Introduction to a Film on Female Genital Circumcision by it’s lead Meenal Kapoor


The film is based on an important issue which has been overlooked because of ignorance about the subject. This film fills that void. It creates awareness about the urgency for banning the horrid medieval practice. Meenal’s performance holds the film together. The intensity with which she has delineated her character reflects on a conviction in the actor about the theme of the film. One must also congratulate the Director for communicating about the practice in such a short film. – Editor

Female Genital Circumcision or FGC as it is commonly known is India’s best kept secret. This tradition is practiced in 21st century India within a small and conservative community of Dawoodi Bohras. This is a curse to any women and must be banished. We have made this film to bring awareness to our fellow citizens to abolish this draconian era act which has no place in our society.

This short film ‘Female Khatna’, directed by Shashank Upadhyay, is on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or also known as Female Genital Circumcision (FGC). Similar to circumcision of boy’s FGM, it’s a reality that is still practiced in our country albeit by a small minority community. Our team received threats from several people demanding to drop the film, they infact have vowed to cut the young director’s throat. However, he is determined to release this movie which focuses on the draconian era practice of circumcision of little girls often between the age of 6 to 12 years. This is a bitter truth which almost 90% of Indians are unaware about. Our mission is to bring awareness on this cruel, secretly performed practice and ensure that FGM is not allowed in our civilized society. Most developed nations like the USA, Australia, France & many more have banned FGM/FGC. There are however no such laws yet in India to stop this social evil practice. Ironically this is the nation where girls are revered as Sita Maata or devi, yet there is such blatant human rights violation on a girl child. We have also petitioned with the government to enact laws to make FGM illegal and bring a complete ban on this practice although yet to receive any concrete reply.
So we seek the public support to make the movement against FGM in India a success. Remember everyday more than 10,000 girls between the age of 6-12 years are subjected to this cruelty. We urge you to create awareness against FGM and share about this to as many people as you can. Perhaps one day the government may listen to us. You may join our group and on our Facebook page. With your support we are certain that India too will ban the practice of FGM/FGC sooner or later.

Bollywood’ s Shadowy Underbelly — Partha Chatterjee


Far away and long ago in 1959, Guru Dutt made Kagaz Ke Phool in Black and White and Cinemascope. In it an unhappily married director falls in love with his protégé. It was a truly felt love-story, which was a resounding flop, commercially. Now, in 2006, it is a cult classic appreciated even by non-Hindi speaking audiences in Europe and America. Nothing has been produced of its calibre in Hindi Cinema in the last forty years.

In truth, the Hindi Cinema of Mumbai, erstwhile Bombay, has regressed into an infantilism that can be attributed to spiritual malnutrition. This decline is part of a larger social malaise, a lumpenisation following the abdication of all responsibility, social and political, by a microscopic educated elite, which has allotted to itself every financial and political privilege.

Cinema, in India as elsewhere, has been an entertainment industry. In other parts of the world hedonism, as a logical upshot of rampant consumerism endorsed by America, has found expression in films. Notwithstanding a very small coterie of dissent representing artistic, mature, committed cinema. In India, particularly Bollywood – as Mumbai’s Hindi film Industry has come to be known – no such force exists.

Legitimate financing of films has always been a problem. Producers, beginning their careers, and even later, have to borrow money from loan sharks at a back-breaking 4 per cent per month (or 48 per cent per annum), thus inflating costs due to production delays; mostly attributed to clashing dates of Stars who ‘sell’ films and try to make the most of their usually short-lived careers. Banks, rarely if ever, back films for they regard them as high-risk investments.

Corporatisation can certainly streamline production methods; keep films within budget by completing them on time. It can, in the near future, also attempt to create an exhibition chain, parallel to the existing one, which represents certain unseen, vested interests. What corporate investment in mainstream Hindi film production cannot guarantee is meaningful yet entertaining films. Entertainment translates as ‘manoranjan’ in Hindi. It is an exquisite word, meaning painting or rather illuminating the mind – since any idea of painting involves light.

Things are quite different in reality. The average Hindi film celebrates mindless sex and violence, and mirrors consumerism imposed from without by America and its adjunct, satellite television. In Bollywood, there is hardly any attempt to open the mind to beauty. It is assumed that the average filmgoer whether the rural poor, middle class, rich and city bred is no more than a creature responding to limited aesthetic stimuli.

He likes to see on screen flashy clothes, fast cars, skimpily-clad women, huge gaudy sets with the latest gadgets and people putting away enormous quantities of alcohol and rich food: to top the topper – blood and gore punctuated by inane dialogue and ‘item numbers’ that show acres of female flesh gyrating to loud music. This assumption is both true and untrue because it is precisely those Bollywood products that contain these elements that succeed financially. But box office success also has a rider, that the film be interestingly narrated. It is incorrect to assume that people, rural and urban, cutting across class barriers, want to see only one kind of cinema. For the record, only ten percent of the commercial Hindi films released make money, another fifteen percent break-even and the rest sink without a trace.

