The five-day festival organised by theatre group Samudaya, between January 21 and 25, had an interesting set of plays being staged every evening on varied themes by the district units of the troupe.

The first play was Train to Pakistan, based on the Khushwant Singh's eponymous novel. Set against the backdrop of Partition, it narrates the horrors of the time. Translated into the Kannada and adapted into a play, it was directed by Tayanna Yaragera of Raichur Samudaya.

With a light touch

The second presentation was Dhanwantariya Chikitse, a street play based on a short story by Kuvempu. The Bangalore Samudaya production was adapted into play by Vijaya and directed by Shashidhar Bharighat. Though it has a light-hearted feel about it, the play looked at various problems plaguing contemporary society, ranging from economic deprivation to communalism.

Buddha Prabuddha by Samudaya Dharwad was written by Srishaila Huddar and directed by Vasu Gangera. It was a touching theatrical presentation on Buddha's aspiration of a liberated and violence-free society.

Kulam by Kundapura Samudaya, written by Rajappa Dalavai and directed by Mr. Huddar, took a hard look at the question of caste in contemporary society through the story of Karna. Kuvempu's play Jalagara, presented by the Sindhanur unit of Samudaya, also dealt with the issue of caste and the horrific practice of untouchability. It was directed by Mandya Satish. The last day's play, Pinakiniya Teeradalli by Rangareddy Kodiram, directed by Achyut, was about the incident at Vidurashwath during the height of the Freedom Struggle. The play revolved around the bloody massacre of 40 people who were protesting against the colonial rulers.