GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 01 October 2013 14:04 IST
A fresh controversy sparked on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti today as
Ravindra Bhavan of Margao, the state government institution,
announcing a show tomorrow of controversial play ‘Mee Nathuram Godse
Following protests and condemnations through social media, Ravindra
Bhavan cancelled tomorrow’s show.
The play justifies the murder of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, a
Hindu fanatic who was previously closely associated with Rashtriya
Garphapona Creations, a local group from Bicholim was to stage the
play, written by Pradeep Dalvi, in association with Ravindra Bhavan,
with free entry.
Damu Naik, chairman of Ravindra Bhavan, when contacted told
goanews.com that he has already decided to cancel tomorrow’s show,
following reservations expressed by many people.
Naik claims that the play was not an initiative by Ravindra Bhavan but
they had provided the infrastructure free of cost to the performers.
“They found the theatre vacant on 2 October and we agreed to it”, said Naik.
He admitted that it was an error to give a date for this play on
Gandhi Jayanti Day.
“The play is not banned and the performers have a right to perform it.
But I stopped it in order to avoid any kind of tension, considering
the day on which it was performed”, said Naik.
However, reliable sources in Ravindra Bhavan disclosed to goanews.com
that the show was organised by Ravindra Bhavan and not by the
Bicholim-based performing group.
It is also understood that the show of ‘Mee Nathuram…’ was organised
on 2 October in spite of knowing that it is Gandhi Jayanti Day.
The banners put up all over the town stated very clearly that the
drama is presented jointly by Ravindra Bhavan and Lokmanya
Co-operaative Bank Ltd. The name of Bicholim group figured there only
Gurunath Kelekar, a staunch Gandhian and freedom fighter, strongly
criticized staging of the play on Gandhi Jayanti Day.
He said he expected a minimum level of decency and cultured behavior
from the government authorities and those who head Ravindra Bhavan.
“Nobody can stop them from staging the play. But propriety demanded
that such a play should not be staged at least on the auspicious day
of Gandhi Jayanti”, he said.
Kelekar received national level Sahitya Academy Award this year for
his Konkani translation of Gandhi’s book “The Experiments of Truth.”
He even volunteered to participate in a non-violent demonstration to
stop the staging of ‘Mee Nathuram…’ on Gandhi Jayanti Day.
According to Naik, all the year-long activities of Ravindra Bhavan
would be carried out in association with the Lokmanya Co-operative
Bank Ltd as per the agreement since the Bank has donated Rs one crore
to Ravindra Bhavan of Margao.