Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NSD centre in City stays comatose

NSD centre in City stays comatose
Satish Shile, Bangalore, Aug 23, DHNS:

The regional centre of National School of Drama (NSD), opened in Bangalore by the Centre after a sustained struggle by the Kannada theatre community, is in a state of stupor.

The regional centre of National School of Drama (NSD), opened in Bangalore by the Centre after a sustained struggle by the Kannada theatre community, is in a state of stupor.

The Centre sanctioned the regional centre following the five-day fast staged by wellknown theatre person Prasanna in January 2007.

He gave up the protest only after he got an assurance from then Minister for Culture Ambika Soni to concede the demand. But a year and half after Soni inaugurated the centre in Bangalore on February 18, 2009, the centre is inactive, with no activities whatsoever.

The State Government handed over Gurunanak Bhavan in Vasanth Nagar for the activities of the Centre. The offices of Department of Youth Services and Sports located in the Bhavan were shifted out to accommodate the NSD centre. The building has been under the control of the Ministry of Culture.

It was expected that the Centre would commence classes and repertory activities in the academic year 2009-10. Leave alone last year, chances of the classes beginning in 2010-11 too are bleak. Assistant Director of the regional centre Suresh Anagalli has no clue to the delay in commencing the activities.

“If there were plans to begin the school this year, we should have begun the admission process by this time for the three-year course. I don’t know the reasons for the delay. The Ministry of Culture and the NSD Delhi decides everything”, he told Deccan Herald.

The regional centre has invited applications from those interested to attend a three-month theatre workshop. This would be the first activity of the centre. However, theatre personalities in Kannada expect more than workshops from NSD. Theatre person Srinivas Kappanna said, “Theatre workshops are held often in Karnataka. We don’t need a NSD to conduct workshops. It should run a school, a repertory”, he said.

The State Government also identified three acres of land for the NSD at the Jnana Bharati campus. “The State Government has fulfilled its promise to hand over Gurunanak Bhavan to NSD. Now it is left to the Centre make better use of it. And, it should take blame for the delay”, Manu Baligar, Director for Kannada and Culture, said.

The NSD constituted a committee of 13 theatre experts to advise the functioning of the centre. However, the committee met only once since its formation. Prasanna feels that it is the anti-regional theatre attitude of people at the NSD in Delhi that is responsible for the delay. The NSD gets annual budget of Rs 50-60 crore and they do not want to share that with regional centres, Prasanna said.

“At least in Karnataka we have a few repertories run by private organisations and the state-owned Rangayana. Whereas in states like Orissa, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir there are no activities at all. When the Constitution has accepted 18 regional languages as national languages, theatre of all regional languages should be treated as national theatres”, he said.

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