Thursday, 14 April 2011

ADDING MEANING TO IFFI


It was indeed interesting to note the suggestions of Dr. Nandakumar Kamat (through Gulf-Goans e-newsletter) regarding the 2010 International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Dr. Kamat suggests that this year's IFFI be organized on the theme “Colonialism and peoples’ struggles / movements across the world”. Arundhati Roy, suggests Dr. Kamat, should inaugurate the festival as well and deliver a speech on colonialism in the last 500 years.

His suggestions are a refreshing change. In my opinion, the IFFI's organization over the years have done Goans and Goa little good. We have not been able to recognize the contributions done by Goan musicians to the Indian film industry (who were by the way discarded in the corner as mere "arrangers") and neither have our unique culture been showcased to this country and the world. It is tragic that whatever opinions and perceptions that others have about Goa are entirely parroted from a tourism brochure which glorifies a hedonistic lifestyle, something entirely unknown to Goan culture.

This year also marks the 500th anniversary of Portuguese conquest of Goa as well as the completion of 100 years since formal citizenship rights were extended and widely claimed by Goans. We (Goans) have expereinced colonialism differently than the rest of India hence it is imperative for us to understand our colonial experience and the struggles associated with it.

True, this is the INTERNATIONAL film festival of INDIA. So I suggest that the emphasis be also given to COLONIALISM EXPERIENCED BY THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT along with Dr. Kamat's theme mentioned above.

Sir, the people of Goa hope that this year's IFFI is a more meaningful event than the meaningless 'carnavals' organized in the past.

Dale Menezes,
Quepem.

(A version of this letter was published in Gomantak Times, dt: July 7, 2010 in the Letters to the Editor column)

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