March 12, 2021 4:53:31 pm
A theatre group in West Bengal, known for its productions on socio-economic themes, has dropped an artiste from a play after the actor joined the BJP.
Saurav Palodhi, whose ‘Ghum Nei’, an adaptation of the Utpal Dutt classic on the present political situation of the country through the prism of Left ideology, had posted on his official Facebook account that the artiste, Kaushik Kar, was removed from the production for joining the saffron party.
Kar, had been invited by Palodhi’s group ‘Ichcheymoto’ in 2019, to play a character whose name had a reference to the victim who was lynched in 2015 Dadri case on suspicion of eating beef.
Palodhi, known to be a Leftist, posted on Facebook three days back in Bengali “We are removing Kaushik Kar from ‘Ghum Nei’ with immediate effect because he has joined the BJP. And that is enough reason to remove him in the present times. There can be no place for communal elements in a play for the working class.”
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The theatre group would soon announce the date for the next show of ‘Ghum Nei’.
The post triggered a storm in social media with netizens like Arka Roy saying “Is it the example of artistic freedom? Democratic right? Can an artist be judged by his Leftist or Rightist leanings? ……It should be left to the person concerned which political party he or she should join. None has the right to interfere.”
Director Kamaleswar Mukherjee said, “So far I am concerned my casting had never been influenced by anyone’s political beliefs or colours.” Palodhi said he stood by the decision “as the play is fundamentally against BJP’s ideology and someone associated with that party cannot be part of ‘Ghum Nei’.”
“Associating Koushik Kar with the production, despite being aware of his current political identity, will be grave injustice to the spirit of the play and the working class for whom it is meant.”
Describing the entire episode as a manifestation of ‘Left-wing Fascism’, Kar said, “Only armchair elites, giving lecture on communism, having no connect with the masses and ignorant about the history of progressive cultural movement can take such a decision.”
“I am shocked at the unilateral decision.”
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