Dear Budhan Theatre Friends,
Recently, on 22nd Jan, Budhan Theatre performed in Ravi Muthai Auditorium at IIMA. I would like to share with you that around one month backs, 25 students including Prof. Navdeep Mathur of IIMA visited chharanagar to study the society and stigma. Budhan Theatre warmly welcomed them and gave understanding that how community is being historically stigmatized and what kind of problems facing by the legal and judiciary system. They met to the people of chharanagar and also watched a street play Budhan Bolta Hai in Navkholi area of Chharanagar.
(I should mention that a boy Jayesh who was performing Deepak Pawar’s character injured by the glass bottle during the performance but he not stopped to perform, he was bleeding but the performance was going on…I don’t know why?)
After the visit, as I discussed with the student the output of the visit and one of them told that ‘we were aware about the crime but here we first come to know that how crime is state sponsored’.
After few days I received a call from Prof. Mathur and he invited to us to perform in IIMA during the training programme of middle to IAS officers. As we always are ready for performance, we accepted this invitation and decided to perform plays Budhan Bolta Hai and Ek Aur Balcony.
On 22nd evening, we performed both plays. Prof. Navdeep Mathur introduced the back ground of community and Budhan Theatre. After performance we received tremendous response from the audience. We had a very discussion about the Chharas and DNTs with most high profile officers and policy makers of India. We said that
‘Theatre give is acceptance and become bridge between our stigmatized community and rest worlds’
More then 100 people watched both plays including Director of Institute Dr. Samir Barua and Dr. T. Kumar, IAS (Principal Secretary to Honorable Speaker, Lok Sabha).
Ek Aur Balcony, a political play widely appreciated and criticized.
Budhan Theatre celebrated its tenth year of practicing theatre in a stigmatized community. On this special event we performed Ek Aur Balcony play at H K Collage Auditorium. More then 700 people witnessed this memorable evening and performance. To see the huge audiance when curtain opened, we motivated for further theatre journey. Many reknown people from media, judiciery, theatre, films watched the performance. It is a sign of acceptance chhars by rest of world.
Ek Aur Balcony is an adaptation of The Balcony (Le Balcon) a 1956 play by Jean Genet. Our play deals with the fundamental elements of contemporary democracy: police, politics and the judicial system. In Budhan Theatre’s version, The Balcony is a place where those responsible for injustice and riots are forced to experience the pain of their victims, while those without anything grow humongous by eating up the world. The play, followed by playwright Jean Genet’s soliloquy, leads takes us through fantasy and reality in order to reveal the power of the people in democratic society.
Dear friends, Apart of Theatre activity, since many years Budhan Theater is struggling for the Housing Rights for DNTs who lived in Maninagar area of Ahmedabad City. In Oct. 2008 we filed a petition in honorable Gujarat High Court and court continues ‘Stay’ against demolition. Before that almost 10 – 12 times Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation demolished this Basti and due to that many children and old aged people died.
But on 16th Dec. 2008, Gujarat High court dismissed the petition and then with the help of Dr. Devy and Adv. Megha Jani, we challenged in Supreme Court of India. Supreme Court of India also granted Stay till next hearing. We will continue post the development in this case.
Budhan Theatre invited by Crossword to perform its play Budhan Bolta Hai on 28th Dec during the Christmas Eva. The aim to organize such theatre even to start cultural interaction between chhara and mainstream kids. More then 100 people witnessed this memorable performance. It is stunning performance and some of people in audience had tears in their eyes. After performance there was good discussion with audience about the plight of DNTs in India. In the audiance, almost people did not know about the ‘Black History’ of DNTs and they seem committed to see Chharas and DNTs respectfully.
Theatre helped to us for the acceptance and this will bring change.
City Collage of Ahmedabad, invited to Budhan Theatre Group to perform play ‘Budhan Bolta Hai’ on 30th Dec. 2008. 20 Budhan Theatre kids perfoemd and lamost 500 students witnessed this performance. After it was very good discussion about the CHhara people and DNTs to treat them as normal human being not ‘criminals’. Now next generation is ready to take forward Theatre Journey towards change.