The exhibition, distribution and financing of motion pictures in Mumbai is usually controlled by a shadowy Underworld. It dictates the kind of films that get made and seen. The strategy of this conglomerate is simple – limit the choice of the paying customer and make him believe what he sees is what he likes. This formula does not always work, because of the shabbily written scripts and badly structured, sluggishly paced editing.

It is no secret that black money had entered the film industry by the mid-1960s. There is a photograph still in circulation of Hindi Cinema’s greatest showman – Raj Kapoor touching the feet of Mirza Haji Mastan, the first known gangster-smuggler of Bombay who started as a coolie on the docks. Ratan Khatri, king of the numbers racket, even had a film made on himself. The Dholakiya brothers, who once owned Caesar’s palace, a nightclub, which was mainly a rendezvous for prostitutes and their clients also had a financial interest in certain films. Dawood Ibrahim and his lieutenant Chhota Shakeel had others front the productions they had backed. Producer S H Rizvi – said to be Chhota Shakeel’s man – was picked up by the police on the basis of a tapped cell phone conversation in which he had named a prominent Indian right-wing politician who had always gone out of his way to help him. To say that gangsters and politicos work hand in hand these days is an unassailable fact.

It is now possible for a fugitive from justice to be a resident of Dubai and actually dictate through his operatives in Mumbai the kind of films that are to be made and the people who will feature in them. Recent revelations in the press of non-controversial singers like Alka Yagnik and Kavita Krishnmoorthy having sung at Dawood Ibrahim’s sister’s wedding fifteen years ago only confirms the idea of the Hindi film industry as always having been an extension of the Underworld. The prospect is both frightening and revolting.

Amitabh Bacchan’s biggest hit in 2005 is Sarkar, modelled on Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. It is directed by Ram Gopal Varma, a Hyderabadi entrepreneur who rode to fame and fortune on the crime wave. He did Satya, a well-researched glamourised look at the world of crime, then followed it after several years and films later with Company. His assistant E. Niwas did Shool, on an honest police officer whose wife is violated by thugs and who is himself largely marginalized by politicians and gangsters working in tandem – till the last ten minutes before the finish.

What of Prakash Jha’s two films that profess to be on the side of the law? In Gangajal you have a strong committed cop going hammer and tongs to straighten out a corrupt town run by a nexus of thugs and politicos. Apaharan has a decent, unemployed boy forced to take up with gangsters and to kidnap a Chief Minister’s daughter. Whatever the message tacked on at the end of either film, violence is glorified and the triumph of evil over good obliquely suggested.

If gangland money is not involved in the production of a large number of Hindi films, why then is there a glorification of the gangster? Why is there a palpable suggestion that the State itself is in connivance with organized crime and is indeed giving it a fillip? No matter which party in power, crime and politics seems to feed off each other and terrorize the law-abiding citizen through the police.

Samuel Johnson had observed that patriotism was the last resort of the scoundrel. A rash of patriotic films like Refugee, Gadar, Border, LOC Kargil and Lakshya only make clear that dubious intentions of the filmmakers and the backers, seen and unseen. Wars from time immemorial have been fought for strictly commercial reasons. The only morality involved is amorality.

The advent of the multiplex in cities has raised the price of admission tickets by at least three-fold. But the films that get shown in these claustrophobic halls, usually equipped with state-of-the-art projection facilities, are mostly mediocre. There is, contrary to the vociferous claims of the industry and its supporters, a woeful lack of talent. Not technical talent – God knows there are enough cameramen, sound recordists, editors and special effects personnel who can deliver a product of international quality. But there are no directors or scriptwriters of vision and integrity. Bollywood perhaps does not need them.

What would corporatisation achieve other than a cosmetically pleasing product that can be marketed to captive NRI audiences in the U.S., Canada, Australia and England? Today a film’s national box office revenues account for only 40 per cent of the total earnings; the other 60 per cent comes from overseas rights, sale of music albums and DVDs. Unless there is a clear segment of the market a corporate film concern wishes to target with films that are not only technically fine but aesthetically pleasing, nothing of lasting value can be achieved.

The Italian, Irish and Jewish mafia in the USA went legitimate by gradually laundering its black money through investments in big, reputed industrial concerns. It is rumoured that something similar is happening on the Indian subcontinent. Although there are new players in the game, Dawood Ibrahim’s shadow continues to loom large over Bollywood. The content of a film is as important as the technique used to express it. Hindi films continue to be caught in a reactionary political, social time warp. What good then can possibly come of Adlabs being bought by the Ambanis who own Reliance?

Will the day ever come when simple, elegant, deeply felt films shall engage with an audience of mainstream Hindi cinema? Will such efforts be made possible by the active patronage of a paying audience? One can only hope.


