KOCHI: With an event recently held to commemorate Safdar Hashmi, the late communist playwright known for his works in street theatre, at the capital, it was only fitting that a streetplay be held in his memory. In an event held by the Kerala School Teachers Association in collaboration with the Purogamana Kalasahithya Sangham, a streetplay ‘Varoo...Ee Theruvile Raktam Kanoo’ was staged at Manaveeyam Veedhi on in memory of late cultural activist.
Pouring light on Safdar’s quote ‘Freedom is helping people without fearing and creating fear’, the play written and directed by Satheesh G Nair, president, University College campus theatre wing, starts off with a piece of poetry by noted Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. While Satheesh had recently come with another streetplay with a same title, he clarifies, “Though both of the streetplays start with a poem by Neruda, they are different from each other. This has been conceptualised by the KSTA.
While the original play was more like a protest against the elements of fascism, this takes the form of a debate on the need to be more aware. While the rest of the country faces issues regarding freedom, Kerala due to its literacy rate has managed to keep itself immune to a certain limit. However, there are still forces working against this, and the plot of the play moves forward through a debate on these issues taking place in a house.”
It was the KSTA which approached Satheesh for coming up with the play. Elaborating on the reason to come up with such an initiative, Rajeev, a KSTA executive member says, “ There is a lot of commercialisation and exploitation happening in the education sector, in the name of religion and caste.
The scenario and situation of the Government Educational sector is fast changing. While Government is now focussing more on education sector, with smart classrooms becoming common, there are schools which are barely recognised coming into the picture. The street play is a protest against the negative side-effects of and the level of exploitation in the education sector.”
The 40-minute-long play, which was staged recently at Kannur, will be staged in different venues across the state. Adds Rajeev, “It was staged in the district as part of the Kalolsavam for teachers held recently at Kannur. We have been invited to perform at a number of places in the capital and hope to stage the play across the state.