April 6, 2019

Puppet Play on Mahatma Gandhi Performed in Delhi

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On invitation from the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), a leading government-funded arts organisation under the Ministry of Culture, a puppet play – ‘The Life of Mahatma Gandhi’, presented by the Guwahati-based cultural institute Surojit Academy, was performed in a three day event - 'Divya Prakriti Parva', which was held in Delhi, from March 6 to 8, 2019, to mark the International Women’s Day. The play, directed by Binita Devi, narrated various events and episodes from the childhood days of Mahatma Gandhi to India’s independence. 


The puppets in the play, adapted to Hindi by Niharendra Sarma, were brought alive through the dexterous use of rod puppets,  shadow puppets and glove puppets. The event, held under Nari Samvaad Prakalp, showcased varied programmes, including special lectures, workshops, academic panel discussions, exhibitions, among others, where a number of students from universities and colleges, researchers, professors, artistes, litterateurs, among others, from Delhi and its neighbouring states, attended.

Dedicated to the Father of the Nation and his devoted wife, Kasturba Gandhi, ‘The Life of Mahatma Gandhi’, showcased on the opening day of the event, regaled the audiences, who were intrigued by the depth and the intricacy of the puppeteers, led from the front by Binita Devi, who has contributed much to the creativity and lively productions of her institute Surajit Academy. It has always been the primary objective of her cultural institution to promote and create awareness of this vanishing art form. A Junior Fellowship awardee from the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi, Binita Devi has been imparting training in glove puppetry to a number of pupils from all over the State. 


The voices to various roles in the play were rendered by Hardik Sarma, Binita Devi, Swapan Das, Rajib Kalita and Niharendra Sarma. The puppets were manipulated by Hardik Sarma, Simanta Sarma, Binita Devi, Hridayjyoti Das, Dhrubajyoti Das, Anita Devi, Gitima Das and Manomati Boro.

Prantik Deka
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