Kerala artistes spread awareness on farmer rights
Samskarika Sahiti’s play ‘Annam’, on farmers’ rights, is touching hearts
A group of artistes are going from farm land to farm land across the district staging a unique play to create awareness among the farmers about their rights.
Farmers and their families are coming forward in hoards to watch the night play titled ‘Annam’.
The artistes are staging the play on the field without any stage or canopy or chairs. Traditional torches and kerosene lanterns are used and all artistes are dressed in traditional farmer costumes. Apart from creating awareness against surrendering before corporate monopolies, the play also registers solidarity with the agitating north Indian farmers.
“We could touch the hearts of the farmers here by doing a play in the traditional manner. It is also a familial gathering of farmers from different localities,” said Boban Mattumantha, chairman of the Samskarika Sahithi, who scripted and directed the play.
The play, staged under the banner of the Samskarika Sahithi, also exposes the flip side of the Farm Bills passed by the Central government. Debates and discussions are also being held as part of the ‘farm theatre’.
“The biggest difference we could make in this play is that we have stayed away from the towns and chosen to do it in paddy fields in villages. Some traditional farm implements are used in the play so that the labourers working in farmlands can easily associate themselves with the message that ‘Annam’ is giving,” said Mr. Mattumantha.
The play is set in such a manner as to involve the spectators too. The Samskarika Sahithi has become the first cultural body to come out creatively in support of the striking farmers.
Girish Nochully, Deepam Suresh, Umer Farook, Kaladharan Uppumpadam, T.P. Ayyappan, Mohammedali Pirayiri, Girish A., and Poovakkode Sajeevan are acting in the play. Sajit Sankar, Anagha Mohan, Kala, and Lijo Panangadan have given music. Rafeek Karalmanna has done the costume.
Kisan Congress State general secretary G. Sivarajan inaugurated the play at Mathur-Thannithode Kunnamparamba paddy fields on Thursday night. Mathur-Thannithode Kunnamparamba Padasekhara Samithi president K. Radhakrishnan, convener T. Radhakrishnan and block Congress president P.R. Prasad spoke.
First published by The Hindu on 26 Dec. 2020