April 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

What is ‘Mammon’? It represents the Devil of covetousness, derived from the Greek word ‘mamonas’ indicatin g ‘riches’. But for the majority of the people in India, a happy thought on “World Woman’s Day’ that a goddess symbolizes ‘wealth’. And it is an irony, in the West they are rich and we are poor!
Mammon wins his way, when seraphs might despair! And the bottom line of contemporary philosophy the world over is ‘Money’ with capital ‘M’ in neon signs. No one does a thing these days, because he enjoys it. Writers, musicians, actors, social activists or whoever.
No wonder Milton got only fifty pounds , a paltry sum,for his magnum opus ‘Paradise Lost’ because he pictured Mammon as a Devil. And Mahakavi Bharati died in poverty although he had saluted Lakshmi as the goddess of wealth and prosperity in several poems! Irony again!
As of now, it is the ad-copy that arbitrates the value of things, be it in the field of art, literature or sports.
Mehistopheles and Mammon, alliteration apart, they have this in common, they enslave those, whom they possess wholly. Milton was right calling it Devil! The genesis runs like this, talent begetteth visibility, visibility begetteth popularity, popularity begetteth the notice of for-ever news-hungry visual media, and Mehistopheles in the incarnation of corporate sector, takes over.
A young boy all of just fourteen years, played the game of cricket in a fabulous way, for the love of it and soon he became a phenomenon. He came in for national reckoning, and international glare. The corporate sector made him a ‘one-man industry’. From the first sip of tea he drank in the morning to the night wear he put on before retiring to bed, he became the human bill-board for consumer products. I used to wonder whether that wonder kid ever enjoyed his morning drink or cricket aftertha!
And then this story of a veteran rural artiste, who performed theatre in the villages, stories from evergreen Mahabharata, Ramayana and such epics. Stepped in the city folks and their funding allies, the agencies from abroad. They were brought to the cities and what used to be night-long performances were abridged to two-hour plays so that the metropolitan elite did not miss their dinner, They were taken abroad for one hour shows in the shopping malls. The old man was not at all happy but he had to yield to the pressures of other fellow-artistes and said to have commented in Tamil ‘ எல்லாம் சைத்தான் பணம்’ ( All for the sake of Devil called ‘money’). I am sure he had not read ‘Paradise Lost’!


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You are currently reading Mammon at இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி.


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