Trinamool Congress MP Sultan Ahmed on Thursday said the West Bengal Urdu Academy (WBUA) has bigger plans to involve dignitaries like Mahesh Bhatt and Naseeruddin Shah in the National Urdu Drama festival next year.
Ahmed was addressing the press in connection with the four-day national Urdu Drama Festival, which will start on December 26 in the city. This is the second year when the festival is being organised by the WBUA.
The initiative was taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to host the drama festival in the city.
Works of eminent theatre personalities like Mohammad Ali Baig from Hyderabad, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Mustaq Kak and legendary playwright Habib Tanveer will be staged at the festival.
Ahmed said that for the revival of Urdu culture and theatre in the city, WBUA would sponsor Urdu groups.
Speaking on the demonetisation drive undertaken by the Centre, Ahmed condemned the move and requested Uma Jhunjhunwala, President of the famed Little Thespian theatre group, to make a play based on the ordeal faced by common people due to demonetisation – which has so far claimed over 120 lives all over the country.Jhunjhunwala said the drama festival was becoming increasing popular
in the city and thus would be held for four days instead of two. She said top class dramas from all over the country would be enacted at the festival.
Playwright SM Azhar Alam said the sole purpose of the festival was to address people coming from every community and language.
He said an attempt had been made to revive Urdu theatre, which was at one point of time regularly held in the city.
WBUA vice-chairman Manal Shah Alquadri said the academy is helping students coming from economically-challenged families, by giving meritorious students scholarships to Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim Universities for higher studies.