A tribute to Marathi writer Vinda Karandikar who was recently awarded the Jnanpith award.
Karandikar is different. He still retains faith in Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi. When some of his well-educated and successful friends tell him with glee to accept that Marx and Gandhi are now dated, Karandikar disagrees. The disintegration of the Soviet Union is not a defeat of Marxism. It is a defeat of forces who deviated from Marx’s path. Marx will not become irrelevant so long as landless labourers and their families are shot, multinationals systematically loot the people and the benefits of progress do not reach the poor, he says.
The same is the case with Gandhi. Karandikar is not a dogmatist, is not a member of any party but he is known for his quiet optimism and plain speaking. Playwright Vijay Tendulkar is another major Marathi writer who speaks out against the establishment but is somewhat pessimistic and has no faith in any particular philosophy. Tendulkar has taken on the establishment more provocatively as his medium, the theatre, has a greater social impact.