'Govt institutions are doing nothing to protect theatre'

'Govt institutions are doing nothing to protect theatre'

Do not strangle theatre persons, allow them to be creative: M K Raina

Theatre person M K Raina, on Thursday, said the Indian culture and theatre were at crossroads and ‘violence’ and ‘feeling of violence’ is confronting theatre.

After inaugurating the week-long, 13th edition of ‘Bahuroopi,’ a national theatre festival, organised by Rangayana, Raina said theatre had big challenges to face. Artistes and writers are facing threat. In North India, the situation is worse, he said.

Raina said many artistes had been beaten and killed when they made an attempt to preserve democracy. Recently an artiste from Maharashtra was threatened for making a comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he pointed out.

Speaking on Modern India, Raina said, ideas about India and its culture come from preserving values, which our forefathers have given us and not from the super highways or buildings. ‘Malls are the Moghul gardens of modern India,’ he commented.

“Even government institutions are not doing anything to protect theatre. There is problem with academics too. Do not strangle theatre persons, allow them to be creative,” he urged the authorities.

Cultural institutions are being weakened and no space is available to perform theatre activities. In Kashmir, no play has been staged since six months, due to unavailability of theatre. Many theatres, stages were burnt and the corporate sector is taking over all the space. Artistes would have to pay lakhs of rupees as rent to get a platform to perform if this trend continues, he lamented.

Speaking about theatre artistes from Karnataka, like B V Karanth, Girish Karnad, and Chandrashekhara Kambara, he said they were ‘great galaxies’ and had contributed immensely to contemporary Indian theatre. Traditional art works are great and if one understands traditional works, a great modern experiment is possible,” he said.

Theatre person and film actor Arun Sagar, activist G K Govindarao, Rangayana Director H Janardhana, and University of Mysore Prasaranga Director C Naganna were present.