Bold strokes of pain - children depict the Muthanga episode

In these days of global and domestic wars, to which many grown-ups respond by simply shrugging their shoulders cynically, children react more readily to the inner urge for creative protests. The paintings of two young girls on the bloodbath in Muthanga show the anguish children experience at the brutal ways of the adults. Class nine student Krishna, and her sister Vaishnavi who is seven years younger, have responded to their ache through prompt and bold brush strokes of expression

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- Muthanga Episode

In these days of global and domestic wars, to which many grown-ups respond by simply shrugging their shoulders cynically, children react more readily to the inner urge for creative protests. The paintings of two young girls on the bloodbath in Muthanga show the anguish children experience at the brutal ways of the adults. (See: The truth behind the Muthanga incident) Class nine student Krishna, and her sister Vaishnavi who is seven years younger, have responded to their ache through prompt and bold brush strokes of expression.

In a series of 13 watercolour paintings, Krishna and Vaishnavi portray the moments of the brutal assault and the adivasis' flight for survival. This escape from the terror in Muthanga resulted in hunger and disorientation, with some victims getting stranded in deep forests for almost a week. Over a hundred women and children ended up in police lock-ups where they were assaulted and sexually molested.

The unyielding jail bars, and the terror-stricken eyes of hapless women and children peeping through them, are motifs repeated in the images created by the two budding artists. They lucidly convey the motto of a recent painting exhibition held at Kozhikode under the auspices of the Association for Human Rights: "Don't Kill."

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