Saturday, November 15, 2014

"थिएटर ऑफ़ रेलेवंस" नाट्य कार्यशाला से ३१ अक्टूबर २०१४ को हुई इप्टा कोल्हापुर की स्थापना - मंजुल भारद्वाज



थियेटर महज कलात्मक अभिव्यक्ति और संतुष्टि पाने का माध्यम नहीं है,बल्कि यह हमें जीवन के अनुभवों से भी गुजरने का अवसर देता है। यह सिर्फ मनोरंजन का साधन नहीं, जीवन को समझने की भी चेतना प्रदान करता है। यह कला को राजनीतिक वादों और धाराओं के चक्रव्यूह से निकालकर जीवन को संवारने का औजार बनाता है। यह महज एक शो नहीं, "थियेटर ऑफ़  रेलेवेंस" है। "थियेटर ऑफ़  रेलेवेंस" नाट्य दर्शन जो जीवन और कला के बीच की अनमोल कड़ी है। ऐसे अद्भुत और प्रासंगिक रंगविचार के सृजनकर्ता मंजुल भारद्वाज पिछले 31 अक्टूबर से 6 नबंवर तक यानी पूरे एक सप्ताह महाराष्ट्र के कोल्हापुर में इप्टा द्वारा आयोजित कार्यशाला को संचालित कर रहे थे। "थिएटर ऑफ़ रेलेवंस" नाट्य कार्यशाला से ३१ अक्टूबर २०१४  को  हुई इप्टा कोल्हापुर की स्थापना और "गर्भ " नाटक इप्टा कोल्हापुर की प्रथम  प्रस्तुति है .


इप्टा द्वारा आयोजित इस कार्यशाला में न सिर्फ आर्ट कॉलेज, इंजीनियरिंग कॉलेज,फार्मास्युटिकल कॉलेज के विद्यार्थी  रंग कार्यकर्ता भी सहभागी थे। मेघा पानसरे, सुनील जाधव , मिलिंद कदम ने आयोजक की सफल भूमिका निभाई !
इन सात दिवसीय कार्यशाला में मंजुल भारद्वाज ने थियेटर की विभिन्न बारीकियों से सहभागियों को अवगत कराया,बल्कि "गर्भ" नाटक को उनकी सहभागिता से प्रदर्शित भी किया। गर्भ मंजुल भारद्वाज द्वारा लिखित व निर्देशित देश-विदेश में सफलतापूर्वक प्रदर्शित बेहद चर्चित नाटक है। मंजुल भारद्वाज ने गर्भ में पल रहे एक बच्चे के माध्यम से प्रकृति की सुंदरता और आदिम से उत्तर आधुनिक हो चुके मानव जीवन की स्वनिर्मित जटिलताओं को अभिव्यक्त किया है।
मंजुल की कार्यशाला की यह अद्भुत विशेषता है कि नए और पुराने दोनों तरह के सहभागी समान रुप से प्रभावशाली और परिवर्तनकारी अनुभवों से गुजरते हैं।
.... धनंजय कुमार










Thursday, October 16, 2014

The theatre of Revolt … Manjul Bhardwaj

The theatre of Revolt
… Manjul Bhardwaj
 From its origin street theatre is the theatre of revolt. When  establishment is not listening to you and no option left then you come to the street and demand for your rights or protest against injustice. So by nature street theatre is a theatre of protest. It is the voice of voiceless. Hence it`s nature is political. Street theatre is a political theatre; it has an in built revolt against system .So the practitioners of street theatre must be very clear about the ideology and purpose of street theatre. Street theatre practitioners should not mix street theatre with folk theatre or theatre of celebration as it is being written in many news articles and also on Wikipedia.
Street theatre is a modern word, referring to the theatre performed on streets, grounds to create consciousness about the contemporary political, social and economic situation to provide political, social and economic analyses of the contemporary situations and provide a direction to the consciousness of the viewers to raise the voice of victim.

