Street play Theatre

Street play ‘Mudda Ghatak Hai’ urges us to speak out loud

For gender equality A scene from the Nishita Pandey-directed play

For gender equality A scene from the Nishita Pandey-directed play   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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With a single street play Mudda Ghatak Hai, students are spreading awareness on numerous social issues

Students of universities have always been active in voicing their views, and not always on political issues. Bedaari team, comprising students of the English department of St Francis College for Women express their view through Mudda Ghatak Hai, a street play relevant to the current times, to be enacted this weekend.

Having staged a few street plays, the students formed the Bedaari (meaning ‘act of awakening’ in Urdu) group this year, and plan to raise awareness on social issues. Nishta Pandey, a third year student of mass communication, who directs the play, explains, “There are many atrocities — all kinds of cases happening against men and women — across the country. We want to raise awareness about them and educate people.”

A still from the play ‘Mudda Ghatak Hai’

A still from the play ‘Mudda Ghatak Hai’   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Different versions of Mudda... have already been performed at the High Court and at Ravindra Bharathi, in collaboration with the Telangana Praja Samskruthi Kendra (TPSK). As they are inspired by contemporary events, the storylines change accordingly. For instance, the play in its first staging had dealt with dowry, transgenders and female infanticide. “This time, we are focussing on prostitution, LGBTQ+ rights, and female infanticide,” shares Nishta.

At their High Court performance on gender sensitisation one lawyer had told them that since there was a law to deal with it, there is no need to talk about it. “That is the attitude people have; it makes our belief stronger to stage such plays more often,” she adds.

While the play is in Hindi and English, the group’s performance at Secunderabad railway station had a few Telugu lines too. When the artistes chanted ‘Maar do, Maar do’ as a female infanticide scene unfolded, the crowd was so overwhelmed that some women turned their faces away.

A still from the play ‘Mudda Ghatak Hai’

A still from the play ‘Mudda Ghatak Hai’   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Bedaari has taken this play to IMT Jodhpur and also won the first prize at IMPELZ, the annual management fest of IMT Hyderabad.

Sometimes scenes are modified and elements added. One of their eve-teasing themes was treated with a difference, with role reversal where girls tease boys, so as to highlight the menace in public places. “Even when we are showing a prostitute in a rape sequence, or the mental state of LGBTQ+ members due to discrimination, we do not shy away from using the harsh/ obscene words that society does. The shocked crowd would react ‘Oh my God, what are these girls saying.’ But we know people are not comfortable with it because they do not want to talk about it.”

(Mudda Ghatak Hai will be staged at Lamakaan on December 22, 7 pm. Entry free)

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 4:41:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/bedaari-a-student-theatre-group-stages-street-play-mudda-ghatak-hai/article30348136.ece

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