Veteran theatre personality M K Raina today decried as “opportunistic” and “absolutely dangerous” the present trend of artists, thinkers and writers who choose not to express their ideological and political stance.
“At the recent march by JNU students it was painful to see that except for a few theatre people and artists hardly any of the big names walked with them. That I think is a very dangerous trend for society,” Raina said.
The director-actor referred to a march here taken out by students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, against the sedition law which the JNSU President was charged with.
Raina said he was unhappy that the students did not receive greater support from the liberal arts and social science community, which, he said, by its very nature encouraged critical thinking.
The director-actor pointed out that the artists community did not even extend support to a second procession, which supported an opposing ideology.
“What is worrying is that the artists community did not even march along with the other procession which came later. I find this position of riding under the carpet as the most dangerous opportunistic position. It is dangerous for any art and therefore to any society and country,” Raina said.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi award-winning director said it was easy to teach theatre techniques like stage lighting and mounting productions but not critical thinking skills.
“The critical thinking that comes from liberal arts and social science is absolutely missing,” Raina said at a curtain raiser event here for the 11th META theatre awards.
Deepan Sivaraman, theatre director from Kerala seconded Raina’s opinion.
“I have the same feeling. If arts students cannot come out to voice their dissent or support (for an issue) then it is absolutely hopeless for an institution,” Sivaraman said.