Folk drama ‘Ma, Mati, Manush’, the title of which became the war cry of Trinamool Congress and turned its political fortunes in the recent Lok Sabah polls, is all set to be staged here again after a gap of over three decades.
“The folk theatre’s theme of strife between agriculture and industries coming up on farmland is very relevant now,” owner of Bhairab Opera, Meghdut Gangopadhyay, whose father, Bhairab, had penned the script 35 years ago, told PTI here.
The title of the folk theatre, locally known as ’jatra’, proved to be a driving force for TC after its chief Mamata Banerjee adopted it as a slogan in the run up to this year’s general elections.
Mr. Gangopadhyay said the basic storyline of the drama would remain the same, though there has been a slight change in the name. It has been now titled as ‘Ghum Bhengeche Ma, Mati Manush’ (Mother, Land and People have ended the slumber of powers that be).
The play would be more contemporary in keeping with the times and the land-industry debate, he said.
Mr. Gangopadhyay, however, emphasised that the play did not take sides and would only highlight the catalysing role of both agriculture and industry in improving the lives of rural people.
The ‘jatra’ is about a girl who unites young people of her village aspiring for a better life with alternate vocations. But, a feudal-minded panchayat pradhan who owned huge tracts of land, plots to marry her off in a far away town, to nip the “mischief” in the bud.
The girl, who realises the pradhan’s designs returns to the village to successfully complete her task of uniting the villagers and defeating his plans to use the landless labourers, share croppers and small farmers for his own personal benefit
The original play was staged at a time when the Left parties were gradually coming to the centre stage in West Bengal and sided with farmers.
Significantly, it is being revived when the roles have been reversed with the opposition Trinamool Congress having led movements against land acquisition in Singur and Nandigram.
The playwright was asked if Gouripur, the village depicted in the remake of the play bore a resemblance to Singur, where the TC spearheaded agrarian protest against Tata’s Nano car project. The plant was later shifted to Gujarat.
“It can be any village in Bengal where farmers are opposed to drastic change fearing that it would not be beneficial in the long run, while their sons are looking for jobs with yield dwindling on ancestral land,” he said.