Jan. 4: Playwright Jagadish Patgiri today called for publication of Assamese plays in book form to popularise them across the country.
He said lack of Assamese plays in book form is the reason why the playwrights here have not been able to win national awards like the Sahitya Akademi.
Patgiri said this in a symposium on the celebration of 50 years of mobile theatre in the state organised by the 14th North-East Book Fair at Chandmari.
He said there was almost no effort from the publishers to popularise Assamese plays in book form despite the fact that there are many quality plays.
Assam’s first mobile theatre, Nataraj, came into existence in 1963. At present, there are nearly 40 mobile theatre groups in the state.
“Assamese playwrights have not got national recognition. We are partly responsible for this. There are almost no plays in book form to popularise them across the country. I can say many good plays have been produced in Assamese after the plays of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala,” said Patgiri.
Writer Bimal Hazarika said every playwright in Assam feels neglected.
“It is a matter of concern that the playwrights do not enjoy recognition as litterateurs in Assam although many of them are excellent in this genre. But playwrights also use their creativity and imagination in the way other litterateurs do. Arun Sarma is an example of how playwrights are yet to be recognised as litterateurs. Although Sarma is basically a playwright and he created a ripple in the state through a number of powerful and popular plays, he received Sahitya Akademi, not for his plays, but for a novel,” said Hazarika.
Theatre personality Debojit Bandhopadhyay and singer Riddhi Bandhopadhyay from Bengal participated in the symposium.
Playwright Mahesh Kalita denied the allegation that playwrights write plays for mobile theatre as ordered by theatre producers. “When I write a play for a mobile theatre the producers do not pressurise me or interfere in my work. I myself keep the business aspect of the mobile theatres in mind,” said Kalita.
The senior citizens also organised a programme today where they sang songs and discussed different issues.
Tomorrow, poets from different parts of the state will participate at a meet to be organised in memory of poet Hiren Bhattacharjya on the fair ground. The meet will be inaugurated renowned poet Nalinidhar Bhattacharyya.
Poets Nilamoni Phukan, Bhaben Barua, Hirendranath Dutta, Robindra Bora and Sananta Tanti will be felicitated at the programme.