Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tribute to the Legendary-Personality of Street-Theatre Sardar Gursharan Singh

Kapurthala(Punjab)  :  IPTA-Punjab & IPTA-Chandigarh  paid  a rich tribute to the Legendary-personality of Street-theatre and eminent playwright Bha ji Gursharan Singh by organising a series of functions of his plays at  variours villages including Morron (Distt. Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar), Ikkolaha (Distt. Fatehgarh Saheb) and  Rasulpur (Distt.  Roopnagar) by different theatre-clubs affiliated with Ipta-Punjab like Ipta-RCF, Kapurthala(Director : Mr. Inderjit Rupowali), Pragati Kala Kender, Landhran(Dirctors : Mr. Sodhi Rana &  Mr. Makhan Kranti) and Sajri Saver Kala Kender, Morinda(Director : Mr. Rabinder Singh Rabbi) in 4-days Gursharan Singh Memorial functions. It was culminated in a big show of  a state level   function  organised on 25th September, 2012 jointy by Ipta-RCF,Kapurthala, Ipta-Kapurthala & RCF Cultural Society, Kapurthala. Mr. Inderjit Rupowali, Co-ordinator of Doaaba region of Ipta-Punjab was the main organiser and spirit behind this huge show. The  function was held at Waris Shah Auditorium of RCF, Kapurthala. it was devided into two sessions.

In the first session, A seminar was conducted regarding the life and contribution of S. Gursharan Singh in the field of theatre, who dedicated himself to awake the downtrodden and under-previlied strata of the society through the media of theatre. This session was started at 4.00 PM. It was presided over by a presidium comprised of  eminent personalities related with theatre including veterans like Mr. Gurcharan Singh Boparai & Mr. Sawarn Singh, who were amongst the founders of Punjab-ipta alongwith Late Tera Singh Chann, Late Joginder Baharla, Late Niranjan Mann,  Late Harnam Singh Narula , Late Hukam Chand  Jaleeli, Late Jagdeesh Fariyadi, Nightingale of Punjab Late Mrs. Surinder Kaur and many more, and Mr. Fulwant Singh Manocha, Co-ordinator of Puaadh region of Punjab-ipta, Mr. Hansa Singh Beaas, Co-ordinator of Majha region of Punjab-ipta, Mr. Balkar Sidhu, Senior Vice-President of Punjab-Ipta (Also General Secretary of Chandigarh-ipta & Member of National Committee of ipta), Mr. Rabbinder Singh Rabbi, Co-Co-ordinator of Puaadh region of Punjab-ipta, Mr. Chann Momi, famous poet and Mr. Surjit Lahoria. Various speakers including Mrs. Suman Lata, Mr. Inderjit Rupowali, Mr. Roop Lal Dheer, Mr. Dharam pal Painther, Mr. Gurmukh Singh Dhod, Mr. Balbir Sudan, Mr. Makhan Kranti, Mr. Sodhi Rana, Mr. Amrik Singh besides presidium expressed their views regarding the contribution of Mr. Gursharan Singh in vaious fields including theatre, left ideaology, left politics, publication, literature and trade union fronts. They also shared with the audience their personal experiences they had experienced during theatrical activities with him. To make the seminar more interesting a few musical items were presented in-between. Folk Singer Barjinder Singh,  Bisharat Maseeh  and others sang  revolutionary songs.  A Special Programme of songs  related with Ipta's old times  was presented by Mr. Gurcharan Singh Boparai and Mr. Sawarn Singh. Mr. Gurmel Sham Nagar conducted the seminar very well.

Mr. Fulwant Singh Manocha re-collected his memoirs with Mr. Gursharan Singh for the period during which both of them had worked together at Bhakhra Dam Project at Nangal. He narrated how Gursharan bha ji joined first time the Bhangra-team of Bhakhra Nangal Cultural Club and later on his inclination towards theatre. Deewa Bhujh Geya was his first play in which Bha ji  had acted, followed by  Lohri Di Hartaal  and then his theatrical activities picked up the tempo and there was no need to look back then. Mr. Gursharan Singh firstly established Amritsar Naatak Kala Kender, then Amritsar School of Drama. During traumatic peroid of Punjab terrorism, he had shifted his headquarter to Chandigarh and estblished Chandigarh School of Drama, to which he had been giving his guide-lines till he breathed his last. Mr. Hansa Singh Beaas also spoke about his association with Gursharan bha ji during the traumatic period. He said that Mr. Gursharan Singh was the spirit behind the constitution of Revolutionary Centre  and Punjab Lok Sabhyachaarak Manch. Bha ji raised his voice against state-terrorism and terrorism by terrosists simultaneously during those periods.