On Seeing Padmaavat By Partha Chatterjee




Sanjay film Padmaavat based on Malik Mohammad Jaisi’s long narrative poem from the 16th century, has finally been released after much bloodshed and violence across northern and western India. Things got so out of hand in Gurugram, Haryana that a mob owing allegiance to the Rajput Karni Sena founded by Lokendra Singh Kalvi mercilessly stoned a school bus carrying small, terror-struck children cowering under the seats not wanting to get grievously injured. Mysteriously the Karni Sena has suddenly gone silent along with its leader and the film is doing roaring business. Bhansali and his financiers are laughing all the way to the bank. The BJP Government is silent about the abominable acts of terror and mindless violence unleashed by the Karni Sena, which like the ruling party is Right Wing and blatantly Hindu.
Padmavati, according to legend was a Singhala princess whom the Rajput prince Ratan Sen (Singh) fell in love on his search for priceless pearls on the island. He brought her back to Chittor (Rajasthan) as his second wife much to the chagrin of his first spouse Nagmati. Padmin’s lambent beauty has been a part of folklore since the 14th century. Her love for her brave, chivalrous, not very intelligent husband and the supposedly obsessive desire of Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316), the 13th and early 14th century Sultan of Hindustan to possess her body and soul is the stuff of legend. Chittor, according to folklore fell to the better armed and numerically superior Khilji army after a fight unto death. The womenfolk-old, young and children- are said to have committed Jauhar by immolating themselves. This is the story, with suitable embellishments and digressions in the very many versions that exist which have been fed to the upper castes, meaning the Brahmins, Banias and Rajputs, who have remained at the apex of the caste hegemony of majoritarian Hindu India over the last thousand years and have enjoyed all the economic and political privileges even when living under conquerors. Status quo prevails even today in independent India.
Bhansali’s film is all that it should not be – retrograde, overly sentimental and crass. There is no story really apart from the populist legend handed down over centuries. It is driven by dialogue that would befit a second rate Television serial and a lot of grand standing. The camerawork, if it can be called that, is completely dependent on special effects as is the entire production, most of all the sets, the outdoor battle scenes, the utterly revolting and inhuman long sequence of Jauhar at the climax of the film. The costumes and jewellery and weaponry and other props would do credit to any desi-chic fashion designer. It is really difficult to know how exactly royalty, both Rajput and Turki Khilji, dressed in those days or how they ate, slept, made love, fought wars. In these matters it is best to let the imagination roam, as long as it does not resemble a fashion show, which this film does. But would it have mattered if the film had argued its case in the 21st century idiom of morality and ethics?
The historical period in which a film is set is unimportant; what however is the treatment or how the subject is treated. Surely Jauhar, in theory and practice would have been revolting to women at the time it was practised, trapped as they were by the tentacles of patriarchy. Women were regarded as custodians of the family’s therefore clan’s honour. There were no nations then. The truth is they were regarded as goods and chattel in India till well into the 20th century. Defeat in war and resulting conquest by the enemy always resulted in the search for scape goats, which conveniently ended with women. Jauhar was committed to save the honour of the community. The men, of course, could be co-opted by the conqueror, as they usually were, regardless of what the legends said. Bhansaali’s Padmaavat is set conveniently in the medieval period thus giving it a status of myth. The cardinal reason behind its runaway success is that Indians ‘’uncontaminated’’ by an occidental education who form the overwhelming majority are addicted to myths.
The alarming thing about Padmaavat is its openly communal stance. Ratan Sen (Singh) and his followers are shown as being brave, chivalrous, trusting and honourable. Alauddin Khilji and his fellow Muslims are depicted as being dishonourable, treacherous and woman-hungry. Even the penultimate scene in which Ratan Singh is killed is because he is brought down in a hail of arrows directed at his back by Khilji’s army. The drawn out Jauhar sequence at the end, is shot with a neurotic love that reveals a completely retrograde mind.
Since Bhansali, through his film, reveals a mindset as backward as that of his so-called adversary Lokendra Singh Singh, founder of Karni Sena, it would be only natural that he legally adopt the filmmaker as his son and heir!

NSD Hosts the 8th Theatre Olympics – India 2018

About Theatre Olympics
The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 at Delphi, Greece. As an international theatre
festival, the Theatre Olympics presents some of the greatest theatre practitioners from
around the world, offering a platform where despite ideological, culture and language
differences, dialogue is encouraged. Since 1993, the Theatre Olympics has been held seven
times in: Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), South Korea (2010), China (2014), and
Poland (2016).

17th February 2018: Imprinting her name in the global theatre map, India on this day
threw the floor open to the 8th Theatre Olympics, the largest theatre festival of the world,
being hosted for the first time in India by the National School of Drama, under the aegis of
Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of
India, along with Union Minister of State for Culture (IC) Dr. Mahesh Sharma, inaugurated
the mega event at the historic Red Fort.

