Calcutta, Nov. 6: Utpal Dutt’s play Kallol will now be staged in Salt Lake stadium and not on the Hooghly.
Transport and sports minister Subhas Chakraborty, under pressure from the chief minister and the CPM brass over his plan to stage the play on board pontoons on the river, said this evening he would rather have it enacted in his backyard ' the stadium.
Originally slated to be staged on six evenings between November 7 and 14, the play, woven around the mutiny of Indian sailors against the British on Arabian Sea, will now be enacted on November 14 and 15.
“As advised by the chief minister, we are effecting a change of venues,” said Chakraborty who, 24 hours ago, had vowed to go ahead with the river adventure after police denied permission on security grounds. “I do not want to go into who said what,” he said today. “All I can say is that nobody’s safety would have been compromised if we were allowed to stage it off shore. We had taken all precautions but they were not convinced.”
The staging of Kallol will mark the finale of Utpal Dutt Natyotsav, being held as part of a youth welfare department programme titled “60 Years of Victory Over Fascism”.
Chakraborty told a news conference: “I had submitted a detailed plan about the programme to the chief minister on July 10. I am not sure why it took months to discover that the river was not a safe venue.”
In Salt Lake, the minister said, he will make “arrangements for an audience of at least 30,000 people” and “not damage the playground”.