In his “Own Words”

In Mumbiram we have an acutely sensitive commentator of a socio-political milieu. With a lucidity in his writing Mumbiram expresses aesthetic observations much ahead of their time.
He calls the Indian perception of beauty perverted, as it is in awe of the lighter skin and neglects its ’own’ unique variety of beauty. He criticizes contemporary Indian art as blindly following ‘western streams‘. Mumbiram’s analysis shows implications of aesthetic preferences on cultures at large.

“….On my return to India what struck me the most was the inundating variety of human beauty one sees here. Very few Indians are aware of it. The ideas about human beauty are extremely stereotyped here. For example the exaggerated preference for lighter complexion. I say it is a malady to not to be aware of your own beauty. … The consequences of a perverted ideal of beauty are so pervasive and far reaching that we don’t find an ideal of dark beauty after the example of
Draupadi of the Mahabharata.”

“We find this same neglect of human beauty in contemporary Indian painting. Even a leading painter like Husain paints blank faces. The affected distortion one sees a lot today is the most offensive example of blind following of western streams. …. 

(“In Search of Art that transcends Culture”, Mumbiram, 1985)

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