“The 8 th Theatre Olympics will take Indian culture and heritage to the world and bring the
world to us. Art has the power to unite people across the globe. India believes in the culture
of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the entire universe is one, which is an integral part
of the Indian cultural and theatrical tradition,” said Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah
Naidu on the occasion

“Through the 8 th Theatre Olympics, we meet the rich theatrical tradition of India and we
encourage the articulation of a free and collective voice which will defend the value of the
theatre tradition, research, and experimentation,” said Chairman of International
Committee of Theatre Olympics, Mr. Theodoros Terzopoulos.on the occasion

The video film, prepared by students of IIIT, Delhi, shows some of the major highlights of the festival including glimpses of Directors Meet in which Theatre Directors interacted with Theatre Critics, Theatre Students, Theatre Buffs a day after the show and so many other highlights like the Food and Theatre Bazar. It captures the festive ambience of the event



Theatre Olympics: First time in India



The Play & Director’s Note
This play has a storyline that could have been based on tomorrow morning's newspaper headlines. Using the wonderful theatrical device of three actors playing the central character of Kartik, we are able to enter his fractured world. We simultaneously see him as he was before the accident that changed his life; we also see him as he is immediately after the accident, recovering in hospital, at home and in school; as well as when he is an adult. The play brings together the present, past and uture in a seamless whole. It has been a fascinating journey with the actors and my own team. We have interviewed teenagers, their parents and teachers; watched their interactions in school, home and on the metro; created improvisations; spent hours mastering the intricate choreography; enjoyed the shopping for clothes that capture today's Delhi; and worked hard at creating over 36 characters,
played by just 14 actors!

The Director
Educationist, theatre director and activist, Feisal Alkazi lives and works in New Delhi. Over the past forty years he has carved his own niche with his group, Ruchika. He has directed over 200 plays with adults in Hindi, English and Urdu. Most recently, two plays, Noor and A Quiet Desire, written by him have been produced. In addition, he has directed over 100 productions for schools all over India. Ruchika also runs a training program in theatre for children since 1997. Feisal has written 24 books as well and is a counsellor with Sanjivani. In the field of disability, he has directed 30 films and produced several plays.

The Group
The Theatre-in-Education Company (Sanskaar Rang Toli) of the National School of Drama was established on October 16, 1989, and is one of the important educational resource centres in the  country. The TIE Co. consists of a group of actor-teachers working-with and performing-for children. The major focus of the company is to perform creative, curriculum based, and participatory plays in school, designed and prepared specially for children of different age groups. The company holds a one month long intensive Summer Theatre Workshop for Children organized in May-June every year. TIE Co. has participated in many international theatre festivals and symposia in countries including Poland, China, Philippines and Japan. Jashn-e-Bachpan and Bal Sangam are biannual festivals
organised by the company where it invites plays by and for the children from different parts of the country.

Cast & Credits
Sutradhar Kartik Manoj Kumar
Old Kartik, Gym Teacher, Shashank Manish Saini
New Kartik Mridul Anand
Mummy Aparna Kapoor
Papa, Changezi, Bhaiji Mahesh Kumar
Raghav Manoj Sharma
Himanshu, New Dancer Tasabber Ali
Nancy Jyoti Bala
Doctor Fatima, Rubina, Announcer Jyotsana
Inspector, Nurse1 Nidhi S Sasthri
Anshika, Nurse2, Vicky Soumita Kundu
Anthony, Shiny Piyush Verma
Drug Peddler, Teacher Kaleem Zafar

All Street Voices & Dancers Jyotsana , Aparna Kapoor, Soumita Kundu, Piyush Verma,

Mahesh Kumar, Manoj Sharma, Nidhi S Sasthri

Choreographer Vishwa Kant Singha
Assisted by Sandeep Kashyap
Costume Design Shaik Sheeba
Assisted by Jyotsana
Set, Poster & Brochure Design Jagan Shah
Assisted by Kamal Kumar
Light Design Mona Chawla
Assisted by Joginder Singh, Dhirender Kumar
Light Design Mona Chawla
Assisted by Joginder Singh, Dhirender Kumar
Music Operation Sheel/Vikram Jeet Singh
Stage Manager & Property Nidhi S. Sasthri
Tailor Saroj Silswal, Akhtar Ali
Sound S. Manoharn, Pratap Singh, Subhanjan
Photography & Videography Deepak Kumar
Assistant TIE Co. B.S Rawat
Administration Staff Pirat Singh Negi, Darmiyan Singh, Shailender Kumar,

Neha Bhatt

Attendant Md. Rashid, Pawan Kumar
Chief of TIE Co. Abdul Latif Khatana
Asst. Director Mona Chawla
Translation & Adaptation Kiran Deep Sharma
Design & Direction Feisal Alkazi

