Shame On You , Mr. Girish Karnad

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA          NOVEMBER 05 , 2012           01.00 A.M.

English: Girish Karnad visited Cornell Univers...

Girish Karnad visited Cornell University in Ithaca New York for screening one of his old movies – Kanakapurandhara on October 29, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In recently held Mumbai Literary Festival , Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul a.k.a. Sir V. S. Naipaul got Lifetime Achievement Award . And then in the same festival he was attacked by Mr. Girish Karnad for being a right – winger and for propagating a skewed interpretation of Indian History . According to Mr. Karnad , Sir Vidia’s view of history is biased , twisted and un Indian .

mayaro, easter 2007 109.jpg

mayaro, easter 2007 109.jpg (Photo credit: vicarsh)

It was shocking and totally unwarranted . Mr. Girish Karnad was invited to speak on his life in theatre . Instead , he went off – topic and criticised Sir Vidia S. Naipaul for being anti muslim . According to Girish Karnad , Sir Vidia is blind to architecture and deaf to music . For being blind to architecture , he quoted Sir Vidia , ” …….. Taj Mahal conjured the toil , sweat and blood that had gone into this vain construction , a monument to death and the memory of a tyrant . “

If this is the cause of lampooning Sir Vidia , then what is Mr. Girish Karnad’s opinion about Sahir Ludhianvi ? Sahir , a Urdu literary figure , wrote a very disparaging nazm about Taj Mahal . I am quoting the nazm with the help of my fading memory .

Sahir Ludhianvi

Sahir Ludhianvi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ताज तेरे लिए इक मजहर – ए – उल्फत ही सही ,

मुझ को इस वादी – ए – रंगीं से अकीदत ही सही ,

मेरी महबूब कहीं और मिला कर मुझ से ।

बज़्म – ए – शाही में ग़रीबों का गुज़र क्या मानी ,

सब्त जिस राह में हों सतवत – ए – शाही के निशाँ ,

उस पे उल्फत भरी रूहों का सफ़र क्या मानी ?

मेरी महबूब पस – ए – पर्दा – ए – तश्हीर – ए – वफ़ा ,

तूने सतवत के निशानों को तो देखा होता ,

मुर्दा शाहों के मकाबिर से बहलने वाली ,

अपने तारीक मकानों तो देखा होता ।

अनगिनत लोगों ने दुनिया में मुहब्बत की है ,

कौन कहता है कि सादिक न थे जज्बे उनके ,

लेकिन उन के लिए तश्हीर का सामान नहीं ,

क्योंकि वो लोग भी मेरी ही तरह मुफलिस थे ।

मेरी महबूब उन्हें भी तो मुहब्बत होगी ,

जिन की सन्नाई ने बख्शी है इसे शक्ल – ए – जमील ,

उन के प्यारों के मकाबिर रहे बे नाम – ओ – नुमूद

आज तक उन पे जलाई न किसी ने किंदील ।

ये चमनज़ार , ये जमना का किनारा , ये महल ,

ये मुनक्क़श दर – ओ – दीवार , ये मेहराब ये ताक़ ,

इक शहंशाह ने दौलत का सहारा ले कर ,

हम ग़रीबों की मुहब्बत का उड़ाया है मज़ाक़ ।।

Sahir was a known left – winger and himself a muslim . And he was more strident in criticising Taj Mahal . Mr. Karnad never felt any need to condemn Sahir . But he fired his salvos towards Sir Vidia . Therefore I am forced to believe that it is not for the love of Taj Mahal , but it is sheer jealousy and inferiority complex of Mr. Karnad . Or should I say , it is appeasement of worst order .

Mr. Karnad’s another contention is that Sir Vidia is deaf to music . No one can deny the contribution of muslim singers and musicians in the field of classical music . But along with many muslim classical singers , there are others also like ; Pandit Ravi Shankar , Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia , Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma , Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh , Pandit Jasraj , Pandit Onkar Nath Thakur , Pandit Bhimsen Joshi , Kishori Amonkar , Shobha Gurtu , Rajan Mishra , Sajan Mishra , Jagjit Singh and above all the etherial Lata Mangeshkar and M. S. Subbulakshmi .

If I appreciate the above mentioned singers and artistes , I can’t automatically become a right – winger or a chauvinist or a Muslim – hater .

I denounce Mr. Girish Karnad for being a left – winger . I denounce him for being anti national . I denounce him for being a pseudo – secular and crypto – marxist . I denounce him for being anti – Hindu , and that too unnecessarily . He is himself an okay writer and a third – rate actor . All his Hindi films are testimony to this contention . It is sheer jealousy that he criticized a Nobel Laureate Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul .

He should know that his leftist leaning is exposed . His bias and appeasement is now known to all . His pseudo – secular credentials are condemned .

On behalf of me and my Acting Institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I denounce him in strongest terms .

Shame on you Mr. Karnad !



