Using theatre to explore child sexual abuse
Ichapur Aleya’s play, Sparsha, written by Sangita Chowdhury and directed by Subhendu Majumdar, journeys through the rough terrains of a malaise digging its claws into our social fabric. It delves into a crucial dilemma: how the psychological well-being of a child is trapped between an unfathomable dependence on a teacher and the vulnerability of being sexually abused.
The situational drama persistently drives home the obscurity in the understanding of a “good touch” and a “bad touch” and how panic, inefficient parental interference and political appropriation manipulate such an incident. Sparsha strictly adheres to an overdone form of proscenium drama. But its strength lies in the way the script handles the complexities of the theme. The characters are well-defined and contribute to the development of the dramatic arc. Dipak Mitra is spectacular as a cryptic politician, evoking humour, anger and disdain. The play, which could have been shorter, touches upon the struggle of agency in the contemporary matrix of media-individual-politics.