A.P. govt. bans 100-year-old ‘Chintamani Padya Natakam’

Members of a community objected to dialogues in the play

January 19, 2022 10:46 am | Updated 11:58 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

Authored by playwright Kallakuri Narayana Rao in 1920, the artistes of 'Chintamani Padya Natakam' had celebrated its centenary in 2021. File Photo: Arrangement

Authored by playwright Kallakuri Narayana Rao in 1920, the artistes of 'Chintamani Padya Natakam' had celebrated its centenary in 2021. File Photo: Arrangement

The Andhra Pradesh government has brought the curtains down on the popular ‘Chintamani Padya Natakam’, which has enthralled people for almost 100 years.

The government’s decision on Monday to ban the staging of the play was in response to the representation submitted by the members of a particular community objecting to certain dialogues and portrayal of a character in the noted Telugu play.

Authored by playwright Kallakuri Narayana Rao in 1920, the artistes of the play had celebrated its centenary in 2021, and organised special programmes marking the occasion.

In the play, the writer explains how people neglect their families by falling prey to certain social evils.

Subbisetty, Chintamani, Bilvamangaludu, Bhavani Shankaram, and Srihari are some of the characters in the play.

Amarajeevi Potti Sreeramulu Education Society president V. Subramanyam of Rajamahendravaram thanked the government for banning the ‘Chintamani’ play, which, he said, was insulting a particular community.

‘Surabhi’ artiste Jayachandra Varma said the writer had penned the play with a good intention to fight against a social evil.

“But, some artistes have added vulgarity to the play and damaged its reputation.”

“It is not a correct decision to ban the historic play. Even after 100 years, there are many who like the padya natakam,” Mr. Varma said.

Expressing concern over the government’s decision, Govada Venkat of Govada Creations said, “All plays contain a good message to society. It is not correct to highlight only a few characters in the drama.”

“We had celebrated the centenary of ‘Chintamani Padya Natakam’ last year, and organised Padya Nataka competitions too. The government has a right to either remove a character or edit objectionable dialogues. But imposing a ban on the historic play is not correct,” Govada Venkat of Govada Creations said.

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