Balasubramanian G’s Play: Thoothukudi Massacre 13
Dramaturge & Director: Balasubramanian G
Group: NSD Diploma Production, New Delhi
Duration: 1 hr
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.
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.
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
Thiogue Mudaliar Nagar, Mudaliarpet
Puducherry, India – 605004
M: +91 7291001102