India – July - August 2008 - Press coverage and Events

Press Coverage - Following article based on an interview appeared in The Indian Express, August 11.

Click on the image below to enlarge

There were a number of open discussions on some 25 paintings with social activists, college students, intellectuals in Pune and Mumbai. Some of these are as follows.

Please click on the thumbnail for the larger view of the posters made by the organisation.

Kabeer Kabeer Kala Manch is an organisation of youth street singers, actors and bards. They enact political plays, sing their own songs to raise social awareness against economic, social and political repression. Most of them come from the lowest rung of the Indian society – people doubly disadvantaged by class and caste discrimination. They are a sort of touring theatre performing in the nook and corner of the state of Maharashtra.
The programme was presided over by Bhai Vaidya, a prominent socialist and ex-mayor of Pune.
July 25
Sinhgad Sinhagad College of Architecture
A questionnaire was circulated for the students who attended
the programme.

July 26
Click here for their feedback
Akshar Manav Akshar Manav is an organisation working mainly in the rural
areas of the state of Maharashtra engaged in promotion of
education, secularism, health and environmental issues. The programme consisted of an interview of Purandare by Vinod Shirsath. Shirsath is the Deputy Editor of Sadhana, a well-regarded Gandhian weekly magazine devoted to social and political issues. Rajan Khan, a renowned marathi writer organised the programme. Rajan Khan has been writing mainly on rural Maharashtra muslim issues for over 25 years.
July 27
July 31
Purush Uwach This is a Pune based study circle which
attracts intellectuals.
Vidrohi Vidrohi Cultural Movement is a nodal grass-roots organisation involved in many political activities, assertion of counter-culture and working towards end of casteism. It has a large following from the neo-buddhists, earlier outcastes and deprived sections of the society. Sambhaji Bhagat, a renowned fire-brand bard facilitated the dialogue with Purandare. Sudhir Dhavale - editor of bi-monthly Vidrohi and Shyam Sonar organised the event.
August 1
Sample feed-back –

Single-handedly you are taking the social awareness movement forward. Global issues and content make your paintings very remarkable. Congratulations and best wishes.
- Kamalakar Deshpande, Pune

These two hours were magical. The programme raises social questions in my mind. The paintings are very disturbing. I am going away with a lot to think about, very agitated.
- Jayant Bendre

Your painting pose questions, they do not provide answers. When there are answers, people do not think. Questions prod one to think.
- R Sonawane

Our society has so many inequities. Paintings are a good medium to give voice to the exploited. Your paintings not only present misery but they advocate against it. They show what is lacking, then the impetus for change can come on its own. In this sense this is a very valuable mission. Hearty congratulations on behalf of all the weak, the suffering for your attempt at social change. Thank you.
- Jeeta, National Centre for Advocacy Studies

I have been thinking about your paintings. I do not have the skill to use the medium of lines and colours so sensitively. So I can not express myself in
your language. Still, I feel these are my paintings.
- Sambhaji Bhagat

There are hardly any writers or artists who express their views on social inequity through their medium. But for rare persons like you, everything is capital-oriented.
I feel writers and artists should provide answers to social ills, and end of exploitation. This is the need of the hour.
Providing answers is not a negative exercise. It is very much a positive attitude. If you become a social surgeon, a social doctor, then you will give a new direction to social movements. A poet through his poems, a singer through his singing narrates social agony and tells of solutions as well. I sincerely request you to consider this suggestion.
- Raju Ranjana Kadam, Republican Panthers, Mumbai

This depiction of social pathology hits very hard. One feels the agony of the dispossessed acutely. To end this exploitative system we the activists look upon you to provide direction. I am aware of your stated aversion to give solutions, still, we expect this of you.
- Anand Birhade

Sir, your fight is admirable.
- Anil Jaybhaye, Department of Sociology, University of Pune

Everybody protests in his or her own way. But your way of protest is unique and appealing to everybody. What can not be expressed in words, you show it through paintings. Thank you.
- Sachin Adke

This is a totally novel and heart-rending experiment. Thanks a million.
- NW

I am very glad that I attended your programme. You have selected a very powerful medium to raise social awareness. I wish you all the success in your venture.
- Rohan Shirsath

I find your painting – ‘frames gone astray’ relevant in the environmental sense. Because in the biggest frame in the picture 4 or 5 people are killing a cow but the younger generation has turned its back to it.
- Vijay Shirsath

By grace of god, I got this opportunity to witness your attempt in raising social awareness through paintings.
It is very true that man learns more through seeing than hearing. 80% of knowledge comes through seeing. Your paintings are very effective for social enlightenment. They make a deep impact on viewer’s mind.
This is an uphill task you have undertaken. It is difficult but not impossible, going by this programme. I am sure you will reach your goal very soon, so too, will we, as per our abilities.
My heartiest best wishes,
- Jagdishchandra G Darane, school-teacher, Bitargaon Budruk, Tal Umerkhed, Dist Amaravati

Each painting speaks volumes. Each one has a Bhim. [This is a reference to Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, the tallest leader of the lowest rung of the Indian society from independence days]. You have depicted the problems of the society. I really liked the programme. Thank you.
- Ravi Pednekar, Yuva Mumbai

For the first time I realised how paintings can convey messages. It would be great if you could show these paintings in rural areas. It will help raise social awareness.
- Ganesh Sarpate, Beed

Words fail me to express my admiration for you. Your paintings are an acerbic commentary on social issues, imperialism, religious exploitation. You inspire youth like me…
- Vipul K Mumbarkar

Very poignant depiction of social inequity and exploitation on a global level through the medium of painting.
- Girish V Raut

Your art has global dimension. That is very important. Each painting analyses reality. But they do not go to the root of a problem. The powers who create problems stay in the background. And then, as an artist you fail to provide direction for change too. This makes me restless.
- Sachin Mali, Kabeer Kala Manch, Pune

Your paintings depict reality in human society. I could see the developed countries and their destructive policies. You have national outlook and social perspective. It is very important to raise social awareness. I have seen many exhibitions, met a number of artists but your style of presenting the social psyche and current affairs is unique and very important. You are a free thinker, that is something to be emulated. Your thoughts will strike a chord all over the world. My best wishes.
- Ganesh Mane [art teacher], Pune

The format of the programme was informal chat. It facilitated the dialogue. I hope the reach of your work increases for more two way communication.
- Dipali Raut

The social involvement that comes across through your work is commendable. Young generation should proceed along these lines. I congratulate for the ideas expressed through your paintings.
- Kishor Korhalkar

Ideas, presentation of and points that emerge from the paintings are superb. It is up to the viewer to ponder over these and use these as guidelines. Then he will certainly be happy in his life. I pray to god that you are blessed with a long life and good health to take this art project further.
- D D Korhalkar