகிறது? காஷ்மீரில் ராணுவத்தை மக்களே கல்லெறிந்து விரட்டுகிறார்கள். சேனல் 4 வெளியிட்ட போர்க்காட்சிகளில், இந்தியாவின் பங்கு வெட்ட வெளிச்சமாகி இருக்கின்றது. இந்திய இறையாண்மை இன்னும் எதை எதை பலி கேட்குமோ தெரியவில்லை.

செங்கடல் எப்படியான படமாக இருக்கும்? இவ்வளவு போராட்டத்திற்குப் பிறகு வரும் படத்தில் உள்ள செய்தி என்ன?

எனக்காக ஆனந்த்பட்வர்தன் பேசினார். வழக்கறிஞர் இந்திரா உன்னிநாயர் எனக்காக ஒரு பைசாகூட வாங்காமல் வாதாடினார். திரிச்சூர் சர்வதேச திரைப்பட விழாவில் திறப்பு விழா படமாகத் திரையிட்டு தணிக்கைக்கு எதிராக தீர்மானம் இயற்றினார்கள். தணிக்கைக்கு எதிரான மனுவில் நாடு முழுவதுமிலிருந்து கருத்துக் சுதந்திரத்தில் அக்கறையுள்ளவர்கள் கையழுத்திட்டனர் .

கலையா, தொழில்நுட்பமா, உண்மையா என்று வரும்போது நான் உண்மையைத்தான் தேர்ந்தெடுத்தேன். உண்மைக்காக தொழ்ற்நுட்பத்தை, கலையை சிறிது விட்டுக் கொடுப்பது தவறில்லை என்பது எனது கருத்து. அதனால் என்னை இனத்துரோகி என்று கூட என்னைச் சொல்லக்கூடும். எனக்கு மொழி தேச, இன அபிமானங்கள் கிடையாது. இதில் கொலைகார அரசாங்கங்களின் அசல் முகத்தைக் காட்டியிருக்கிறேன். விடுதலை இயக்கங்களும் விமர்சனத்திற்கு தப்பவில்லை. ஈழப்பிரச்சினையை மேடைகளில் பேசி பிழைப்பு நடத்துகிறவர்களையும் சாடியிருக்கிறேன். நான் முழுதாக மக்கள் பக்கம் மட்டுமே நின்றிருக்கிறேன். இங்கு எல்லோருக்கும் எல்லாம் தெரியும். எது நல்லது, எது கெட்டது என தீர்மானித்துத் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கும் புத்தி மக்களுக்கு உண்டு. அரசாங்கம், மக்கள் எதைப் பார்க்க வேண்டும், என்ன சிந்திக்க வேண்டும் என்று தீர்மானிப்பதற்கு இங்கென்ன காலனியாதிக்கமா நடக்கிறது.

கருத்துக்களை சாமர்த்தியமாகச் சொல்லலாமே என்கிறார்கள். நான் வியாபாரம் செய்யவில்லை. செங்கடல் இந்திய இலங்கை அரசுகளையும், பதவிக்காக ஆயிரக்கணக்கான உயிர்களை பலிகொடுத்த வோட்டுக்கட்சிகளையும், அரசியல்வாதிகளையும் காட்டிக் கொடுக்கும். அடுத்த மாதம் திரைக்கு வருகிற இந்த படம் போரின் அசலான முகத்தை முன் வைக்கும்.

அடுத்து என்ன?
அடுத்து, கடவு சீட்டு என்பது படத்தின் பெயர். ஷோபா சக்திதான் திரைக்கதை. இலங்கை, பிரான்ஸ், தாய்லாந்து, இன்னும் மூன்று நாடுகளிலும் படப்பிடிப்பு நடக்கும். சர்வதேச தொழில்நுட்ப குழு உடன் உதவுகிறது. வரலாறு நம்மை தூர நின்று கண் கொட்டாமல் பார்த்துக்கொண்டு நிற்கிறது. அதற்கு உண்மையாக பதிவு செய்ய வேண்டிய கடமை எனக்கு இருக்கிறது.

நன்றி : நா.கதிர்வேலன்

Friday, July 1, 2011

தீராநதி கவிதைகள், ஜூலை 2011

அதற்குப் பிறகு,


இந்த செம்போந்து  பறவை ஏன் என் கூண்டில் வந்து முட்டை வைத்தது
பால் சுரப்பியான எனக்கு என்ன செய்வதென்று தெரியவில்லை
அக்குளிலும், தொப்புளிலும் மாற்றி மாற்றி வைத்து அடை காத்தேன்.
குஞ்சு பொரிந்து வௌவால் பிறந்தது
அதற்குப் பிறகு 
தலைகீழாக நடக்கத் தொடங்கினேன்
இரவில் மட்டுமே கண்கள் ஒளிர்ந்தன
தின்று துப்பிய அத்திப்பழ கொட்டைகளையும், நாவற்பழ விதைகளையும்
என் காதலர்கள் பொறுக்கத் தொடங்கினார்கள் 
காடு நிறைத்தது
தவளைகளின் இசை

தனிமை நிர்வாணித்திருந்த என் கையின்  பங்குனி மலரைத் 
திருடிச் சென்றது நெல்சிட்டு
அது பறந்த வயல்களில் பயிர்கள் மஞ்சள் நிறத்தில் விளைந்தன
மகரந்த சோறுண்டு பிறந்த உயிர்களுக்கு எல்லாம்  மூன்று கைகள் 
எதிர்வுகளுக்குப் பழகிய குறுக்கு கோடுகள் உறைந்துப் போயின
கணக்குகள் பொய்த்தன
துரோகிகள் என பார்த்த இடத்தில் நெல் சிட்டுகளைச் சுட
உத்தரவுகள் பிறப்பிக்கப்பட்டன
அதற்குப் பிறகு செடிகள் பூக்கவே இல்லை 

நான் இடலை மரம்
என் பசிய இலைகள் காற்றசைவிற்கே பற்றிக் கொள்ளும்.

வாகையின் செந்நிறப் பூக்களெனப் பறிக்கப் போய் சுட்டுக் கொள்கிறாய் 

உன் தீப் புண்களை அறுவாடென நினைத்து கூடடையும் தேனீக்கள்

இலையுதிர் காலத்தில் தேன் பிழிந்துப் பருகத் தருவாய்
அதற்குப் பிறகு
அகல மறுக்கும் குறியை அணிலாக மந்திரித்து 
என்னிடமே விட்டுச்செல்வாய் 

வரிகளோடி அணில் துளைகளிட்ட என் குருத்தை
இடைச்சி ஒருத்தி தினந்தோறும்
குழலூதி இசைத்துச் செல்கிறாள்
உனக்கு எப்படிச் சொல்வது
அவள் தான் என் புதிய காதலியென்று  

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