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Agantuk: Ray’s Modernist Coda
This article will focus on the way Satyajit Ray’s films are almost invariably concerned with man’s viable connection with his society, his world, his universe. They advocate not the self’s mindless submission to contemporary society, but a new alignment between them.
His heritage might have contributed to this libertarian stance. Belonging to a family with strong links to the Bengal Renaissance, Ray inherited the world-view of a class deeply committed to the European Enlightenment philosophies of progress. Expected therefore is the progressive, secular,
cosmopolitan, liberal-humanist ideal of his work. Ray’s self-confessed credo is to present “not just single aspects of our life today, like contemporary politics, but a broader view of Indian history”. Hence, his persistent efforts to describe the making of a nation as it
emerges from its feudal and colonial past, and embraces modernity to become a new, hybrid postcolonial society.
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