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Literature shows how violence can be avoided, says URA

Mangalore, Jan 9, 2013, DHNS:

VC inaugurates national seminar on ‘Art vis-a-vis violence’

Jnanpith awardee Dr U R Ananthamurthy has said that it is wrong to read ‘Bhagavadgitha’ as a separate text. It should be read as a part of Mahabharatha.

Ananthamurthy was supposed to deliver a key-note address, at a national-seminar on ‘Art vis-a-vis violence’ organised by the Department of English of University College, Mangalore and Association of English Teachers here on Wednesday. Owing to his health condition, he could not attend the seminar. However, he had sent a recorded speech for the event.

He said “the great epic ‘Bhagavadgitha’ takes violence as a subject. Even after Vishwaroopa darshana by Lord Sri Krishna, the war in Mahabharatha continued.


Whatever is inevitable can not be avoided. It has to happen. It also portrays altruistic instinct in humanbeings.” Voince has baffled mankind. Literature does not just depict violence. It also shows how violence can be avoided. Literature is concerned with violence and sex from time immemorial. Political analysis of violence never tells us nature of violence. All sensational news are attractive and media has been using violence to attract the audience. 

“A Burmese lady had fought the non-violent battle and won. Nelson Mandela won after undergoing sufferings and so did Martin Luther King. Gandhi won and lost in a way, but he did keep the possibility of the triumph of the altruistic alive,” he said while pointing out that “idealism” resulted in violence after the partition of India.

Inaugurating the seminar, Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor Prof T C Shivashankaramurthy said that discussing on violence and trying to prevent it is the need of the hour. “To prevent violence, we need to strengthen our law enforcement and we must try to understand, why such acts of violence take place,” he said.

Both art and violence are the integral part of human life. Man gets aesthetic pleasure from hunting animals, watching drama, dance and music.

Violence appeals and excites many people. The World War gave rise to literature and paintings on violence. Art has to be used to make world less violent, he said.

The VC said that art alerts us to the dangers of violence. It makes us to understand the fact that victims and perpetrators of violence are destroyed. Art is a weapon in the hands of victims of violence, he added.

Stating that there has been increase in assault on women, he said that 650 rape cases were registered in the national capital in 2012. According to a report, there has been crime against Dalits in every 18 minutes in the country, six Dalits are kidnapped every week. Many a time artists have become voice of the voiceless in the country. The relationship between art and violence is hazy, paradoxical, complex and varied.

In her introductory remarks, organising secretary Dr Ammalu Kutty said that violence has engaged human minds since time immemorial. Powerful ideologies have sprung to propagate and legitimate it politically and culturally. The 20th century in particular has been witness to unprecedented acts of violence resulting in untold miseries.

Contemporary art, through its representation has to explore and identify forms of violence in an attempt to understand, alleviate and exercise it. Association of English Teachers President Vincent Alva was present.

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