He knows how to make the most of social media
Gujarat Chief Mnister Narendra Modi has managed to find favour with the youth, marketing himself through social media, danseuse Mallika Sarabhai said on Tuesday.
“To begin with, there is a huge leadership vacuum and Mr. Modi knows how to market himself brilliantly. He knows how to make the most of social media and today’s youth is all about social media,” she told The Hindu.
Ms. Sarabhai was here to deliver the second Hemlata Prabhu Memorial lecture at the Jawahar Kala Kendra.
Asked whether Mr. Modi’s recent popularity among the youth was an open, post-modernist acceptance of “voices from above,” she said that was the case only within Gujarat.
“In Gujarat, to an extent, he is still accepted for his regressive ideology but his popularity outside the State is driven by his brilliant marketing of himself.”
During the lecture, Ms. Sarabhai recalled her experience of being falsely accused and hounded by the Modi government.
“I had to hide under a carpet in the boot of a vehicle and cross over to Udaipur in Rajasthan to escape arrest. From there, I had to wear disguises and move from one city to another for 18 days till I could apply for bail.” Earlier, speaking on ‘Art, Education and Citizenship,’ she said art had long been an organic medium of expression but over the years it came to be reduced to “entertainment”.
“Art used to be a participative exercise and people used it as a medium of expression within the society but now it only means entertainment.” Dances and other media of artistic expression had served as a vehicle for transmission of culture and storytelling.
In today’s society, however, art was externalised and relegated to the stage.
But how did art, which is in many respects the most basic form of education, come to be restricted to “finer” definitions?
“That’s because we have embraced the Macaulay model of education, which basically meant to make officer clerks out of Indians so they could serve the British empire,” said Ms. Sarabhai.
Hemlata Prabhu, in whose memory the lecture was held, was co-founder of the Rajasthan chapter of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
“Ms. Prabhu was born and brought up in Chennai but dedicated her life to women’s education in Jaipur. She was a pioneer of the women’s movement in Jaipur and also led the anti-Sati movement here,” said Kavita Srivastava, PUCL national secretary. Ms. Prabhu taught English at Jaipur’s Maharani College for 20 years and went on to establish the Kanodia College in 1966.