With Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee riding high on her slogan ‘ma, mati, manush’ in West Bengal, the folk operas in the state have also taken up the theme in their plays drawing huge turnout in the politically volatile vast hinterland.
The folk operas, or jatras in Bengali, playing the theme of people’s anger against the administration’s attempts to take away their land, have been attracting huge crowds in the rural areas.
Though the sponsors of the jatras disassociate themselves with the Trinamool slogan, the content of the plays match the party’s campaign against land acquisition for industries which has struck a chord in million hearts.
One of several folk plays that have become massive hit in rural Bengal is ‘Ghum Kerechhe Ma Mati Manush’ (powers that be rattled by mother, land, people).
The shows are attracting audience not only in Maoist-influenced districts like Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore, but also in East Midnapore where Nandigram is situated and other places.
Meghdut Gangopadhyay, owner of Bhairab Opera, one of the teams which perform such plays, said since mid-October one show is being held almost every day.
“More than 100 shows have been booked in the CPI(M) stronghold of Burdwan district and other districts of Howrah, North and South 24-Parganas to be performed by next March,” Mr. Gangopadhyay, whose father Bhairab had the credit of coining the phrase ‘ma, mati, manush’ 35 years ago, said.