The Bharat Bhavan Trust was constituted after much deliberations to avoid any conflict between the trust and saffron cultural outfits on ideological issues.
However, two recent incidents of protest against plays slated to be staged at Bharat Bhavan, which the saffron outfits perceived to be vulgar and anti-national respectively proves that the arrangement is not working.
One of the plays in question could not be staged and an FIR has been lodged against writer-director of the second play on Wednesday.
Convener of BJP’s cultural cell, Rajesh Bhadauria, on Wednesday filed a complaint against Bhanu Bharti- director and writer of the play ‘Tamasha Jo Na Hua’ at Shyamla Hills police station. The drama was staged on August 18 at Bharat Bhavan and was opposed by a section of the audience including Bhadauria on the ground that the director had potrayed anti-national sentiments in the play particularly in the context of the dam in Kashmir and infiltration from Bangladesh, where he appears to be siding with those nations rather than India. Bhanu Bharti, a seasoned theatre person, had then said that he only portrayed what he himself found convincing in the context of the play. The dispute seemed to have been resolved then. But, Rajesh Bhadauria was back on stage on Wednesday when he lodged an FIR against Bhanu Bharti at Shymala Hills police station seeking penal action for outraging his national sentiments.
“I have asked the police to take action against Bharti, as his play depicted anti-national sentiments and favoured Pakistan and Bangladesh. A case of sedition should be filed against the author and director,” said Rajesh Bhadauria.
The drama was staged at the invitation of Bharat Bhavan, a multi-arts complex run by a trust constituted by the state government. Bharat Bhavan trustees were appointed by the BJP-ruled state government after great deliberations so as to avoid any sutuation of conflict between its cultural outfits and the trust and it comprisng eminent artistes from the country.
“There is an advisory body in Bharat Bhavan that select the plays to be staged. It seems that somewhere something has gone wrong. Although I haven’t seen the play but I came to know about the controversy. An enquiry would be conducted in the matter,” said culture minister Laxmikant Sharma.
Highly placed officials on condition of anonymity said that it was strange to see BJP outfits opposing the programmes decided by a body appointed by its own government.
Earlier, “Kneel Down’ play by Japanese controversial writer Amy Amada slated to be presented by National School of Drama (NSD) students was also withdrawn under pressure from saffron outfits.