A few days back, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal surprised everyone when he stopped at a roadside dhaba, Giani Tea Stall, in Amritsar, and on Saturday, he unexpectedly turned up at the Harpal Tiwana Academy to watch a play.
Badal was deeply moved by the scintillating performance by the artistes staging the play, 'Main tera Banda', based on the life and philosophy of legendary Sikh warrior Banda Bahadur, at the Harpal Tiwana Centre for Performing Arts (HTCPA) and stayed back for nearly one-and-half hours till the play ended. Late singer Jagjit Singh had given the background music to the play.
Later, the chief minister also met the cast of the play and posed for a picture with them. The play was staged to mark the 10th death anniversary of legendary theatre artiste Harpal Tiwana here at the HTCPA.
In his address, Badal reiterated the commitment of the state government to preserve the historical, cultural and religious legacy of the state by erecting memorials and promote Punjabi art and culture. He said that it was obligatory on the state government to dedicate memorials to eminent personalities who had done exceptionally well in their respective fields.
Lauding the contribution of Harpal Tiwana, the chief minister said he played a pivotal role for the promotion of Punjabiat and would be remembered by one and all for a long time. He said that the HTCPA auditorium would be instrumental in giving much needed impetus to the Punjabi theatre movement.
Meanwhile, the HTCPA foundation honoured the chief minister by presenting him a memento. Manpal Tiwana, the son of Harpal Tiwana, thanked Badal for boosting the morale of the artistes by watching the full play.
Present on the occasion were deputy commissioner GK Singh, HTCPA resident director Neena Tiwana, renowned Punjabi writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana, besides a battery of Akali leaders and bureaucrats.