India needs a broad united front to recapture its culture from the dominating influence of American culture and the growing clout of the electronic media and finance capital, historian Aijaz Ahmad has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the platinum jubilee programmes of the Purogamana Kalasahithya Sanghom here on Friday.

Mr. Ahmad said theatre, music and literature, precious possessions of Indian culture, had been reduced to the status of minority culture by a dominant electronic media powered by finance capital, technology, and unity of the ruling class.

“American popular culture has become the culture of the middle class in India, it is the religion of everyday life. Large sections of the people are exposed to this vulgar, bourgeoisie form of culture through the electronic media. Corporate finance of the media makes it very difficult for progressive movements to intervene and check this trend.”

Mr. Ahmad said progressive politics had risen in India in the backdrop of the national movement and the need for an anti-fascist united front at the global level.

He observed that the kind of electoral politics existing in India was dividing the country on religious, casteist, and communal grounds.

Highlighting the need to relaunch the progressive cultural movement, he called for a broad united front of forces opposed to imperial aggression, casteism, and communalism.

Progressive politics, he said, could grow only on the soil of progressive culture and ideology.

Poet and lyricist O.N.V. Kurup presided over the function.

‘The Bhakti Movement: Renaissance or Revivalism,’ a book authored by veteran Communist leader P. Govinda Pillai who passed away recently, was released on the occasion. Economist and political commentator Prabhat Patnaik handed over the first copy to poet Sugathakumari.

Poet Puthussery Ramachandran, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader M.A. Baby,

Sangham chairman Ninan Koshy, and general secretary V.N. Murali were present.