Mr. Balkar Sidhu elaborated, while addressing the audience, that  Mr. Gursharan Singh was very much influnced with the ipta movement. He was the youngest person who joined Communist Party of India in 1944. His elder brother Mr. Inderjit Singh was amongst the persons who went to Calcutta to tender helping hand to the victims of 1942-43 Bengal-famine. After coming back to Punjab, he narrated young Bha ji about the role of ipta-movement  played during that Bengal-famine. His home had become the meeting place of the persons, writers and artists committed with progressive idealogy. The rehearsals of Punjab-ipta's operas on world-peace by Mr. Joginder Bahrla  and Mr. Tera Singh Chann were held at his residence at Amritsar.  During partition of India, he had seen how ipta-people were trying their best to maintain communal-harmony amongst different religious communities. Later on when He himself started theatrical activities during his service, he took  the legacy of ipta-movement forward  with a different name.  He was of the view that we should build a society with such a system, in which every body should get equal opportunities & Woman should get respectful place in society.

Mr. Rabbinder Singh Rabbi spoke about the  theatrical intricacies he had learnt from Bha ji. Mr. Sodhi  Rana and Mr. Makhan Kranti  said that they are following the foot-steps of Gursharan Bha ji. As bha ji had been giving stress upon the upliftment of lower strata of society  by awakening them through theatre, so they have been doing theatre to make aware the downtrodden about the ideaology of Great Martyr Bhagat Singh and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Mrs. Suman Lata narrated about another aspect of Gursharan Bha ji's personality. She  told that she had been associated with Bha ji during the editing and distribution of  magazines of left-ideaology named Sardal and Samta, which were edited and got published by Gursharan bha ji. On this occasion  People's Singer Octogenarian S. Amarjit Singh Gurdaspuri was honoured for his life-time achievements & contribution for Punjab-ipta. A Citation depicting Amarjit Gurdaspur's achievements and contribution was read on this occasion by Mr. Gurmukh Singh Dhod, which was written by  Mr. Sanjeevan Singh, General Secretary of Punjab-ipta, who could not attend the function due to his illness. Mr. Gurcharan Boparai and Sawarn Singh received a shawl and a momento on Mr. Amarjit Gurdaspuri's behalf  from Mr. Balkar Sidhu, Senior Vice-President of Punjab-ipta.

Second session of the function was  for the presentation of theatrial items. Secretary W.W.O., RCF, Kapurthala Ms. Bharati inagurated the function by setting light the candles. State awardee Mr. Raushan Khera, Deputy C.M.S. Mr. J.S. Arora,  S.P.O. Mr. Dinesh Mandal,  A.P.O. Mr. Kirpal Singh,  S.E.E. Mr. Raghbir Singh, C.P.O. Mr. C.L. Bharati and other officers of R.C.F. were the dignitaries, who graced the function with their benign presence and healthy co-operation for the encouragement of the artists. Pragati Kala Kender, Landhran presented the play Mochi Da Putt, which was adapted by Late Gursharan Singh from a story of the same title written by Mr. Mohan Lal Philauria  and wonderfully directed by Mr. Sodhi Rana and Mr. Makhan Karanti. It depicted the dignity of work. It was followed by an other play titled Raahat, which was again written by Gursharan bha ji and well directed by Inderjit Rupowali, it was a presentation of Lok Kala Manch, R.C.F. Kapurthala. It depicted the superflous relief-measures taken by politicians and government officers for the victims of floods. Then came a beautiful choreography  Dhee Di Pukar. An other choreographed item showing the life history of Martyr Bhagat Singh got a tremendous applause from the audience. Its presentation was based on  the use of unique  style of folk dance Giddha with revolutionary Bolis. In the end, the participating artists were given mementos  by the dignatories and also the persons, who had done hard work to make this function a great success  like  Mr. Jatinder Bhatti, Mr. Gurmej Sham Nagar, Mr. Surjit Lahoria, Mr. Roop Singh Pardesi, Mr. Jaswant Saini, Mr. Krishan Jassal,  Mr. Ranjit Singh, Mr. Mewa Singh, Mr. R.K. Mehta, Comrate Mukand, Mr. Bikram  Singh, Mr. Kashmiri lal, Mrs. Sawanpreet Kaur, Mr. Taranjit Singh, Mr. Saranjit Singh  and Ms. Priya were specially thanked by the organisers.

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