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
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.)