Sukhanshi Bhandato Amhi by Abhiram Bhadkamkar

The Play
Dr Shridhar is enjoying a successful, happy and rich lifestyle with his beautiful wife Mita and teenage son Akshay. He wants to build a multi-utility hospital as a future provision for Akshay. He eyes a central piece of land to build his dream hospital. But the land is reserved as children’s playground. He is prepared to use his political influence and monetary powers to acquire the land. And then enters Sada (Sadashiv) in Dr Shridhar’s life. Sada, a schizophrenic patient, was jailed for killing his own wife and son, in his schizophrenic state. Throughout the treatment period, Sada keeps on asking intriguing questions, and throws some challenging situations at Dr Shridhar and Mita. The play finishes on an interesting and unexpected turn.

The Director
Napolian Almeida was born in Vasai, Maharashtra, India in Christian family. Napolian’s father was a teacher in a Marathi medium school. His father always encouraged the children to read books. Napolian developed interest in reading books about drama and plays. He started performing at a very young age. The challenges and difficulties faced during the early years motivated Napolian to study more about acting and acquire formal training from workshops. Napolian’s theatre career then progressed by active participation in dramas for organizations like Nutan
Mandal, Jeevan Darshan, Jeevan Jyoti, St Xavier’s Club and currently in Australia with Marathi Association Sydney Incorporated. Though an engineer by profession, Napolian continued to follow his passion in acting and direction. He
has acted and directed many plays including one-act plays and has won awards.

The Playwright
Abhiram Bhadkamkar is an alumnus of National School of Drama. His acting in films has won him accolades. Abhiram has explored many possibilities of expression in various art forms, and created a niche for himself as a multidimensional artist. Abhiram is adroitly active in feature films, plays and literature. He has been successful in making a mark on the front of writing plays, novels and screen plays; conceiving films as a director; and expressing as an actor. His plays are performed in Hindi, Kannad and Guajarati in addition to Marathi theatre. His collection of stories and novels are published by publishers/ publications of repute. Some of his popular plays / production are Hasat Khelat, Pahuna, Jyacha Tyacha Prashna (Sawal Apna Apna), Ladi Najaria, Dehbhan, and Sukhanshi Bhandto Amhi.

The Group
The team of Sukhanshi Bhandato Amhi are members of the Marathi Association Sydney Incorporation (MASI). MASI is a non-profit community organisation established more than 27 years ago. MASI promotes Marathi language, culture and customs through Marathi Akashwani Sydney, Marathi school, and cultural events and drama activities. Theatre is one of the iconic interests of Marathi community. Members of Sukhanshi Bhandato Amhi are volunteers and come from various professions. Despite being busy with their professional career, they are passionate about Performing Arts and theatre activities. This passion and interest brings them together and keeps them energised and motivated even through the initial settlement challenges. Members of MASI have staged a drama activity almost every year. Few names to mention here are Ghashiram Kotwal, Mala Kahi Sangayachay, Durga Ban Gayi Gauri, etc.

Cast & Credits

Mrs Pradhan Apoorva Athawale
Dr Shridhar Napolian Almeida
Kamalabai and Suman Nilima Berde
Sadashiv Chinmay Abhyankar
Mita Manasi Gore
Akshay Mandar Pathak
Lights Makarand Bildikar
Background Music Nitin Kundap
Stage Ahirwad Athawale, Ganesh Gavde, Charudatta Bhadkamkar
Costumes Sanjyot Samudra, Olivia Almeida
Make-up Sanjyot Dongre
Playwright Abhiram Bhadkamkar
Direction Napolian Almeida

Macbeth Mirror by William Shakespeare

The Play
Macbeth is a play about evil that emanates from the dark power whose agents are the three weird sisters. The present interpretation does not visualize Macbeth externally as a historical record; but rather as a re- creation of the event as mirrored in the minds of the weird sisters. It is seen as a phenomenon transcending time and space: the incantations and rituals of the dark aspect of the Tantric cult used throughout the presentation represent this pervasive evil embodied in Shakespeare’s play. Evil is here invoked by, and its outcome experienced by, the three weird sisters. To concentrate on this emergence of evil, the original text has been edited so as to focus on the two central victims of the historical event who succumb to this evil due to their lust for power.
The text followed is the only Bengali translation which is faithful both to the rich poetry and the metric structure of Shakespeare’s original text, and runs in harmony with the Sanskrit incantations used in the production.

Director’s Note
In Hinduism, goddess Kali has two different powers; one positive and the other negative. Generally we worship the positive power. But some people worship the negative power to practice hypnotism, basikaran, maron etc. They start wearing all sorts of things in their hands, waist, neck etc. In our production three women worship the negative power of Goddess Kali. They start worshiping the negative power. As a result they turn into witches. We believe that witches exist only in the mind. Therefore in our production all the characters like Macbeth, Banquo, Lady Macbeth etc. continuously switch between witches and the original character. In this production three actresses perform all the characters.

