With the help of a post-90 film of Keralam - a state that has acquired a literacy rate of above 95 percent and projects itself as liberal and secular by not conceding even a single seat to the Hindutva forces either in the State Legislative Assembly or the Central Parliament after its formation in 1956 - I plan to demonstrate how hegemonic ideologies of history and religion oozed into the sphere of aesthetic representation. The narrative of the film The Ustad oscillates between the two polarities of the Janus-faced hero. And my expectation in the following pages is to point out that this oscillation from one pole to the other of the hero's psyche and body, the juxtaposition of the seemingly real and transfixed selves, carries wider networks of social and political significations.

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