To use art against the Sanatan ethos of Bharat had started long back, but it presented itself unabashedly after the Kathua rape case when derogatory paintings of the Hindu Deities started to make rounds of the internet. It has become a hot trend since then: using imageries of the Hindu Goddess to represent the atrocities on women, as though only the Durga-worshipping Hindu man attacks and molests the women in India.
Understandably, if these artistic renditions are performed at the cost of any other community, the results could be severe. Perhaps that is why the self-styled intellectuals have kept their intellect limited to slandering the Hindu symbols.
In such a virtual world, when every piece of art had started to reek of leftist propaganda, it was a pleasant surprise to find 19-year old Sirsho Archarya.
Though he has been using his paint brush to uphold the emotions of Nationalism and Hindu awakening for quite some time, it was the heart-wrenching depiction of the two Hindu Sadhus who were brutally lynched by a mad mob in Palghar that spoke to the shocked and bereaving netizens.
The bloody bodies of the saints and the brutal torture inflicted on them in the viral video of the murder of Palghar saint ignited the cries of hundreds of Hindus in my heart and that is what I tried to reflect in the painting through my brush.
The idea behind this painting is, the hands with sticks attacked them only because of the Bhagwa attire, because they were Hindu sadhus. Here, the main figure is not the symbol of the Palghar victims alone. It also symbolizes all those sadhus who were killed under the conspiracies of extremists all-over the India. In the bottom of the picture the three monkeys which are the symbol the ideology of pseudo-liberalism. These monkeys represent the masses that remained silent through the years.
He hails from rural Bengal, a state that is known to have produced massive number of artists. But, mostly the ones belonging to communist ideology. But Sirsho is different.
Family Hindu ideology and patriotism are the fuel of my art work. Moreover, due to the predominance of communist mentality in the art world, westernization and the decline of traditional Indian art is another reason for my patriotic arts. Somewhere our Indian heritage and art is getting lost due to adoption of western thinking. I would definitely blame communism as it has halted Indians from taking pride in their culture. It has taught people to insult the Sanatan culture and beliefs Hinduism in the name of secularism. Even some people have distorted the image of Hindu gods and goddesses while trying to modernize and showing their distorted mentality. They have reduced Hindu religious festivals to their social awareness campaigns. Their one-sided activism drove me to become a nationalist painter.
Recently, one of the young painter’s creations became the face of a mass movement – the movement to free Arnab Goswami. We all have seen this painting on various social media platforms. It was borrowed for banners on the streets of foreign lands.
Yes, after the Palghar Sadhu painting, I was exhilarated to see my paintings of Arnab Goswami go viral. I never thought this picture would become the language of the mass movement. I just drew the picture to express my anger, pain and protest. But it is my good fortune that the public has accepted it as a representative of the protest. And I think it the success of my painting. But the success of my protest will come that day when the sadhu got his justice. It took me six hours to paint the two images of the senior journalist which are now synonymous to public’s uproar for his release.
Sirsho has also expressed his objection at the abject distortion of the image of the Hindu Goddess Durga by various artists. In the strongest words, Sirsho says,
Durga Puja is the biggest religious festival of Bengalis. But these days some elements are trying to turn Durga Puja into an art exhibition. Now a days the Ghata Sthapana, Avahana, Nabapatrika Snan, Sashti, Saptami, Mahastami, Sandhi puja have been relegated to pandal hoping, various contests, showing off expensive clothes, and hogging. The committees are seen playing with the image of the Goddess. Look at the audacity. They refuse to adorn the Goddess of power with her weapons. All these farce to severe the Hindu roots. Can they try applying these whims and fancies to the beliefs of any other community?
Sirsho seems to know exactly what he aims at achieving through his art. He has an objective and is chasing the same.
Art is my passion and I want to make it my profession. I think I am not an artist yet, I am still trying to be one. I hope I am able to achieve what I intend to, through my endeavors. We still have a long way to go.
You can reach Sirsho Acharya on Facebook.
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