Balasubramanian G’s Play: Thoothukudi Massacre 13

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Dramaturge & Director: Balasubramanian G
Group: NSD Diploma Production, New Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
The play aims to give voice to the dramatic event of Tuticorin Massacre and how non-democratic practices thrive, law and order deteriorates, the high-handedness of military and security forces prevails, and the common man’s life loses meaning. The play begins with the scene of protest against environmental pollution caused by a factory. The police resorts to baton charge and starts shooting at the unarmed innocent people. The play inevitably invites the audience to identify the hypocrisy of the so-called civilization in the contemporary world. The play also portrays the politics of atrocity and its ultimate purpose of acquiring power and wealth by exploiting and sacrificing the common people, who do not even understand the purpose for which they fight and die. The authoritarian body of the state and factory officials justifies this slaughter of democracy in the name of action against injustice. The people who are killed are neither the perpetrators of injustice, nor are they aware of the injustice. By showing how the authority and the management justify this massacre of innocents, the play tries to project the ambitions of the global powers to assimilate wealth and resources, and how these ambitions are realized through wars, neo-imperial political treaties and so on. The competing forces among the global powers work together but from different directions and for the same target – towards the ultimate and complete exploitation of the resources and territories of the people. Almost always, history has repeated itself in this way all around the world.

Director’s Note
The play centres on the brutal killing of unarmed innocent civilians in Tuticorin who were murdered for protesting against the toxic Sterlite Copper plant factory. The government itself seems to have ignored rules on the use of force to quash protests by firing at the heads of protesters rather than their legs. The government killed its own people without any mercy.  This shows the fascist dictatorship mentality of the so-called democratic country. The greatest political invention of mankind is nothing but democracy. It enables for the people to regulate their leaders and to overthrow them without the need for a revolution. Collecting and documenting the data from the newspaper articles about those who became the victim of this protest against the Sterlite Copper plant factory, the play is a documentary theatre form with fictional elements. The play provokes questions in the mind of common people who believe in democracy. Who ordered the policemen to fire on the protestors? Why were highly advanced weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law was this permitted?  Why was no warning given before the firing? Is it really a ‘democratic’ country?

The Director & Dramaturge
Balasubramanian G is a director, designer and dramaturge. He is also an actor, light-designer, set-designer, sound designer and projection designer. He holds a Diploma in Dramatic Arts, with Theatre Technique and Design as specialization from the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi, India, M.P.A. in Theatre Arts and B. Tech. in Electrical and Electronics from Pondicherry University, and Film Appreciation Course from FTII, Pune. He has participated in many theatre workshops in New Delhi, Goa and Pondicherry.

The Group
This play is a part of National School of Drama’s graduate showcase of class 2019. It aims to provide a platform to encourage emerging theatre practitioners to share their work with a wider audience.

Cast & Credits
On Stage Snigdha Mondal, Suman Purthy, Melodi Dorcas, Jitu Rabha, Manoj Kumar Tapar, Sayan Sarkar, Boomisutha Das, Somnath Chatterjee

Set and Lights Sarthak Narula
Sound and Video Saras Kumar Namdeo
Music Marthandan, Abhishek, Prerna
Guitarist Raman Kakkar, Sounak Karmakar
Costume Boomisutha Das
Properties Suman Purthy, Snigdha Mondal
Stage Manager Harishankar Ravi
Video Guidance Sourov Poddar
Poster & Brochure Vishala R Mahale
Translation Vishala R Mahale
Carpentry Jiyual Hassan, Rizwan Ahmad
Sound Sourov, Ahsan

Dramaturgy & Direction Balasubramanian G

Contacts
Balasubramanian G
No.11, I-Block
Thiogue Mudaliar Nagar, Mudaliarpet
Puducherry, India – 605004
M: +91 7291001102
E: [email protected]

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Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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