“You may think the statements of Chakravarti Sulibele as false and unsubstantiated, but certainly not for us”.

This is how Addanda Cariappa, the Director of Mysuru-based Rangayana defends the invitation to controversial rightwing speaker Chakravarti Sulibele to ten-day ‘Bahurupi’ a National Level Theater Festival to start from December 10.

He was responding to the question of media persons on inviting Sulibele to the prestigious event under the category of  ‘Social Worker’.

Giving indifferent answers to the questions, Cariappa, the Director of the noted repertoire of the State, has not only defended the invitation given Sulibele, but also remained adamant in his attitude.

After Cariappa becoming the Director, the Rangayana is often getting marred in some or the other kind of controversy.

The present Bahurupi event too has led to one such controversy because of Cariappa.

Having a strong inclination toward rightwing ideologies, it is no longer a secret that he has been inviting majority of the people of same ideology to the Rangayana and giving more opportunities to them.

But now the question has cropped up as to what extent it is appropriate to invite Sulibele, a controversial speaker who is ‘famous’ for lying and spreading false information on public platforms and also facing severe criticism in social media for his unsubstantiated claims.

Cariappa said that Sulibele has been invited to address the gathering on December 13 of the theater festival. This raised the eyebrow of many people who vehemently believe that Sulibele is incompetent to speak on the field of theater.

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On December 12 and 13, Rangayana will hold Bahurupi convention and elocution competition. After the conclusion of competition on December 13, BJP’s speaker Sulibele will address the valedictory of the event.

“ Since we found that Sulibele is a suitable person to speak to on the day, therefore we have invited him. Now, put Sulibele matter to rest. We have invited him. He will come and address the gathering. If you find any issues in his speech, then you have full freedom to criticize him and publish it”, Cariappa said.

When asked what message Rangayana was sending to people by inviting Sulibele, Cariappa adamantly replied that they will send a message to youths.

Defending the decision, he said that they have invited some people after deliberation only.

When reminded to Cariappa that Sulibele never speaks of farmers and theater as he has been working only to appease people of particular ideology, Cariappa said that only a section of media might be thinking like that but not all share the same view.

When contacted Cariappa for further details, he continued to give indifferent and irresponsible replies.

When told that Sulibele has been propagating a false agenda, is it right to invite such a person? Cariappa reiterated that some people may think that Sulibele is propagating falsehood, “but we think he is telling the truth. You loathe him but we like him”, he replied.

When questioned further why a person who believes in pluralism has not been invited to a prestigious event such as Bahurupi, Cariappa replied crudely by stating “ keep your ideology with you and not preach to me. It is not possible to appease all. I will be in authority for a year, during that period I will not get distracted from anything”, he said.

When reminded Cariappa that Sulibele cannot prove his own claims then how he believes whatever Sulibele says is right, Cariappa replied that he has not gone that deep to analyze the statements of Sulibele, he said and  disconnected the call abruptly.

Rangayana, a prestigious and premier theater repertoire which represents the pluralistic nature of the country,  enjoys its own credibility. The repertoire which was established by theater stalwarts such as B. V. Karanth has seen numerous renowned persons serving as Director.

But the attitude and style of functioning of Cariappa is bringing disgrace to this noted repertoire.

By replying adamantly that ‘pluralism is your ideology and not mine’,  Cariappa showed that he has scant regard for the Constitution of India.


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December 2023


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