Santanu Das took the Diploma in Dramatics from National School of Drama, New Delhi. Presently he is working at Rabindra Bharati University as Assistant Professor in the Department of Drama. He started his career as director & designer in 1990 with the play Atha Dar Pal Katha. He has directed Power of Darkness, Ebom Indrajit, Romeo Jeannette, Raisin in the Sun, Manushi, Oedipus Turranus, Ghare Baire, and many more. In 2015 he jointly directed a production named ‘Crossing’ with Aude Marehsal, at Mondvil, France. He has presented papers at Rhodes University, South Africa & Elsinore Conference 2016, at Helsingor, Denmark. Recently his production Macbeth Mirror was invited to the Summer Shakespeare Festival, Ostrava, Czech Republic, and 21 st Gdansk International Shakespeare Festival, Gdansk, Poland.

Prof. Dutt was awarded D.Lit. in Drama for his pioneering multi-disciplinary work on the extra-rational roots of the Tragic Experience. He has written and directed children’s plays, translated and produced Shakespeare in Bengali, and also directed Tagore plays as well as improvised play-texts. In the international arena, he has collaborated with Gunter Grass, Hansgunther Heyme and Peter von Becker. He has also been invited to Italy and Poland, to deliver lectures.

The Group

Kalyani Kalamandalam was established in 1995 and in the last twenty-two years the group has produced fourteen major productions. Some of its previous productions are Ebong Indrajit, Romeo Jeannette, Manushi, Oedipus Turranus, Ghare Baire, Gollachut and Shakespeare’s Macbeth as ‘Macbeth Mirror’ directed by Sri Santanu Das. It has performed in countries like France, Poland, Czech Republic, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Cast & Credits
Actors Monalisa Chatterjee, Ananya Das, Jayeeta Das
Drums Chakra Pani Dev, Shovan Chakraborty, Prasenjit Halder
Set & Costume Santanu Das
Asst. Set Dipankar Halder
Asst. Costume Shipra Dey
Lettering Neelavo Chottpadhyay
Choreographer Deb Kumar Paul
Music Subhadeep Guha
Lights Arnab Kumar Ray
Properties Prasenjit Halder & Jayeeta Das
Subtitle Controller Anirban De
Production Manager Mahabub Biswas / Haradhan Ankureh
Playwright William Shakespeare
Translator Dattatreya Dutt
Design & Direction Santanu Das

Ruddhasangeet by Shri Bratya Basu

The Play
Shri Debabrata Biswas was a popular Rabindra Sangeet singer of Bengal. The artist’s involvement with, and severance from, Gananatya Sangha, his renunciation of the communist party, his differences with the music board of Biswabharati University and his inexorable rise to fame, his opposition against socially renowned institutions, all echoed through the many associations he shared, are some of the notable areas of focus within the many levels of this play. Apart from Debabrata Biswas, the other celebrated characters in the play are Hemanga Biswas, Salil
Chowdhury, Ritwik Ghatak, Shambhu Mitra, Bijon Bhattacharya, Tripti Mitra, Jyoti Basu, Pramod Dasgupta, Suchitra Mitra, Manjushree Chaki Sarkar, Santosh Kumar Ghosh. Ruddhasangeet bears a historic testimony to the lives of Bengalis in East India, to their social, economical and political ups and downs through almost half a century.

Director’s Note
Ruddhasangeet is a chronical, a saga, the flavour of mass music, the fashion – Ruddhasangeet, the spread of popular music, and the liaison with both, the singer and the person Debabrata Biswas, are all represented in this play. A journey of thirty years through the thick and thin of the artist’s life and limelight, are given the freedom of voice, the liberty of stage and a course of light. Providing and extra edge to the play is an original and rare treat involving both verbal and physical expertise.

The Director & Playwright
Bratya Basu, is an accomplished theatre artist, a playwright and director. Basu launched his career as a dramatist and director with the play Ashaleen (1996), described by theatre critics as the first post- modernist Bengali play. His noted plays (playwright, acting, direction) thereafter include Aranyadeb, Shahar Yaar, Virus-M, Winkle-Twinkle, 17th July, Chatushkon and many more. Basu has baggedmany awards and recognitions both in Theatre and Film. Some of them include Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival Award, Ritwik Ghatak Honorary Award, Kalakar Award, Shyamal Sen Memorial Award, Dishari Award, Satyen Mitra Award, Shilpayan Samman, Srestho Natya Nirman etc. Bratya
Basu, is currently Hon’ble Cabinet Minister and in charge of the Ministry of Information Technology & Electronics for the state of West Bengal. He has created his own space in contemporary theatre by moving beyond its existing boundaries. He formed his own theatre group Bratyajon in 2008.

