Articles by: Vidyarthy Chatterjee

Battle Lines Drawn And Ready

Battle Lines Drawn And Ready

Writing some month ago in a Bengali daily about, among other things, his stint as a security adviser to the vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University from 1999 to 2004 , Debanjan Chakraborty recalled an incident in April 1999 when a large mob was seen  scouring the campus looking for the office-bearers of the university students union. From time to time,[Read More…]

July 13, 2020 India
Death In The Time Of ‘Development’

Death In The Time Of ‘Development’

In ways more than one, Quarter Number 4/11, a documentary about demolitions and displacements and resultant miseries to a defenseless but defiant working class family, is reminiscent of Anand Patwardhan’s epic Hamara Shahar, made a quarter century earlier. “Quarter Number 4/11 is a ground-zero perspective of urban real estate development, narrated through the plight of ex-factory worker Shambhu Prasad Singh,[Read More…]

July 11, 2020 Arts/Literature
Desperation As Art: 50 Years Of  Güney’s ‘Hope’

Desperation As Art: 50 Years Of  Güney’s ‘Hope’

Yilmaz Güney’s phenomenal many-sided genius made him a force to reckon with when he came to direction after a long stint as Turkey’s most popular film hero. But in the post-Second World War history of the Turkish State and society, Güney occupies a higher place than just that of a trail-blazing film personality. His strong sympathies for the inhabitants of[Read More…]

July 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Politics Of Keeping People Away From Politics

Politics Of Keeping People Away From Politics

Forty-Five summers ago when Emergency was declared by Indira Gandhi, among those who welcomed it with open arms were many so-called captains of industry, notably J. R. D. Tata and K. K. Birla; they did it in the name of discipline, efficiency and good work culture. Talking to J. Anthony Lukacs of The New York Times, J. R. D. Tata[Read More…]

July 5, 2020 India
Film And Family: Revisiting An Early Patwardhan Classic

Film And Family: Revisiting An Early Patwardhan Classic

 It has been said of Anand Patwardhan, who turned 70 on February 18 this year, that he is ‘a kind of phenomenon in that he has all along faced official apathy, disapproval and, at times, censorship and open discrimination’. Perhaps, this is the way it should be for any creative artist wanting to grapple with political abuses, social injustices and[Read More…]

July 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Breaking the labouring back

Breaking the labouring back

The death of Jacques Chirac marked the physical disappearance of, arguably, the most intriguing French president of the past three decades or so. Chirac was conservative in his politics; an opportunist by nature; culture-conscious; and could be both defiant and corrupt. He showed character when he publicly acknowledged the fact of French complicity in the Holocaust, or chose not to[Read More…]

July 2, 2020 World
Mahanagar –  Formidable Body, Pathetic Tail

Mahanagar –  Formidable Body, Pathetic Tail

In 1963, Satyajit Ray directed Mahanagar, commonly considered to be his first ‘Calcutta film’. True, there is a little of the ‘Big City’ in Apur Sansar (1959). Equally true, Parash Pathar (1958) is about an elderly Calcutta clerk who comes into a sudden fortune, only to lose it in no time. But Parash Pathar is a fantasy film, can perhaps[Read More…]

June 30, 2020 Arts/Literature