Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pune sheds light on NE burning issues

Abdul Gani

Guwahati: Far away from the killing fields of the Bodo heartland and volatile valleys of Manipur, a one-act play staged at Pune has evoked keen interest and discussions on Northeast’s troubled times. On Sunday, people in Pune were discussing Northeast and Assam as a one-act play on the life and struggles of “Iron Lady” Irom Sharmila was staged. 

The poster of the play 
Besides, noted scholars discussed the current situation prevailing in Assam in a bid to find a solution. “We are very proud and absolutely thankful to Ojas SV for her generosity and love for performing her acclaimed one-act play La Mashale,” Diganta Deka of Grubshup, who organised the event on Sunday, told Seven Sisters Post.

Pune-based theatre artiste Ojas S V adapted Malayalam playwright Civic Chandran’s drama Meira Paibi (Women torch-bearers of Manipur) in La Mashale to get the urban audience hooked onto the life of Manipur’s “Iron Lady”. Ojas has already performed the 40-minute-long soliloquy on stage several times across the country in the last couple of years. She says her objective is to bring people closer to the heroic life of Sharmila and to throw light on cases of human rights violation in Manipur.

The play, which is powered by poetry written by Sharmila herself, anecdotes from her life and the traditional folk stories of Manipur, tries to recreate the horrifying circumstances which made the 39-year-old civil rights activist sit on an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the ‘draconian’ Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“With the recent events in and about the Northeast, we feel really saddened but more resolved to do our best to continue to spread awareness about the region. I think more such events will make people aware about our region,” Deka further said.

Besides, a couple of prominent personalities from the Northeast also discussed the current issues with the people present on the occasion. Senior scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Dr Haladhar Dev Sarma and Giridhar Mahanta, one of the senior-most officers in the Assam government, were present on the occasion to share their view on the prevailing situation in Assam.

“It should be solved politically. Gradually the people have started feeling insecure. The movements too have failed to fetch results so it’s the time to address the core issue which is the influx of illegal Bangladesi nations,” Sarma said.

He also urged all the political parties to keep their personal agendas aside and focus on the common problem of the state.

On the other hand, Mahanta said that to solve the p re-independence issue — influx — public awareness is quite important. “Corruption too has played a major role in creating more problems in Assam,” he said.

In the 1980s, Dr Haladhar Dev Sarma was in the governing body of the All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu) leading the students’ movement against illegal immigration. Around the same time, Giridhar Mahanta was a senior Assam government official. (Seven Sisters Post)


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