Reading Bhadralok Cultural Memory, Kitsch And Culture Industry In Ritwik Ghatak’s Films




Ritwik Ghatak, bhadralok, memory, kitsch, culture industry, film


The paper problematizes Ghatak’s Marxist treatment of the Bengali as well as the Brahmanical repertoire of cultural knowledge, for the purpose of carving out a Communist significance of the period. Rather than a recontextualization of traditional myths, the paper reads in this attitude a nostalgic particularistic abstraction of a rich array of aesthetic ideas, which are best appreciated in their diverse cultural context. The paper argues that Ghatak utilizes creative opuses of vast potential to serve political goals, with an aim of strengthening the East Bengali immigrant population in post-Partition West Bengal. The paper criticizes how Ghatak breaks down the traditions from different spatial and temporal coordinates for serving the representation of the plights of the Bengali Refugee – making a powerful integrated identity of the traumatized subject at the expense of erasing class, caste, communal and gender distinctions. In this, there is an effort to fashion an imaginary unified East Bengali sub-national entity, which is politically evened out for realization of unique identity and clout.

Author Biography

Sarbani Banerjee, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee

Assistant Professor at HSS, IIT Roorkee


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How to Cite

Banerjee, S. (2023). Reading Bhadralok Cultural Memory, Kitsch And Culture Industry In Ritwik Ghatak’s Films. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 11(2), 21–49.