The Group
Bratyajon was established by Bratya Basu in 2008. Apart from theatrical productions, the group is active in many associated fields. An important activity of the group is to organize an annual theatre festival. Bratyajon confers Bishnu Basu Smriti Puroskar in the loving memory of late Bishnu Basu and also organizes Bishnu Basu Memorial Lectures & Nitika Basu Memorial Lectures. Other activities include theatre publications comprising of a theatre journal and participation in the book fair. Bratyajon conducts theatre workshops for children that culminate in a stage performance.

Cast & Credits
Debabrata Biswas Debsankar Halder
Arun Debasish Roy
Bijan Bhattacharya Raktim Datta
Jyoti Basu Bishmoy Roy
Promod Dasgupta Prantik Choudhury
Nirmal Gosh Nabarun Barik
Binay Roy Prasenjit Chattopadhyay
Chorus Ranjan Dutta
Chorus Moloy Bera

Hemanga Biswas Samrat Ghatak
Rittwik Ghatak Krishnendu Dewanji
Salil Chowdhury Subrata Pathak
Subhas Mukhopadhyay Tanmay Sur
Police/Purnendu Chandranath Roy
Khokon Surojit Paul
Shambhu Mitra Billwatosh Chattopadhyay
Police/Angshu Abhijit Ghatak
Srikanta Prabir Basu
Gopesh Pradip Roy
Tushar Arindom Ghosh
Tripti Mitra Rumpi Paul
Lalita Ananya Roy
Manjusree Chaki Antara Bandopadhyay
Suchitra Mitra Sushmita Bandopadhyay
Dancer Sayeri Bhattacharya
Dancer Priyanka Chatterjee
Shila Poulami Basu
Santosh Kumar Ghosh Bratya Basu
Light Design Sudip Sanyal
Light Operation Prithiwis Rana
Set Design Soumik-Piyali
Set Making Tinku-Modon
Music Tapan Sinha
Make-up Alok Debnath
Background Score Swapan Bandopadhyay
Costume Amit Roy
Co-ordination Prithiwis Rana
Playwright & Director Shri Bratya Basu

Kinu Kaharer Thetar by Manoj Mitra

The Play & Director’s Note
The minister of state of Putna has abused a woman. The governor general says, ‘If it is not settled by law, the throne will be seized’. The king is now in trouble… the minister of state is his best friend, so how can he submit him to 14 slams of whip? He advises the minister to find out someone who will come to the court and state that he is the one who has committed the crime, not the minister, so that the punishment will be delivered to him. Jagadamba hands her lazy husband Ghontakarna to the minister, in exchange of four bags of money. Since then, all thieves, robbers, marked criminals gather in line at Ghontakarna’s yard, with bags of money; they do the evil, and punishment goes to ‘punishment receiving officer’ Ghontakarna. Jagadamba is happy that finally her husband has learnt to earn money…The king is happy for the throne is saved….The minister of state is happy, because there is no problem of law and order…Peace is everywhere…..But, it doesn’t continue as easily….The king suddenly gets accused of
murdering a goat. The intelligent governor general submits him to be hanged. The king says, ‘What to worry for? I have Ghontakarna. Go, Ghontakarna, stand up on the dice and get hanged.’ And then…?

The Director
Kazi Toufikul Islam is a creative, highly trained and confident actor with strong stage instincts and extensive formal training. He has the ability to work successfully as part of a team in cooperation with directors, designers, stage managers, fellow actors, camera operators, and a variety of backstage and production workers. He possesses a proven ability to learn lines and stage techniques quickly, as well as being punctual and prepared when attending rehearsals and auditions. He is committed to achieving the highest standard of performance and is always willing to listen and learn from others.

The Playwright
Manoj Mitra is the winner of Sangeet Natak Academy award for playwriting, Calcutta University Gold Medal and Calcutta University Best Bengali Stage Centenary Award, Asiatic Society’s Gold Medal, Munir Chowdhury Award from Bangladesh Theatre Society, Dinabandhu Puraskar, D Litt., Kalyani award, ABP Ananda Shera Bengali award for Theatre, Filmfare Award for Best Actor, Kalakar Award for legendary performance in cinema and many more.
Manoj Mitra, along with late Parthapratim Chaudhuri and some college friends, founded the theatre group Sundaram. He has till date written over a hundred plays. Many of his plays like Sajano Bagaan, Galpo
Hekim Saheb, Parabas, Ja Nei Bharatey etc. are considered classics of Bengali literature and included in school and college texts. His plays are performed in Bangladesh, America, Australia, England and other  places.

The Group
Established in 1997, Prachyanat is one of the leading theatre groups of Bangladesh. The group has many wings including Prachyanat School of Acting and Design, The Theatre in the Open, Prachyanat for Children, Theatre–lab Production, Prachyanat Research Cell, and the Musical Ensemble. In the last eighteen years Prachyanat has given eleven full-length productions.

