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Where has the Soul-Force Gone?

indian art1

Someone remarked recently that five to ten decades ago, the quality of creativity in general was so exceptional and powerful in comparison to what we churn out today. Be it in the field of literature, journalism, poetry, painting, dance, music, even drama, there was a strong message, a lasting impact and something that rang more true in the work during those times. Its as if the artists and writers had penetrated into depths that we today are only examining superficially and worse, we tend to remain content at that level alone. If you take the activity that took place during the freedom movement, all this would not seem to be an exaggeration for indeed, the work was far superior and charged by the very spirit of the movement, convictions, ideals, pointed determination.

But therein lies the answer to the why that we can pose in today’s scenario… why is that soul-force lacking all of a sudden? Could it be because we don’t have a goal in front of us anymore, something towards which we can direct all our being? Could it be that one of the effects of globalisation is that we are no longer accountable for anything that’s going wrong – let the global world take care of it…? Could it be possible to some extent that what was necessary for the life and mind of the people five decades ago is not the need of the hour today? Could it be that without that fire that burns within, one just cannot aspire to instill life in what one writes or paints or sings? Could it be that the strength of that force that enabled such extraordinary feats of creativity to come to the fore is today diminished because the instruments are too weak or too ignorant to handle it?

The reasons could be many.

We subscribe to the fact that there is a dire necessity for a resurgence of that soul-force, and that we cannot be complacent about our existence and our contribution to humanity. We will undoubtedly benefit if we study and appreciate the past for its astounding achievements. At the same time, perhaps what we need to do instead of trying to emulate the past or being intimidated by its contributions is to realize each for himself individually and also on a collective level that a sense of passion and commitment is not something that is ascribed to a specific period or a specific mission but in fact should be eternal, guiding and driving every moment of our life. If we take it upon ourselves to do the best we can, with complete sincerity and utmost aspiration, then whether the results of our efforts match up to those of the bygone eras or not, is no longer an issue. That the effort should be one that is honest and fulfills its objective in the present day is the first priority. If it should inspire others in future times to further heights of perfection, that is a bonus.