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  Entertainment   In Other News  12 Nov 2018  Bhikhari Thakur enters Goa film fest, exits NSD utsav

Bhikhari Thakur enters Goa film fest, exits NSD utsav

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRAMOD KUMAR
Published : Nov 12, 2018, 12:04 am IST
Updated : Nov 12, 2018, 12:04 am IST

Naach Bhikhari Naach is a film based on legendary Bhojpuri folk artist Bhikhari Thakur.

Bhikari Naama is a biographical play on the ‘Shakespeare of Bhojpuri’.
 Bhikari Naama is a biographical play on the ‘Shakespeare of Bhojpuri’.

New Delhi: What is India International Film Festival’s gain is National School of Dra-ma’s (NSD) loss. Naach Bhikhari Naach, a film based on legendary Bhojp-uri folk artist Bhikhari Thakur has made it to the prestigious Indian panorama of the 49th Internati-onal Film Festival in Goa but the premier acting institution — National School Drama (NSD) — has rejected the application for showcasing Bhikari Naama, a biographical play on the ‘Shakes-peare of Bhojpuri’, at ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’, the annual theatre festival in the country, without any reason.

“It is indeed a matter of pride for the Bhojpuri folk music, theatre and cinema and of course the great tribute to the legendry Bhikari Thakur that the film Naach Bhikhari Naach has been selected for the prestigious Indian panorama of the 49th Inte-rnational Film Festival (Goa), starting from Nove-mber 20”, said Jainendra Dost, who alongwith  co-director Shilpi Gulati has tried to restore the purity of the performing tradition on ‘Naach’ in their 52 minute film.

Talking to this newspaper, Dost said probably this is for the first time in the history of Internation-al Film festival in India that a Bhojpuri film based on the folk art has been selected for screening at the Indian panorama.

“The entire Bhojpuri cinema fraternity is thankful to the jury as well as union ministry of information and broadcasting for selecting the movie. Now, the entire world can see the legacy of the great Bhikhari Thakur”, said Dost. However, it is only a  partial joy for Dost. He rues the fact that his  globally popular play Bhik-hari Naama, with the legendary 93-year-old artist Ramchandra Manji, who has been awarded 2017’s prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award, could not make it to NSD’s theatre Olympiad held earlier this year and the coming Bha-rat Rang Mahotsav, starting from February in 2019, for inexplicable reasons.

“I don’t know the reason but our applications for showcasing the play Bhik-hari Naama at NSD’s theatre Olympiad held in 2018 in New Delhi and Bharat Rang Mahatosav starting from February 1, 2019 were not accepted by the selection committee”, said Dost. The play has been staged outside India also, he added. Echoing similar view, Prof Munna Pandey, Executive Committee me-mber of the Maithili and Bhojpuri Academy of Del-hi government, said, “Its very disturbing that Jain-endra’s Bhikhari Naama was not selected for NSD’s annual theatre festival. It’s highly discouraging for the young theatre artists of Bhojpuri speaking are-as in Bihar”.

Reacting to this, Director (incharge) of the NSD, Prof Suresh Sharma, said, “All plays for the Mahotsav as well as Olympiad are selected by the selection committees of the NSD. There is a proper system for the selection of plays for such events. We have selected plays on Bhikhari Thakur earlier also but I don’t know the reason as why Bhikhari Naam could not be selected for theatre Olympiad or Bharat Rang Mahotsav”.

Bhikari Thakur, who died in 1971, is popularly known as the “Shakespea-re of Bhojpuri”. Thakur authored 12 plays (including the landmark  Bides-iya on the theme of migration) and numerous songs in Bhojpuri since the 1920s and ran a drama troupe. Four of the troupe’s surviving members are featured in the documentary Naach Bhikhari Naach to recite his songs from memory, share their views on his politics, and rewind to their experiences of working with Thakur over the decades.

Tags: international film festival of india, bhikari naama