Full Story can be found at
budhan’s kids teach through play-way
children of chhara tribe stage a play budhan bolta hai
ahmedabad-based theatre group, the budhan theatre, has helped clean the image of the chhara tribe, a de-notified tribe of gujarat, over the years. budhan theatre, under the guidance of kalpana gagdekar, one of its founder members, has recently completed 10 years of existence. it has performed many street theatres as well as proscenium performances.
the children of chharanagar, who were once derided as criminals, staged budhan bolta hai, a play that is completely their creation, at crosswords on sunday. the play was not only written and directed by them, but the young brigade also scored the music for the play.
budhan bolta hai is actually a compilation of three full-fledged plays – budhan, encounter and bulldozer – and draws our attention towards issues like police atrocities, false prosecution and mob lynching.
the play is about budhan sabar, a tribal living in kolkata, west bengal, who is falsely accused and imprisoned. he later dies in the purulia jail and the medical report raises suspicion over the cause of his death. the incident is enacted in an excellent manner with the help of minimum props. nandini indrekar, who plays the character of shyamali sabar, wife of budhan, moves audiences to tears with her stupendous enactment of a widow bewailing over her husband’s dead body.
the true story of deepak pawar, is the basis for the mob lynching topic. pawar was incidentally forced to become a police informer in order to continue with his illegal business of brewing country liquor. pawar was beaten up by other people when his identity as a police informer got revealed, but was eventually killed in a fake encounter.
finally, the story of a mother, whose child dies from cold after their house was encroached, was the real centerpiece of the three-fold play. it revolved around a true incident of the rajbhoi family who lived near the indian institute of management, ahmedabad. added to the powerful and moving real-life stories were poems by revolutionary poets like pash and dhumil which added flavour to the play, that were mostly recited in groups. the play raises many a question in the audiences’ minds about several issues such as whether the indian society has any responsibility towards its population of eight crores etc.
in a recent one-act play competition organised by darpana academy, budhan bolta hai also bagged the best actress and best actor awards.
Budhan Bolta Hai…Nomads Called a Thief (Street Play)
Budhan Bolta Hai…based on true incidents of atrocities cases on Denotifed Tribals of India who treated as Born Criminal by legal system and treated as Thieves by mainstream societies. The play included atrocity on Budhan Sabar of kolkatta, Deepak Pawar of Maharashtra and Demolition issue of DNT Basti in Maningar area which makes settled nomads again nomads. The play reflects the inhuman treatment with the DNT communites in this country and appeal to audience to treat them with human dignity.
Budhan Theatre emerged from the Library and Community Centre established by Smt. Mahasveta Devi at Chharanagar in 1998. Budhan Theatre acquired its name from the famous Budhan Sabar case. It is now ten years since the first performance of the play ‘Budhan’ was staged at Ahmedabad.
Since then, Budhan Theatre has worked the miracle of changing the image of the Chhara community completely. Today, the Chharas are recognized and respected all over the country as artists with great talent.
To celebrate Budhan Theatre’s existence over the last decade and to express our admiration for the tremendous effort of the group, we are organizing “Budhan at Ten” on Sunday, 31st August 2008 at Chinubhai Chimanbhai Sabha Gruh, Shri H. K. College Campus, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad.
The Programme Schedule is as follows:
5.45 p.m.–6.30 p.m.
Budhan Bolta Hai
in Street Theatre mode outside the Auditorium
Written and Directed by Dakxin Bajarange
6.45 p.m.-8.00 p.m.:
The Balcony Revisited / Ek Aur Balcony
Based on the French dramatist Jean Genet’s The Balcony
Directed by Alok Gagdekar
In the tradition of Budhan Theatre, the show will be without any entrance fees. Please encourage your friends to attend. However, we will appreciate if you can call Saurabh Mishra (0265-2353347/9328895422) to inform us if you are bringing any additional viewers.
Your support is invaluable for us and we trust that you will join us for the occasion.
Due to serial bomb blast in our city on 26th July we have to postponed our 28th Budhanotsav event and now on 31st Aug. we are going to organize same event. 31st Aug. is a special day for us. It is 57th Independence day of Denotified Tribes of India and on same day we will be celebrate this special day of DNTs. Details programme schedule will be post shortly.
Budhan Theatre completing it’s 10 years in the month of July 2008. We want to say our struggle story to practice Theatre in stigmatized community through celebration of 10 years of Budhan Theatre. We want to invite all the Budhan Theatre friends. Programme yet to be finalized. We will keep post in this colum.