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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Slum dwellers to go to Singur

New Delhi, January 30: Slum dwellers from Delhi are scheduled to travel to Singur in West Bengal to participate in a play against the land acquisition by the West Bengal Government. The slum dwellers are part of the Delhi Shramik Sangathan, a member organisation of the Federation of Theatre of the Oppressed.

“The federation is a collective of cultural groups and people’s organisations from 12 states and involves people affected by eviction,” says Ramendra from the Delhi Shramik Sangathan.
“The oppressed bring forth their problems by means of theatre to mobilise people,” says Sanjoy Ganguly from Jana Sanskriti. Ganguly adds, “development taking place by way of eviction is not development, it is displacement and we want to fight this trend with the means of theatre.”

“Ever since the relocation of slum dwellers they have faced several problems, including a corrupt public distribution system, because of which subsidised ration was being black-marketed. Yet when the slum dwellers turned artists and staged plays on the issue, it mobilised the entire population. It forced the administration to introduce a norm by which a committee was constituted by the Food Supply Officer comprising of people from the slum to keep a day to day check on the sale at each shop,” says Ramendra.

Ganguly adds that art is a social metaphor and through such plays, an actor inside the theatre becomes an activist outside the theatre. The team is scheduled to travel to Singur in the last week of February.


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posted by Bimal 31.1.07,


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