16 Responses

  1. Excellent piece. I have had enough of this secular fundamentalists. They think there are no intelligent Indians. I’d prefer the Western media anyday.


  2. Shame on you Mr Girish Karnad….you are mote than Vote Bank politicians of India…..really shame on you (:


  3. Your post just reads like a juvenile rant!!! It seems like it is you, who is jealous of Mr. Karnad. Being Nobel Laureate does’nt erase the fact that V.S. Naipaul is a misogynistic, biased right-wing writer!!


    • Juvenile rant ? You seem to be a pseudo secular , a left winger and a huge fan of Mr. Karnad , who is a third rate actor and an okay writer . Why should I be jealous of him . I am an acting trainer and run a famous acting institute in Mumbai and in the field of acting Mr. Karnad has achieved nothing . He attacked Sir Vidia only to get some columns in the news papers . Before attacking me you should read what Sahir wrote about Taj . Reply me point by point . Don’t behave like a paid fan of Mr. Karnad .


      • Mr Karnad isnt judging Mr Naipaul’s work in literature.With all due respect Mr. Naipaul, Nobel prize in literature does not garuntee profound knowledge in history…i too think he s biased with muslims of India..N the okay writer you call is a citizen of this nation..he too has every right to critisize in a civil manner..dont call that personal attack..


      • I have read Karnad’s work on theatre and have seen some of his movies. I think his work is quite good. You obviously disagree, which is fine. I am not here to argue about Mr. Karnad’s accomplishments. I merely agree with his critique of Naipaul’s work. Literature is not just about fluency and beauty of language. Politics, views, ideologies matter! Naipaul’s view on women writers is sexist and stereotypical. ‘India’ does not equal Hindu ways of living, but his writings reflect that.. And how do you define secular?

        Also, you really should not tell people how they should behave, unless you want a good dose of your own medicine!


  4. I think you misunderstood Karnad’s point, he just presented Taj’s case as example but Naipaul has basically hate for anything Muslim as do you. I can come zillions of couplets from shayars and kavis talking similar what Sahir said above.


    • Then it was a bad example. Say that.
      And, as a civised person (which I belive he is) he should have had the courtsey to tell the organisers that he is going to talk about something ,they may not agree with and might even be embarassed. .
      You don’t embarass your host! (Indian tradition, that Karnad was vauntin and flaunting about)


  5. There’s no problem of anti hinduism in this country mr.vidur..the real problem is anti minority sentimence esp.anti-muslim….that s wot people like you have to respond too instead of criticising mr.karnad…his criticism might have been untimely,but it points to the larger picture of india…


  6. Karnad might be a dignified person when it comes to his theatrical works, so is Sir Naipaul when it comes to his literary works. Using a platform given to him to talk about theater….and use it to gain some mileage among the so called secularists with possibly some political mottoes was very cheap to say minimum about his behavior. Sir Naipaul spoke about the repressed portion of our society again in the name of so called secularism. Having different law for a section of society despite Supreme Court’s 5 advisories in favour of a common civil code….taxing of the religious pilgrims of the majority community and offering huge subsidy to the other community’s pilgrimage….Taking away the collections from the religious places of one community while Govt, doesn’t absolutely have any control on other community’s religious places…Despite of this fact in Kerala .the so called secular govt. is offering pension to the employees of the religious places of minority community and you call all these as secularism….!!! Secularism means state being equi-distant from all religions but Gandhi-Nehru-Leftist axis gave another connotation to secularism in India and it is that “divide and appease” and while doing so …give priority to the organised minorities and suppress the unorganised majority community…:)


  7. Karnads shameful act will be revealed once we consider the fact that he misused the platform as mentioned above an occasion when the lit-fest was conducted facilitate the person whom he abused and it was to give an award of life-time achievement to Sir Naipaul ..Mr Anil (the chair person of the lit-fest) and Mr Farooqui have criticized this disgraceful act of Karnad in strong words…Karnad was speaking as if he is in a leftist political rally in Kerala or Bengal…May be he has some political 3rd rate ambitions….who knows…???


  8. shame on you mr vidur
    you are beyound understanding great mindslike
    karnad and naipaul


    • Hi Ms. Sahai ,

      Sorry for the delayed reply . Yes I am just a blogger . Never claimed I am a writer .

      I think you have written this piece without reading my blog carefully . I have not uttered anything against Sir V. S. Naipaul . In fact I have expressed my respect for his literary genius .

      But yes , I have vehemently criticized great mind ( ? ) Girish Karnad . Because he insulted Sir V. S. Naipaul . And that too when the person in question was not present there to rebut . Insulting a person in absentia is not the job of a great mind .

      This great mind ( ? ) Karnad again showed his pettiness when he criticized even Rabindranath Tagore just few days after criticizing Sir Naipaul .

      Criticizing literary giants for the sake of publicity is not the work of a real great mind . But great mind ( ? ) Karnad did precisely that . You have every right to respect great mind ( ? ) Karnad , but I have no such feelings for this person . And I am entitled to my views as you are to yours .


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