Karnataka

Theatre artistes to enact play again to protest disruption of show by Hindutva activists

Bajrang Dal activists disrupt Kannada play ‘Jothegiruvanu Chandira’ at Anavatti in Sorab taluk of Shivamogga district in Karnataka on July 3, 2022.

Bajrang Dal activists disrupt Kannada play ‘Jothegiruvanu Chandira’ at Anavatti in Sorab taluk of Shivamogga district in Karnataka on July 3, 2022.

Amateur theatre artistes of Shivamogga have decided to protest the disruption of the play Jategiruvanu Chandira by Hindutva activists at Anavatti by enacting the play again soon. The play was stopped midway by Bajrang Dal activists late on Sunday night.

Artistes, who gathered under the banner of ‘Havyasi Rangakalavidara Okkoota’, demanded the State government take strict action against those responsible for stopping the play. They have also decided to write to all legislators from the district, inviting them to watch the play.

They have also decided to write to V. Sunil Kumar, Minister for Kannada and Culture, and Kumar Bangarappa, Soraba MLA, on the issue and demand that they condemn the incident.

Meanwhile, theatre activists across Karnataka condemned the action by Bajrang Dal activists. The play is an adaptation of  Joseph Stein’s Fiddler on the Roof by well-known writer Jayant Kaikini and Bajrang Dal members took objection to the play having Muslim protagonists and it being staged in a hall owned by Veerashaivas. 

Creating divide

Prominent theatre troupe Samudaya, Karnataka, has termed the disruption of the play “a continuation of a campaign to create divides between religion, caste and languages” and condemned the “action of RSS and Bajrang Dal in dividing the country.” Samudaya has demanded the Deputy Commissioner, Shivamogga, to protect freedom of expression, ensure the play is staged and criminal action is initiated against those who disrupted the play. 

Theatre personality and poet Raghunandana expressed anguish over 150-odd members of the audience, who were watching the play, not objecting to the disruption and leaving the venue without putting up any resistance. “This is only the latest example of how Hindutva fascism is destroying our society,” he said. He urged Veerashaiva Mahasabha to stage the play again and prove that they have imbibed the values of Shiva tatva, since the Bajrang Dal activists had disrupted the play in the name of the community.

Another noted theatre activist Prasanna said: “Theatre is always a negotiation between various points of view and disrupting a play is unacceptable.”  


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 12:43:19 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/theatre-artistes-to-enact-play-again-to-protest-disruption-of-show-by-hindutva-activists/article65603390.ece