This form of theatre is being discovered and practiced by the workers after the industrial revolution in Europe for their demands .The workers used their real pain, sufferings, marginalization and use theatre form on street and it has a huge impact on the system and the demands of the workers fulfilled.
In India the street theatre has a mixed history of being performed by different groups. Those groups with political affiliation have used this weapon very effectively and rest has done more harm to this challenging art form by mixing different folk forms. These performers were not very clear about the purpose of folk and street theatre and thus confused themselves and limited this form of revolt to awareness.
During the strong era of mill workers movement across India street theatre movement was very strong and kept the capitalist forces at bay.  Like Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA) for a long time has used to this form of theatre very effectively, Gurusharan Singh , Badal sarcar and  then CPM cadre Safdar Hasmi has laid his life for his commitment to this theatre of Revolt. These names are repeatedly mentioned in any article of street theatre because of their commitment and long struggle for people`s cause and use of street theatre to fight the exploitative dominant forces. There are countless street theatre performers and groups who occasionally perform street play on very critical issues in the remote villages of India but their efforts are for a short period and their groups don’t have a long term vision.
But after the collapse of organized workers and peasant movement and rise of middle class in India street theatre movement has also become scattered and sporadic. Some groups occasionally performs on some issues of national importance and disappear as soon as the issue fades out from the limelight thus lacks in vision, consistency and commitment towards street theatre.

From 1992 Experimental Theatre Foundation (ETF) has used effectively street theatre to its spirit. When Babari mosque was demolished and the nation face communal violence. Mumbai also engulfed in communal violence and hatred, during this challenging time ETF performed “Door se kisi ne Aawaaz di” among the riot effected and affected areas to bring peace and harmony. Similarly ETF`s another play Mera Bachpan  is the voice of 20 crore or more Indian child laborers  has been performed more than 12000 times across India to liberate and restore the childhood of these children .Street theatre has given the children self-confidence & a sense of self worth. The children were amazed to find the same employer who beats them at work applauding them for their acting skills. This triggered a revolt in children`s mind “Children realized that they are not borne to serve the society as slaves” this world belongs to them too and broke the vicious circle of exploitation. Till date more than 50 thousand laborers left labor and joined schools. Street theatre requires a personal commitment and fire in belly to fight injustice and ETF performers are up to these challenges till date.

Now a day’s National Federation of Indian women (CPI) outfit is using street theatre for the gender egalitarian society to challenge the feudal, patriarchal and neo liberal mind set along with many women’s Rights organizations. Domestic workers Union ( Ghar Kamgar Molkarni Sanghthana ) a union of unorganized domestic workers has taken up the corruption in public distribution system (PDS) in Mumbai and performed a street play “Rashan Amacha Hakkacha” ( Ration is my right) and exposed the nexus of black marketers and  profiteers . In this experiment street theatre helped these unorganized workers to get organized and grow in strength and enhanced the belief to fight the mighty corrupt system.

Today the street theatre movement in India has gone through the journey of constructive systemic change to the mode of awareness tool. From visionary groups to seasonal performing groups, from committed performers to opportunistic performers, from passion to fashion where a group of none committed youth in khadi kutra and jeans perform for their college NSS activity. There is nothing wrong in that but the performances lack of commitment, clarity, on the issue and performance is time pass and superficial. Many foreign funded NGOS also use street theatre as an awareness tool and avoid confrontation with the system which is an escapist route. 

As the neo global forces are rising in the world, the African continent is dying of hunger, and multinational companies are taking over control on their minerals and natural resources, the middle east is on the brink of everyday crisis, the number of unorganized workers is on the rise, as the largest democracy in the world is selling all its assets to corporate world and running away from its democratic commitment to the people, as the poor and rich divide is getting widened every day , as the control of corporate is on rise ,the workers of world and India will unite and fight against the capitalistic forces. This is not an old communist rhetoric any more. Earlier it was mentioned in the articles and books but today the ugly, inhuman face of neo liberalization is visible in the forms of mall culture. Where only rich is getting richer and inflation is used as a state tool and policy to exploit, divide to eliminate poor unorganized workers. When right wing forces are rising then left will and naturally rise and street theatre is an apt mass medium in the hands of poor and voiceless to counter the bluff of corporate media to fight for their rights!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Theatre of Relevance (TOR) is a philosophy initiated & practiced by well known Theatre personality Manjul Bhardwaj since 12 August, 1992 in India and all over the world. Theatre of Relevance envisages audience as first, foremost & strongest theatre person and then writer, director, performer follows. TOR brings out theatre from the cocoons of Entertainment to a way of empowerment and sees theatre as a way of living. TOR has proved that theatre is a process of constructive change and a volcano of revolution with its experiments all over the world. TOR rubbishes capitalistic approach “art for art sake” as escapist & opportunistic and commits it`s creative excellence to make the world more “Better & Humane”.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Theatre Thinker Manjul Bhardwaj

