Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sometimes I think

but usually try to follow any news vaguely related to poverty and development. Since my background is in mathematics, I do not have the theoretical or practical experience to fathom such problems.Many brilliant people have spent their lives thinking about such problems without any lasting solutions. Thinking about such problems with limited resources is likely to lead to some impatient band aid solutions. So I try to let diverse views flow and hope for some patterns to emerge. These keep coming but keep changing too. May be there are no solutions though there are some insights from thinkers like Marx. But even he made mistakes says Yanis Varoufakis. One source for me is popular Bollywood cinema, where common people had some influence, since the success of the films depended on their patronage: money at the bottom of the pyramid.The elite art forms had to be diluted and appear in short formats in film songs and dances. There was some resistance and film songs were even banned from All India Radio. There were also contradictions in the process of making films, since capital was needed. Some of these explored in this essay by Ashish Rajadhyaksha: The Curious Case of Bombay's Hindi Cinema:The Career of Indigenous Exhibition Capital.: ""Shri 420 is an unusual melodrama in the way it directly thematizes upon the aspects of capital regulation that underpin the production context of melodrama in post-War Bombay. I want to use the film to explore the career of what I shall call indigenous capital."
The essay says Part 1; I do not know whether there is a follow up. It is mentioned here, in a blog post by Aswin Punathambekar from  the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. There are many other wonderful studies by academics (for example 'Signal and Noise by Brian Larkin,mentioned earlier in this blog, mostly from USA and UK. There seem to be courses in several departments about India Cinema. Here is a course syllabus from this year which mentions the above paper of Ashish Rajadhyaksha.

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