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Voices that need a ear

Written by Dipti Nagpaul
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Published: December 5, 2019 1:20:12 am


Sameena Dalwai and Geetanjali Kulkarni in rehearsal Amit Chakravarty

They sit within the vivid, sunlit room on the chilly, stone-tiled ground, throughout from one another, one wearing black and the opposite in white. Yin and yang.

Geetanjali Kulkarni transforms into Seema Hakim. She is a resident of a Hindu-majority basti in Kandivali’s Charkop and cherished by her neighbours for her scrumptious biryani. But quickly, she is silenced by the brutal slaughter of her husband Shahid. Taking on the position of Shaila Satpute, Sameena Dalwai says that Seema was later gangraped by boys from her neighbourhood. Shahid’s nationalistic shayari painted on Mumbai’s pipelines couldn’t save them from non secular riots.

As the scene ends, an uncomfortable silence envelopes the room earlier than Kulkarni and Dalwai transfer on to the following story as a part of their 20-minute efficiency, titled December 1992, which can be staged on the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa on December 18. The efficiency relies on excerpts from 4 essays within the ebook, Babri Masjid, 25 Years On (Kalpaz Publications, 2017), edited by Dalwai, with playwright Ramu Ramanathan and activist Irfan Engineer. Activists, artists and journalists have written about what they noticed within the aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition. The play seems to be at Mumbai by means of the eyes of 4 ladies activists who labored for the victims — Satpute, Shama Dalwai, Helen Bharde and Sanjivani Jain.

Currently in Marathi and Hindi, each Kulkarni and Dalwai are pondering of the way to take the play past a pageant platform, particularly after the current verdict of the Babri Masjid demolition case. “The current silence among the minorities is induced from humiliation. One cannot term the court’s decision unanimous and the reception of verdict as peaceful,” says Dalwai. The daughter of Congress MP Husain Dalwai and activist-teacher Shama Dalwai, she grew up close to Behrampada in Bandra East, which noticed among the worst instances of rioting.

Kulkarni sees the need to take the play to housing societies and bastis the place, she says, the hatred for minorities is extra palpable. “I grew up in a traditional Marathi household where everyone believed the post-Babri riots were serving justice to the Muslims. I believed so myself. It’s only over time that I have begun to understand how this religious divide works. But there are still all those people who continue to carry the old belief, and who have lauded the recent judgment. The play is for them,” she says.

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About Christopher Ahn

Christopher L. Ahn writes for Lifestyle and Travel Sections in AmericaRichest.

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