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PTI kolkata India
Updated: 25-11-2018 21:18 IST

West Bengal minister and eminent

theatre personality Bratya Basu on Sunday said efforts in some

circles to belittle the work of the state government to

promote theatre and art will not succeed.

Addressing the inaugural function of the 18th theatre

festival here, Basu said without directly naming anyone, "The

work of this government to promote theatre and other forms of

art cannot be suppressed and belittled by any narrow minded

opinion of some people."

There had been criticism by some Left intellectuals in

recent times that the state government and state-run theatre

academy was "doing little to promote" theatre and arts.

Basu, who is in charge of the Science and Technology

and Bio-technology departments said, "instead of the meagre

grant for theatre groups during the rule of our predecessor,

which did not exceed Rs 8,000-10,000, our government has

increased the grant amount by several notches."

"Again instead of making theatre as city-centric, in

past seven years we have taken theatre to the villages as

rural theatre groups are also getting chance to stage their

plays and the audience in suburbs are enjoying theatre

festivals and acclaimed productions.... In short theatre as a

movement has gained momentum across the state during the reign

of Mamata Banerjee," he claimed.

Basu said the state has allocated Rs 1.5 crore for

holding the theatre festival this year, "which shows our

commitment to promote the theatre movement."

Echoing Basu, West Bengal Minister of State for

Culture and Tourism, Indranil Sen said at the inauguration,

"theatre for people has been staged in 344 blocks of the

state" and not solely in the city and important towns.

"We believe theatre, like other forms of art, can be

an important medium to spread certain important social

messages to the public and hence are taking our festivals from

city to the hinterland," Sen said adding his department will

put up 126 LED screens with audio inputs across Bengal for

live telecast of such festivals in future.

Theatre personality and MP from Balurghat, Arpita

Ghosh said after the city leg of the theatre festival from

November 25 to December 5, the festival will travel across 10

districts from November 6 - Feruary 10 which would include the

hill town Kalimpong (on January 16-20).

Altogether 77 full length plays and 96 short dramas

will be staged in the 60 day festival to be held across Bengal

and this will include 31 full length plays and 88 short dramas

currently being staged in the city from November 25-December

5," Ghosh said.

The inaugural play of the theatre festival was 'Nasika

Puran', re-adapted from French into Bengali by noted theatre

personality Ashok Mukhopadhyay and directed by Biplab


Mukhopadhyay, a veteran theatre personality, said as

an activist he saw the theatre festival having spread to new

areas in past few years along with a rise in theatre-related


(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)