संस्कार पत्रिका के अक्टूबर अंक में प्रकाशित


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Preparing people to perform on life’s stage

Ivninderpal Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 10

When Shakespeare 500 years ago said that the world is a stage and we are all actors, he might have said so symbolically. But theatre actor and director Manjul Bhardwaj is translating the Bard of Avon’s thought into reality.
For Manjul, theatre is not a medium of entertainment but an expression of human thought, feeling, experience, and, it has a purpose. “I see theatre as being relevant to the context of society and it owes a social responsibility. It’s not just art for art’s sake but caters to human needs and provides itself as a platform for expression,” says Manjul, who has learnt something from every experience on his “fulfilling” journey from Rohtak to Mumbai.
Theatre of Relevance
Commits creative excellence to make the world more better and humane
Is relevant to the context of society and owes its social responsibility
Caters to human needs and provides itself as a platform for expression
Explores itself as a medium of change and development
Comes out from the limits of entertainment to a way of living
He has written and directed more than 25 plays and conducted more than 100 theatre workshops in and outside the country. Manjul, who has also conducted more than 150 street theatre workshops in 25 states of the country, does not see theatre confined to auditorium and actors and feels theatre can be created anywhere, anytime.
To give wings to his dream of taking theatre from the auditorium to the stage of life, Manjul founded the Experimental Theatre Foundation (ETF) in 1992 and asked like-minded people to practice the philosophy of ‘Theatre of Relevance’ (see box). “The ETF, which according to me is a laboratory of social change through theatre, is a people’s organisation that helps them take on the challenges of day-to-day life through theatrical performances,” he says.
Elaborating on Theatre of Relevance, Manjul says: “This genre is about issues related with the people, by the people and for the well-being of people. And, I visualise it as a medium of making people more humane and, thereby, becoming an instrument of change and development.”
Communal riots, child labour, female foeticide, domestic violence, natural calamities and unemployment are some of the many issues Manjul has brought to the centrestage in the country and abroad. Some of the plays staged by the Experimental Theatre Foundation are ‘Door Se Kisine Awaaz Di’ written after the 1992-93 Bombay riots, ‘Dekha-Dekhi’, a satire on consumerism, ‘Mera Bachpan’ which explores the issue of child labour, ‘Napunsak’, a socio-political satire through the eyes of a eunuch, ‘Redlight’ unfolding the sufferings, pain and exploitation of victims of human trafficking and ‘Laadli’, the voice of countless unborn girl children highlighting the issue of female foeticide.
And the change is coming. “‘Mera Bachpan’ motivated thousands of children to give up work and get back to schools and through ‘Laadli’ I have been successful in inculcating a sense of gender equality among the masses,” Manjul says proudly.
Not only this, Manjul is taking theatre to the corporate sector, too. He conducted a series of workshops for Indian Oil Corporation on ‘Attitudinal change and personality development through theatre’. At ONGC, he talked of gender sensitivity and motivation for social action. And here, too, the list is long.
Manjul, who is at present conducting a summer workshop for children at Sarang Lok, Mohali, wraps up saying: “Theatre is a movement, ever-widening, stirring the soul of every participant, creating more and more quality actors, who not only perform the time-bound drama on the makeshift stage of theatre, but also on the real stage of life for all times to come.”

 Manjul Bhardwaj - Initiator & practitioner of " Theatre of Relevance " philosophy

‘Artists’ attain enlightenment through the radiance of their art and not through the cravings of their belly.-Manjul Bhardwaj

‘Artists’ attain enlightenment through the radiance of their art and not through the cravings of their belly. -         Manjul Bhard...