Since 1998, Budhan Theatre has performed street plays to raise awareness about the condition of the Denotified Tribes (DNTs), particularly of the Chhara community. Branded as “born criminals”, the Chharas continue to face physical, social, and psychological discrimination. Making use of the talent of the Chharas as natural performers, and employing it in expressionist theatre, Budhan Theatre seeks to demonstrate that Chharas are but human beings with real emotions, capacities, and aspirations.
“Choli Ke Pichchhe Kya Hai?”
A play based on Mahasweta Devi’s short story “Standayini” (“Breast-Giver”).
Presented by Bhudan Theatre
Duration: 40 minutes
Director: Dakxin Bajrange
5:30pm – 6:10pm, 27January, 2017
The renowned Bangla writer Mahasweta Devi’s (1926-2016) stories are often based on carefully researched historical records, investigative journalism, and activist fieldwork in the Indian countryside.
“Breast-Giver”, written in the mode of social realism, is partly a social satire and partly a tragic allegory. Its main character is Jashoda, a Brahmin woman. When Jashoda’s husband loses his legs in an accident, the couple and their children become dependent on the Haldars, a rich, lower-caste Hindu family which employs Jashoda as a wet-nurse.
Jasoda, who feeds a family of 17 children and a disabled husband, has to be constantly pregnant to be able to feed Halder’s children, and get food and clothing in return. Eventually, Josoda is afflicted with and dies of breast cancer. In the last moments of her life, she is alone and depressed and there is no one to attend on her in the hospital.
Mahasweta Devi tells Jashoda’s story in such a way that it becomes an allegorical narrative of “Mother” India after Independence in 1947.
Commemorative Tribute to Smt M S Subbalakshmi:
5:30pm – 6:30pm, 28th January, 2017
As a tribute to the extraordinary musician, Smt M S Subbalakshmi, Avinash Pasricha will display some of her photographs taken him. Today, his is the largest personal collection of rare and enduring images of India’s greatest performing artistes. He will also share some of the anecdotes from his meetings with the legendary Carnatic vocalist MS Amma. This will be followed by a short film.
Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (1916-2004)
What gave her an individual identity as a Carnatic musician?
What made this south Indian musician a national icon in a country where, arguably, it is always ‘advantage north’?
What made this Carnatic musician develop a repertoire in 13 languages?
What distinct features made her music stand apart?
What values did she hold dear, what goals did she pursue, what ideals did she seek?
Is she adored for her inimitable voice, her devotion-soaked music, her personal charisma, or for her phenomenal contributions to charity?
MS’s grand niece, vocal accompanist and biographer Dr Gowri Ramnarayan raises these questions and more as she talks about the legendary musician.