Nandita Das, Actor & Director

How many of us try to feel and understand the pain of others? very few? At least corporates show that responsibility by making it as CSR activity. But social consciousness is justifiably avoided by most of the individuals in our society. Recently i listened to a speech delivered by Nandita Das, well known award winning actress of the Indian cinema, in this context. I hope it would be worth sharing the content of the speech with you people.

Before speaking about the speech, it is worth sharing my views about her films. the most controversial film in the Indian cinema ‘FIRE’ raised questions about Homosexuality and individual rights that everyone have in living their life. After that movie she acted in so many good social conscious movies like Earth with spoke about aftermath of Partition of India and Pakistan, Kannathil Muthamittal (கன்னத்தில் முத்தமிட்டால்) deals with Tamil eelam issue with Srilanka, and she directed a movie called ‘FIRAAQ’ which dealt with the ‘ 2002 GUJARAT RIOTS‘. She is also a social activist who raises voice against Child abuse, AIDS awareness, women rights etc. The intellect and social consciousness was well portrayed in her speech.

It was a speech she delivered in IGNOU for silver jubilee year celebration. The speech was titled as IDENTITY AND THE NOTION OF OTHERS“. I shared below What i understood from her speech.

Social Awareness: Most of us feel all others in this world are privileged, because we are not aware , what their outside our small world includes family, friends, colleagues, etc. we have to break that mindset and come out to see a what happens in the society, we will realize then we re privileged in some way or other than the people in the society. Nandita, during her college days used to do street plays concentrating on various social issues. Her first act was on Dowry issue. After that play they went for collecting money from people gathered there, with eyes full of tears women gave money. She was surprised ,but then she understood, for her it was a social work , but to them it happened in their personal life. How many of us feel the pain of others.

Identity Phobia: Knowingly or unknowingly we have so many identities in our life. Religious identity, Communal identity, professional identity etc. The ‘ism’ that we have been taught creates our identity. But the surprising thing is we misunderstood that our identities are created from birth. we claim that i born in a Brahmin family, so i am a Hindu or if in a Muslim family, so i am Muslim. But we should realize identities are not something the society gives to us through our birth, but it is something we have to give society to identify us. But let us question ourselves how many of us take it easy the religious conversion of our fellow human beings. Be aware of the fact that identity is individual right, it is he or she should decide his or her identity.

The Notion Of Others: Today as a society we are very closed to the opinion of others. We hope that our belief is superior to others. Might be or might not be. But are we as human beings respect the values and beliefs of others. No not at all. The approach we show on the ‘OTHERS’ questions the basic structure of the human society. Our sixth sense helps us to feel the pain of others, but what we do today? if millions die it is a statistics,,but if we look at one single story of a fellow humanitarians it is a tragedy. How many of us will have such a humanitarian view on the pain, belief, and suffering of others?

If this three things are rectified throughout the world , most of the world’s deadliest problems will get solved. If US respects the dignity of the people in all other nation, there wont be war on terror. If Israel agrees the dignity of Muslims in their country, there wouldn’t be any fight for Palestine. If Sinhalese change their soviet Sinhalese political mindset there would not be any Tamil Eelam fight and we would have saved the lives of 175000 lives in the final war of Eelam.If we respect the opinions and belief of other religion there would not be any Kashmir issue, Gujarat riots, Babri masjid demolition Gotra riots, etc.

Be social conscious, recheck your Identity and respect the views of others and change your view about the word “OTHERS”. We can stop the bloodshed and live a meaningful and peaceful life.

Nandita Das speech dealt with these things, but if we are socially conscious we could find so many other most important issues that questions the basic structure of human society. Religious fights, ethnic fights, ca

ste fights are the things that are very urgent to be solved. unless every person in the society changes, nothing will fruitfully happen to the human life.

Click on this picture to view her IGNOU video


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