Chandigarh : CHANDIGARH-IPTA and Punjab-ipta in collaboration with Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy, Chandigarh organised a special function on 12th September,2012 at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Chandigarh to pay tribute to Legendary-personality, President of National IPTA and veteran theatre and film artiste Late Mr. A.K. Hangal.
The main organiser of the function Mr. Balkar Sidhu, General Secretary of Chandigarh-ipta welcomed all the distinguished guests, artists from theatre and films and other dignatories. Octogenarian Mr. H.S.Bhatty, Patron of Chandigarh-ipta was the Chief-Guest of the evening whereas Mr. Devinder Daman, President of Punjab-ipta presided over the function. The Presidium was comprised of Mr. Gurcharan Singh Boparai, One of the Founders of Punjab-ipta and Mr. K.N.S. Sekhon, President of Chandigarh-ipta. All the members of the presidium presented floral-petals before the photo of the departed soul Mr. A.K. Hangal and paid their obeisance one by one and then they settled down.
At the outset, Mr. Balkar Sidhu narrated the life-journey of late Mr. Hangal, who had belonged to a Kashmiri Pandit family, took birth on 1st February, 1916 at Sialkot in erstwhile Punjab(now in Pakistan) in a well-to-do family. He had been given his primary education at Peshawar in North West Frontier Province(Pakistan) from where he had passed Matric. During student-life, he was one of the signatories on the Mercy-Petition put forwarded to the Viceroy for the remission of Death Sentence already declared to the martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. He also took part in the protest march organised after the execution of their death-sentence. He learnt the skill of tailoring. After marriage their family moved to Karachi in Sindh(Pakistan). He was taking keen interest in dramas and other theatrical activities. ZULAM-E-KANS was his first play, in which he enacted as NARADMUNI. He also organised the Union of Tailors there. He attended Ipta's National Conference held at Ahmedabad in 1948. He was kept in jail at Karachi for taking part in trade union activities and marches for Hindu-Muslim unity and communal harmony.
In 1949, he moved to Mumbai, where he dedicated himself to theatre and ipta. He made very warm relations with stalwarts, who were the members of ipta like Late Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Balraj Sahni, R.M. Singh, Ramesh Talwar, Khawaja Ahmed Abbas, Prem Dhawan etc. Tailoring was his source 0f livelihood. He was given break in films by one of his ipta-friends poet Shailendra in his film TEESRE KASAM in 1966 in the 50th year of his age. He had worked in more than 200 films. He was also a member of Communist Party of India. Mr. Hangal was entrusted with the responsibility of Ipta's President alongwith Mr. Rajinder Raghuvanshi as General Secretary in its National Conference held in 1992 at Jaipur after the demise of late Kaifi Azmi. He lead Ipta's processions for Communal Harmony during Mumbai-Riots of 1993 for which he had to pay a big prize. The movies, in which he had worked, had to face the music of Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena-functionaries got removed those movies from the cinema-housed of Maharashtra. Even the biggest Block-buster SHOLEY ,which had been running very successfully for last five years in a cinema-house of Mumbai, in which his immortal role as RAHIM CHACHA with most popular dialogues ITNA SANNATA KYON HAI BHAI had been got chopped off from the movie on the dictates of Shiv Sena. But Mr. Hangal had not compromised with the communal forces at that time.
Unfortunately he coud not atted the last National Conference of Ipta held during December,2011 at Bhillai(Chhatisgarh) due to his ill health. Yet a video-clipping was shown there diplaying his message in which he had shown un-paralleled zeal, enthusiasm and motivation saying that end of his life is coming very near but the show must go on, we must continue our fight against the regressive and reactionary forces for the betterment of society through theatre, we must keep the torch of Ipta set on fire. On 16th August of this year, he slipped in the bathroom, which caused his hip-joint fructured. He had been got admitted in Asha Parekh Hospital of Mumbai within two-three days, where he lost the battle of life on 26th August. Ms. Shabana Azmi said, on his death, that an era has come to an end. He was loved by one and all. Mr. L.K. Advani and Mr. Gadkari also had expressed thier condolences on his demise.
