Message of the Mahatma.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - Charcoal on Paper.

Art Camp and Short Film Screening on 100 years of Champaran Movement of Mahatama Gandhi.


Rajasthan Adult Education Association in association with White Canvas organised one day painting camp and 4 days sculpture camp on the theme 'Message of the Mahatma'. 70 Painters and 15 sculptor artists  from all over India created on this theme. Artists depicted different forms of Gandhi and Gandhian values on different medium. 

The camp was held at in the lush green lawns of Rajasthan Adult Education Association (RAEA), situated in Jhalana, Jaipur. In the morning  of 5th September an orientation lecture was held for the artists which was done by Chairman of RAEA Ramesh Thanvi. Also a short film ‘Kalamkhush’, by Himanshu Vyas depicting Gandhi was screened for the artists and participants at 9:30AM. 

"There is a meaningful relation between education and art. This event is an experiment of linking the Gandhian idea with various art forms. As  Mahatama ji said "my life is my message", he himself was the embodiment of values and ideals. All artists were free to pick up any message from his life, either symbolize it or recreate it, may be real or in abstract form,”  Ramesh Thanvi, Chairperson of RAEA said.

The painting and sculpture camp was held to mark the 100 years of Champaran peasant movement a part of the wider struggle for independence, by Gandhiji when returned from South Africa. The Champaran peasant movement was launched in 1917-18.

The ongoing sculpture camp was also got over on September 5th which was started on 2nd September 2017. Camp was inaugurated by famous art critic Varsha Das on September 2nd.

The senior artists present at the camp were RB Gautam, OM Thanvi, Daniel Connell, Ranbir Sinh, Harishankar Balothia and SK Bhatt. Senior artists while interacting with the participants told them about the idea of art for GandhiJi.

Above what you had read, is the text from press release.


Generally I avoid “thinking part” when I attend these kinds of camps or Art competitions which are organized on the name of any Personality or Hero or Idols or call them anything. Because I had learned from my long past experience that most of these kinds of events are organized to simply gain political or financial millage and no one care about what you had learned. But in this long past experience of attending these kinds of camps I had also stumbled upon very few such kind of camps which were genuinely interested in teaching us something. And this camp was also that kind of Stumble. These kind of stumbles breaks your robotic speed and make you think about what is going on and why?

While I was attending the camp I had a Random Questions and Answers session with myself. Just trying to share that session with you all. 


Who are these people who had organised this camp and why?

These people are looking genuinely Idealistic who wants to spread knowledge.

Who was this Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma?

He is supposed to be father of our Nation but me a guy in late 30’s who lives in India knows nothing about him. All I know is that he was one of the main leaders in the freedom struggle of India, Who did his Nonviolent Revolution to free this country and Congress has the copyright over his name.

What was this “Champaran Peasant Movement” which was launched in 1917-18?

Are you kidding me, I don’t have a faintest Idea.

What was his Message and what are we learning about “Message of Mahatma” from this camp?

Ahimsa or call it Nonviolence according to me and we are learning Nothing from this camp about the “Message of Mahatma”.

So why are you still here?

To see how different artists work and to learn new techniques of art from them.

So you think if the name of the camp would have just “Art Camp” it would have been more appropriate?

yes.

Why so?

Because might be Mahatma Gandhi is a hero of the Organisers but I and many of the artists I had interacted at the camp didn’t had any Idea about him.

Are you not feeling ashamed that you don’t know anything about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, he is suppose to be father of our Nation?

Hmmm. . . No not really.

Why?

There was a time when the source of Information and entertainment was limited to Books and Radio only and that also very limited Books. At those times people didn’t had much exposure about the world or many choices for Heroes. At those times People use to read about same person again and again different books different messages but the same person and that use to make that person Hero in their minds. In India the major books which got published after Independence or  were easily available at that time were on Gandhi. Call it the congress connections or whatever but they played a big role in this to make him The only Hero or to portray him as the only reason for the freedom of our nation.

Few people who were not been able to digest the Idea of Gandhi being an hero they use to dig about other Revolutionaries or Idols and start making them their hero. Due to the limited source of Information and entertainment there was less distraction, fewer choices and selecting a Hero was simple.

So you are against Congress and Gandhi?

No I am not against Congress or Gandhi or anyone else.

So you are against making hero or reading about them?

No I am not against making hero or reading about them.

So what are you trying to say?

I just want to say that you can’t create hero or enforce your hero on someone else and make them Idolize or read about that hero. Hero’s are important part of everyone’s life and everyone has their own hero. But someone becomes Hero to you when you repeatedly unconsciously come across or read or listen about him again and again different stories different incidents but about the same person. 

For example till a certain age my hero was Amitabh Bachchan I use to know everything about him. Then came the time when I started Idolizing Kishore Kumar, Mehdi Hassan and R.D. Burman. The reason why they became my Hero was at those times I was surrounded by such sources of Information which were continuously feeding my head about them only. There are people who had made Amitabh Bachchan’s temple and started worshiping him.

Today my source of Information is not limited, I have Sea of information and information sources in front of me, But I don’t have any hero. 

So what does all of this has to do with the Art Camp “Message of the Mahatma”.

In last 20 years drastically the whole World and the sources of Information has changed. Today I have information about Thousands of heroes and their Ideologies but I don’t have Knowledge to choose one? 

Today People don’t understand the difference about the Information and Knowledge. The reason they don’t understand is because of our education system. In our education system we totally emphasis on storing the information given to us in our mind and then to produce it on the answer sheet as it is. The person who masters this process will be the number one student and gets the highest marks. If you dare to question this system or if you try to get knowledge out of the information provided to you, then you are on your own. 

This Education System which emphasis on memorizing and reproduction of information was introduced in India by Britishers and they replaced our old education system where the emphasis was on thinking and creativity. Britishers had the reason for this they wanted people (Indian’s) who work for them to just follow orders and not to apply their brains. We are blindly following that system till now and when I read about the education system of developed countries I find that they never had this kind of system. They always had and have a education system where they emphasis on thinking and creativity.

Where are you going with this?

Basically I want to say that in today’s India spreading knowledge is one of the hardest things. In last 20 years everything has been changed completely and is in the process of changing. Just one thing which remained the same is our education system or even if it is changing at some places the speed is too slow. This Education system never taught us how to convert Information into Knowledge, at least not to me. 

Now I got in a habit where today when I meet someone and he introduce something to me, Instead of listening to him I go in my database in my brain I check the link of that Information and then get back to that person with a thank you and tell him that don’t you worry I have the link of that information, I will go through it if I would need it. Now days I am not even storing the Information in my head but the links of the source of that Information. This is not just the situation of one segment of Indian society but every segment of Indian society is on this path. In this situation how can anyone even think of me remembering this “Champaran Peasant Movement” or about Mahatma Gandhi? But If you will Pay me to even Write a book on Mahatma Gandhi I know which Links I have to go on to.

I will say spreading knowledge is one of the noblest work anyone can think of and hats off to “Rajasthan Adult Education Association” and the genuine Associations like these who are still trying to work on this issue. But you people first have to revolutionize the way you want to spread Knowledge. You have to find the different approaches through which you can reach in the minds of people and spread the Ideas. I am sorry to say but according to me your old school systems is and can never give you the desired results, We have to understand time has changed.

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