Ahead of the Theatre Olympics in 2018, students of the National School of Drama (NSD) have gone on strike alleging that the academic institution is paying more attention to organising events and festivals than educating them. NSD, which is bringing the international event to India in February, has been given a new name by its students. Above the main building, they have covered the word “Drama” with a paper reading “Festival”. In the courtyard, students have declared on posters, “Natak festival mahatwapoorna hai ya humari training”.
Students of NSD are protesting after final-year productions, Tukda Shahar and Ujala Syah, were cancelled on Monday because the necessary properties were not ready, reportedly because the technical staff was busy working on festivals. The students vented by slapping hand-written notices stating, “Show cancel, festival kyon cancel nahin?” on the colourful posters of the next festival NSD is hosting, Bal Sangam.
NSD, whose primary mandate is to train students, has been organising an increasing number of festivals.
All classes, rehersals and student activities have come to a stop. The students were parked on charpais and carpets in front of the main building on Tuesday, demanding a meeting with all department heads, permanent faculty, dean (academic) and dean (welfare), registrar, deputy registrar as well as representatives of the workers’ union to resolve the issue.
A meeting scheduled on Tuesday afternoon was inconclusive. On being contacted by The Indian Express, Waman Kendre, Director, NSD, and P K Mohanty, Registrar, did not comment.