To maintain the importance and to spread awareness about a folk form, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, released a publication and a set of DVDs providing a rich and spectacular repository of information on ‘Bhand Pather’, the celebrated folk theatre form Kashmir, at IGNCA in the national Capital.
The publication titled, ‘An Illustrated Monograph of Bhand Pather, the Folk Theatre of Kashmir’, celebrates the Bhand folk theatre, which is among the five theatre forms mentioned in Bharatamuni’s Natyashastra.
The DVD contains 50 minutes of select portions of the Bhand Pather plays performed by Bhand Troupe from Kashmir. In Bhand Pather stories recalling the lives of sages or some contemporary real or fictional figures are enacted out. The storylines (or pathers) are often satirical, and farce is an essential component of these plays.
In addition, the minister also released a set of four DVDs, containing four plays of Surabhi Theatre, namely Sri Krishnaleelalu, Bhakta Prahlad, Balanagamma and Maya Bazaar. Surabhi is the oldest institution of Family Theatre flourishing in Andhra Pradesh for the last 130 years.
“It is more important today to dwell on the heritage (virasat) that we will leave behind for the next generation rather than merely boasting of what we inherited,” observed Dr Sharma, while releasing the publication and DVDs.
The minister also spoke of the vast and thoughtful mandate of the IGNCA and emphasised on the need to take its work to more and more people across the country. “There is a need to increase the outreach of the Centre, which celebrated its Silver Jubilee three years ago,” he noted.
Those present on the occasion included Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture; and the other IGNCA Trustees — Dr Sonal Mansingh, Dr Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Nitin Chandrakant Desai, Dr K Arvinda Rao, Vasudeo Kamath, Dr Bharat Gupt, Dr M Seshan, Rathi Vinay Jha, Prof Nirmala Sharma, Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Dr Saryu Doshi, Prasoon Joshi, Daya Prakash Sinha and Birad Rajaram Yajnik.