Mr. Sudesh Sharma, a senior artist of Chandigarh-ipta paid his tribute to Mr. Hangal by re-collecting those moments, when Mr. Hangal had come to Chandigarh alongwith Late Kaifi Azmi & Mr. Kuldeep Singh participating in Ipta's march to Punjab during the period of turmoil in Punjab. One of the founders of Punjab-ipta Mr. Gurcharan Singh Boparai in his address stressed upon the need to continue the activities of ipta according to the guidelines established by late Mr. Hangal.
Mr. Kanwal Nain Singh Sekhon, President of Chandigarh-ipta, while speaking on the occasion, shared his views about the role of ipta during the man-made famine of Bengal in 1942-43 and also during the turbulent times of communal clashes of Independence and post-Independence period. He also emphasised to follow the path as envisaged by late Mr. Hangal for the functionaries of ipta.
Mr. H.S. Bhatty shared with audience his personal experiences , he had experienced with Mr. Hangal. He reminded an incident that once Mr. Hangal was sitting on the ground near the feet of Mr. Kaifi Azmi and he used to go outside and feed a fire for kaifi saheb's hookah, I (Mr. Bhatty) asked him (Mr. Hangal),"Are you a muslim ?" Mr. Hangal replied him,"To feed a fire for someone's hookah is a job of charity for a muslim, you may consider me as a muslim." there was no difference of Hindu or Muslim in Mr. Hangal's eyes., both were equal, he was a thorough gentle human being. Mr. Bhatty also told that Mr. Hangal had been thought a Sindhi by him as he (Mr. Hangal) used to behave publicly well like a Sindhi but he was astonished to know that Mr. Hangal had a background of Kashmiri Pandit family, born in Punjab and whose ancestors' roots were in Lucknow, so in that way Mr. Hangal was a pure Indian, representing the amalgamation of different cultures of various states of India.
Mr. Rabinder Singhn Rabbi from Punjab-Ipta also shared his heart-felt feelings for Mr. Hangal. he said that he had the privilege to meet Mr. Hangal personally during Ipta's National Conference at Lucknow.Mr Hangal was a moving spirit in the procession, takedn out in Lucknow city on the first day of the conference. Mr. Hangal's message shown through video at Ipta's Bhillai Conference was source of great motivation for the younger generation. Mr. Rabbi also read an article written by Mr. Sanjeevan Singh, General Secretary, Punjab-Ipta, who could not attend the function due to his illness.
Ms. Kanwaljit Dhillon from Chandigarh-Ipta, while addressing the audience, narrated the grandeur history of Ipta since its inception till date, especially the contribution of Ipta's committed functionaries like Mr. kaifi Azmi, Mr. A.K. Hangal, Mr. M.S. Sathyu, Mr. Rajinder Raghuvanshi and others, who contributed a lot for the Revival of Ipta since 1985 as a few units of ipta were disintegrated after sixtees in a few parts of the country. She also stressed upon the need and relevancy of ipta in the present times.
While delivering the presiding remarks, President of Punjab-Ipta Mr. Devinder Daman appreciated the initiative taken by Chandigarh-Ipta's functionaries to organise the function to pay rich tribute to the Legendary personality Mr. A.K. hangal. He also re-collected his association with Mr. Hangal duirng past times. He gave a call to all the theatre-artists present on the occasion to follow the foot-steps set by Mr. Hangal to create a healthy and constructive atmosphere and environment for the betterment of the society.
A theatrical tribute was presented to the thespian theatre-artiste Mr. A.K. Hangal by putting a satirical play by the artists of Chandigarh-Ipta. It was written by Late Sh. Gursharan Singh titled RAAHAT and was directed by Sh. Ikkatar Singh, depicting the fake relief-measures adopted by political-leaders for the grieved flood-victims.
The function was concluded by presenting a vote of thanks by Mr. Balkar Sidhu to all the dignatories, guests, artists, theatre-lovers, admirers of Late Sh. A.K. Hangal and the persons, who were present there including Mr. Gurnam Kanwar, Ms. Jaswant Daman, Shabdeesh, Ms. Kulwant Bhatia, Ranjeevan Singh, Rajiv Mehta, Ms. Narinder Nindy, Baljit Zakhmi, Ravinder Happy, Ms. Usha Kanwar, Jasbir Shantpuri, Ms. Manjit Kaur Meet, Satwinder Madolvi, Baljinder Darapuri. He also thanked Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy, Chandigarh for providing hall and other facilities.