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Subhas to take Kallol to Bangladesh

kolkata Updated: May 18, 2007 04:22 IST
Highlight Story

It is all hush-hush and it might take few days before the stage lights are switched on and the curtains go up. Having failed to stage his dream theatre in the land of River Hooghly, State Transport Minister Subhas Chakrabarty is all set to make forays into the land of River Padma to organise the late thespian Utpal Dutt’s much-acclaimed Kallol.

Subhas is so hooked to the idea that even political disturbances in the neighbouring country has not deterred him to think otherwise. Subhas feels that “theatre is for all times” and that “there is nothing called good or bad times for a good play on the stage”.

Peeved with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for not allowing him to hold Utpal Dutt’s Kallol on top of a floating barge on the River Hooghly last year for security reasons, Subhas is now working on the blueprint to hold the magnum opus theatre from the master dramatist in Bangladesh.

Subhas Chakrabarty says, theatre has no boundaries. And now that interaction between Epar Bangla and Opar Bangla has improved with direct transportation system, there is no reason why there cannot be an exchange of art and culture.

“Very few know that Utpal Dutt was as popular in West Bengal as in Bangladesh for his theateres and acting abilities. And Kallol is a gem of a play from the thespian that the people of Bangaldesh would love to watch,” Subhas Chakrabarty said.

Known for his political theatres like Tiner Tolwar, Manusher Odhikare, Dushwapaner Nagari, Angar, etc, Utpal Dutt created tremors in 1966 with his play Kallol which is based on the mutiny of Royal Indian Navy in 1946.

Kallol incurred the wrath of the Congress regime and Utpal Dutt was put behind the bars for six months under the Dramatic Performances Act. But despite odds, Utpal Dutt and his co-actors had staged the play to huge audiences since then.

Utpal Dutt was a good friend of Subhas Chakrabarty and the idea to take Kallol in Bangladesh began sometime back. “Yes the idea was bounced two months back and I was told about it. I am not aware of the recent development,” said Sobha Sen (Dutt), wife of the former Bengali theatre legend Utpal Dutt.

Sources said that efforts are on to play Kallol in Bikrampur in Dhaka and in the districts of , Rajshahi and Pabna in Bangladesh. However, the itinerary and the venues have not been finalised.

Meanwhile, till the visas and tickets come through for the entire theatre troupe and venues are fixed, Subhas wants to maintain a discreet silence about it. But, sources said, Subhas is targetting it to happen in May-June this year.

“I have always been attracted by the art and culture of Bangladesh. I believe, similalry, the people of Bangladesh also want to get the taste of stage plays from this part of the globe,” said Subhas Chakrabarty. “And we should not deny them that.”

Email author: asarkar@hindustantimes.com