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Centre concedes Prasanna's demand

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DRAMATIC GESTURE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy offering juice to theatre artiste Prasanna at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
DRAMATIC GESTURE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy offering juice to theatre artiste Prasanna at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Staff Reporter

Actor ends fast, State Government allows NSD to use Gurunanak Bhavan facilities

BANGALORE: The Centre has promised to establish centres of the National School of Drama in five States during the 11th Plan period and cover 13 other States in a phased manner, according to the former Director of National School of Drama, Prasanna.

He was speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday after ending his fast following the assurances given by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

He went on fast five days ago demanding national theatre status for all the 18 scheduled language theatres and inclusion of theatre training in the school curriculum.

Mr. Prasanna said that at the behest of a delegation comprising Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekharan, the former Minister and MP H.N. Ananth Kumar and the poet-playwright H.S. Shivaprakash, Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Ambika Soni spoke to him over telephone from Delhi. She promised him that the Centre would establish NSD centres during the 11th Plan in Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Manipur, Karnataka and Maharashtra. She said the Centre could not establish all the 18 centres simultaneously owing to financial reasons.

Panel on curriculum

On the issue of including theatre training in the school syllabus, Ms. Soni said the Centre would constitute a high power committee to go into the details and implement its recommendations, he said.

The credit for eliciting the concrete response should go to the Abhivyakti Abhiyana of the Kannada theatre. Following the Centre's decision, some of the other States such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were likely to mount pressure on the Centre.

The Abhiyana would continue to fight for the national theatre status for other language theatres by supporting such demands, Mr. Prasanna said.

Order issued

The State Government has issued an order that allows the National School of Drama to use the Gurunanak Bhavan in the city for its activities on a temporary basis until it develops its own infrastructure.

Well before the intervention of Ms. Soni, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy met Mr. Prasanna and handed over a copy of the order to him.

He promised that the Government would allocate suitable land for the purpose.

Support for demand

Mr. Kumaraswamy said that he would write to all Chief Ministers concerned to mount pressure on the Centre to get the national status to all 18 scheduled language theatres on a par with Hindi theatre. If required he would lead a delegation to the Centre, he added.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the Government would take steps to fill the 55 vacancies of drama teachers in schools. It would look into the possibilities of creating 500 posts of drama teachers in schools.

Mr. Prasanna ended his fast soon after Mr. Kumaraswamy called on him.

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