The latest issue of Rangvarta (Aug–Oct, 2012, which came out in May 2013), devoted to Dalit culture-warrior and martyr Vilas Ghoghre, is a Dalit–Tribal special number. Vilas Ghoghre was an artiste-fighter, who had committed suicide on 15 July 1997 to protest the slaying of ten Dalits at Ramabai Nagar in Mumbai.The special number of Rangvarta, besides paying tributes to Ghoghre, also introduces the reader to the origin and problems of Tribal theatre, not only in India but the world over. In an article in the concerned issue, Richard Kagolobya says that the so-called civilized societies always considered tribal beliefs as ‘satanic’ and tried their best to throttle tribal culture to thrust their politico-economic policies on the community. Tribal theatre is an important element of ancient culture. But thanks to the persistent efforts of the “civilized” world, the interest of the people in tribal theatre is next to nothing. In his article, “History of Dalit Theatre”, Suryanarayan Ransubhe says, “Dalit drama came into being comparatively much later than other genres. The reason is simple. While other genres of art are individual-centric, theatre requires a collective effort.” He further says that the seeds of Dalit theatre were sown much earlier than the year 1970, in the lifetime of Babasaheb Ambedkar itself.
The issue contains articles such as What is Dalit Theatre?, History of Dalit Theatre, Dalit Consciousness and Marathi Dalit Theatre, Savarna Domination of Dalit Theatre, Panjabi Dalit Drama, Hindi Dalit drama. It also has write-ups on Mehdi Hassan, Captain Laxmi Sehgal, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Joy Mukherjee, Dara Singh, Alakhnandan, AK Hangal, Shahryar, Dinesh Thakur, Ramnarayan Nirmalkar, Rizwan Zaheer Usman, Sitaram Shastri and Shantigopal, who passed away in the year 2012. This issue is like an encyclopaedia on Dalit–Tribal theatre and a must-read for those interested in the cultural life of these communities.
Title: Ranvarta (Dalit-Adivasi Visheshank)
Issue: Aug–Oct 2012
Editor: Ashwini Kumar Pankaj
Contact: Aadhar Alternative Media, 203, MG Tower, 23, Eastern Jail Road, Ranchi-834 001 Jharkhand
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Published in the August 2013 issue of the Forward Press magazine