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Intellectuals decry Govt move against play

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, April 4 � Literary and intellectual circles of the State have expressed indignation and resentment at the ultimatum issued by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Sattra Mahasabha against the staging of the play, Mahabharatar Bhul at the Rabindra Bhawan.

Following vehement opposition by the VHP and after a meeting between the VHP, Rang Mahal and the Rabindra Bhawan authorities, the name of the play by Tarun Saikia was changed to Bholanathar Sapon for allowing it to be staged.

�Regrettably, even this decision was undermined by the Sattra Mahasabha which in a most undemocratic manner pressurised the Government to cancel the staging of the play under the pretext of maintaining law and order. This is nothing but kneeling down before forces of communalism,� a statement issued by a number of distinguished citizens and leading socio-cultural organisations said.

Terming the conduct of the Government as setting a bad precedent which would only bolster the communal forces, the statement said that the Mahabharata had been a time-tested epic whose appeal and acceptability across the globe was only increasing following newer and different interpretations all over the world.

�Through the ages, the Mahabharata has elicited diverse critical interpretation and all this has only enhanced the epic�s universality and added to its glory. If a playwright names a play as Mahabharatar Bhul (The Blunder of the Mahabharata), it in no way diminishes the magnificence or lowers the dignity of the epic,� it said.

The statement further said that the move by the Government against the staging of the play by toeing the lines of organisations such as VHP or Sattra Mahasabha was an attack on the fundamental right of the people to express their opinion freely.

�The developments are also vitiating the creative and cultural atmosphere of the State. Rather than banning the play, the Government ought to have ensured its staging by deploying adequate security, if necessary. We demand that the play is staged at the Rabindra Bhawan,� it added.

The signatories included Nalinidhar Bhattacharya, Dr Hiren Gohain, Arun Sharma, Anima Guha, Nirupoma Bargohain, Sudakshina Sarma, Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya, Hiren Bhattacharya, Udayaditya Bharali, Apurba Sharma, Dr Sitanath Lahkar, Nipon Goswami, Moloya Goswami, Kapil Bora, Zerifa Wahid, Champak Borbora, Bhagirathi, Pakiza Begum, Gunakar Deva Goswami, Gangapada Choudhury, Bibhuranjan Choudhury, Pranjal Saikia, Bani Das, Maini Mahanta, Nitya Bora, Sukracharya Rabha, among others, besides organisations like Bharatiya Gana Natya Sangha, Seagull, Surya, Baan, Anubhav, Samahar Natya Gosthi, Theartres Guild Guwahati, and Ajai Rai Memorial Society.

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Intellectuals decry Govt move against play

GUWAHATI, April 4 � Literary and intellectual circles of the State have expressed indignation and resentment at the ultimatum issued by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Sattra Mahasabha against the staging of the play, Mahabharatar Bhul at the Rabindra Bhawan.

Following vehement opposition by the VHP and after a meeting between the VHP, Rang Mahal and the Rabindra Bhawan authorities, the name of the play by Tarun Saikia was changed to Bholanathar Sapon for allowing it to be staged.

�Regrettably, even this decision was undermined by the Sattra Mahasabha which in a most undemocratic manner pressurised the Government to cancel the staging of the play under the pretext of maintaining law and order. This is nothing but kneeling down before forces of communalism,� a statement issued by a number of distinguished citizens and leading socio-cultural organisations said.

Terming the conduct of the Government as setting a bad precedent which would only bolster the communal forces, the statement said that the Mahabharata had been a time-tested epic whose appeal and acceptability across the globe was only increasing following newer and different interpretations all over the world.

�Through the ages, the Mahabharata has elicited diverse critical interpretation and all this has only enhanced the epic�s universality and added to its glory. If a playwright names a play as Mahabharatar Bhul (The Blunder of the Mahabharata), it in no way diminishes the magnificence or lowers the dignity of the epic,� it said.

The statement further said that the move by the Government against the staging of the play by toeing the lines of organisations such as VHP or Sattra Mahasabha was an attack on the fundamental right of the people to express their opinion freely.

�The developments are also vitiating the creative and cultural atmosphere of the State. Rather than banning the play, the Government ought to have ensured its staging by deploying adequate security, if necessary. We demand that the play is staged at the Rabindra Bhawan,� it added.

The signatories included Nalinidhar Bhattacharya, Dr Hiren Gohain, Arun Sharma, Anima Guha, Nirupoma Bargohain, Sudakshina Sarma, Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya, Hiren Bhattacharya, Udayaditya Bharali, Apurba Sharma, Dr Sitanath Lahkar, Nipon Goswami, Moloya Goswami, Kapil Bora, Zerifa Wahid, Champak Borbora, Bhagirathi, Pakiza Begum, Gunakar Deva Goswami, Gangapada Choudhury, Bibhuranjan Choudhury, Pranjal Saikia, Bani Das, Maini Mahanta, Nitya Bora, Sukracharya Rabha, among others, besides organisations like Bharatiya Gana Natya Sangha, Seagull, Surya, Baan, Anubhav, Samahar Natya Gosthi, Theartres Guild Guwahati, and Ajai Rai Memorial Society.