2 comments on “Ajab Tori Duniya (Happy Birthday, Balraj Sahni, and Happy May Day!)

  1. I read his autobiography after seeing your earlier post, thanks to the comments. It goes well with his convocation address at JNU
    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?266141
    Both are brutally frank and seem to be messages to other Indians in terms of his own life and frustrations. Since I am not very nationalistic ( I find that the poor are the same evrywhere, I do not know much about the rich) I do not agree with all that he says but he is very frank, unhappy and wants the Indians to think. I am sorry that there are too many comments from me but Balraj Sahni’s writings are unpretentious and close to my heart.

  2. Thanks, Swarup. I think I have seen and discussed this address before(?). I will have to look at it again in more detail sometime soon (but I wanted give a timely answer to your latest of many welcome comments). I have read a few articles or quotes in which Balraj Sahni was very critical of the Indian film industry, especially in comparison to film industries in the West. However, being someone who fell in love with classic Indian films after being exposed for many years to films and culture in America, I can definitely see reasons to prefer Indian films to ours, and I have gone over these a few times.

    Regarding the poor being the same everywhere… Certainly, Balraj must have agreed to an extent, being that he was a committed Marxist who actually had read a lot of Marx? I see him as being much more of an internationalist in the Marxist sense than a nationalist. Though, of course, in India during his time a lot of people seemed to combine both tendencies (as they did in many other countries)… Well, I will have to read his address more closely (again?) sometime soon and get back to you on this.

    BTW, I agree with you in that the poor ultimately have more in common with each other everywhere than they have with the rich of their own countries. Same goes for the rich, and I don’t think you have to know the rich or be rich to see that. :)

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