It’ll be one Himmatwala facing another, when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi visits Kolkata on April 9, by the invitation of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce. A bunch of young thespians are geared up for an intellectual protest in the form of a bilingual (Hindi and Bengali) street play titled Himmatwala (The Courageous one) that opposes the depiction of Modi as the face of development.
Under the leadership of actor-director Joyraj Bhattacharya of Herbert fame, this twenty-minute agitprop theatrical venture, targeting audiences’ emotions, will highlight the atrocities of power and display how a genuine endeavour on the common man’s part can actually lead to a solution.
“There’s violence at every layer of our society, whether philosophical, economical, linguistic or intellectual. In fact, development also has an aggressive face,” said Bhattacharya. “All this made us sit up and decide to directly attach these issues in order to find a way out. Our play Himmatwala is not for or against any political party. Rather, it is against a system that continuously promotes the sham of supremacy, fundamentalism and communal violence, all in the name of growth. It’s a workshop-based production that never had a text and was developed spontaneously during the making. And the protagonist of Himmatwala is none other than Narendra Modi,” he added.
Himmatwala will be performed twice in Budge Budge on Monday afternoon - near Akhra and Santoshpur - and once at Beltala, Metiabruz.