In our special series on the India You Didn't Know, eminent painter S H Raza remembers Indian greats Ghalib, Tagore, Faiz and Kabir -- and lauds our inheritance of different forms of Indian classical music.
We Indians have inherited a rich cultural heritage which demands that we study it, understand it and be worthy of it. But when one sees objectively what is happening today, I feel that it is quite a disaster. We are not able to treasure what a truly remarkable heritage we have inherited, at least a majority have failed to do so.
I have stayed in Europe for about 60 years and now I am very happy to have come back home this year. I still cherish fond memories of my childhood in Madhya Pradesh, where my father was a forest officer, and I held a close bond with the tribals there.
I also love travelling to the Ajanta and Ellora caves. But today, I feel a lot of people get carried away with petty and inconsequential things in life. We should go back to our roots and study the Bhagwad Gita, Ramayana, the Bible and Quran. It is not merely about wearing a cross or a kurta pyjama.
How many of us can recall the truly great Hindi and Urdu writers and poets? How many of us remember the works of Ghalib and Faiz, Tagore and Kabir? Not many, I fear.
Unfortunately today, I feel the public at large are more focussed and interested in the things that are so superficial; money is not everything. Yes, one should have it, but it is never the objective of art, religion or culture.
Full report here Rediff