Cast & Credits
Narrator Jaganmoy Paul
Clown Md Mizanurrahman

Kinukahar/Ghontakarna Mohammad Monirul Islam
Wazir Rontikbipu
Mouni Baba Mohammad Abu Bakar Siddiki
Lord Shahriarrana Jewel
Jagadamba Chetonarahmanvasha
Udashini Sanjida Anwar
King Shahriar Ferdous
Sentry Mohammad Rafiqul Islam
Police Officer Md Saiful Islam Jarnal
Musician 1/ Neighbour 1/Courtier 1/ Robber 1 Mohammad Fuadmian
Neighbour 2 /Courtier 2/Robber 2 Tanjim Imran Mahmood
Neighbour 3/Courtier 3/Robber 3 Been E Amin
Neighbour 4/Courtier 4/Robber 4 Al Amin Khandoker
Neighbour 5/Courtier 5/Robber 5 Mohammad Asad-Uz-Zaman
Musician 2/Neighbour 6 Parvin Akhter
Neighbour 7/Courtier 6/Robber 6 Md Faysalkabirsadi
Musician 3 Syed Rifatahammad Nobel
Musician 4 Kamrul Islam
Lights Mukhlesurrahman
Props Kamrunnahermony
Set Shafaat Khan
Make-up Mohammad Ali Babul
Playwright Manoj Mitra
Director Kazi Toufikul Islam

Court Martial by Swadesh Deepak

The Play
Court Martial’s central character is Ram Chander, a jawan in the army. He has been accused of murdering one of his senior officers, Captain Verma, and injuring another, Captain B.D. Kapoor. When the play begins, Ram Chander is already in the court, facing trial. Col. Surat Singh is presiding over the proceedings. During the course of the trial the prosecution, Major Ajay Puri, sees no complication in the case as Ram Chander himself has confessed to the crime. But defence counsel Captain Bikas Roy is up to something else. He poses ostensibly irrelevant questions to the witnesses but they are actually related to the genesis of the whole saga. The witnesses Subedar Balwan Singh, Captain B.D. Kapoor, Captain Dr Gupta, Lt. Col. Rawat and Ram Chander respond to the queries initially in a roundabout way but as Captain Roy persists with his line of reasoning, they find it hard to suppress the truth. The truth is that Ram Chander belongs to a low caste and Verma and Kapoor (prior to the shooting incident) often insulted him using derogatory words such as harijan, bhangi and chamaar. Kapoor’s aversion to Ram Chander was aggravated by the fact that he’s an outstanding sprinter who once beat Kapoor in a race. Kapoor had left no stone unturned in insulting Ram Chander nd made him do menial work.

Director’s note
I have not seen any dramatic work, in my journey of twenty-five years of theatre, as my livelihood. It is always a way to identify my surroundings, human beings, and life. Court Martial surprised me; not because of its social relevance but because of the thought process of human beings. Political and social inequalities are working behind the debilitating minds. I've been trying to talk to the actors about the strange ways of the human mind… the distance between truth and justice … which is measured in this Court Martial.

The Director

Artistic Director of Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, Kerala M G Jyothish is a director, designer, actor and teacher with more than two decades of experience. He graduated in Theatre Arts from the renowned School of Drama, at the University of Calicut, and post graduated in Theatre Arts (Direction) from the University of Pondichery. Later, M G Jyothish started practising with Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, conceiving and scenographing more than twenty major productions. Many of his critically acclaimed plays have regularly been invited to and presented at numerous festivals like World Theatre Festival, Brisbane; Avignon Off Festival, France; etc. He has won many awards and recognitions including Sanskriti National Award for Theatre Excellence, Sangeet Natak Academy
Award, and the Culture Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture.

The Playwright
Swadesh Deepak (born 1943) is an Indian playwright, novelist and short-story writer. Deepak has been active on theHindi literary scene since the mid-1960s and is best known forCourt Martial, a path breaking play that he published in 1991. Several of his works have been staged and made into elevision programmes. Deepak holds master's degrees in bothHindi and English. For twenty-six years, he taughtEnglish literature atAmbala’s Gandhi Memorial College.

Cast & Credits
Bikas Roy Ananth Gejo Antony
B. D. Kapoor Nanda Kishor
Balvan Singh Chanthu S Panicker
Major Ajay Puri Vineeth PR

Ramachander Govind U
Ganesh Rahul Reghu
Brajendra Rawat Jitheesh Samuel
Maneesh Kapoor Suseel S
Mahesh Varma Renju Sebastian
Colonel Surat Singh Renjith M
Abhishek Athul Ramkumar
Dr Captain Gupta Jibin K Babu
Vivek Sujith KS
Music Execution Subeesh ES
Make-up Ajayakumar C
Light execution Renjith PR
Playwright Swadesh Deepak
Director Jyothish M G