Despite the Mysuru-based repertoire, Rangayana has postponed its Annual Theater Festival ‘Bahurupi’ which was scheduled to be held between December 10 and 19. However, the controversy surrounding the repertoire and the allegations against its director, Addanda Cariappa does not seem to die down.
The order states that the annual theater festival has been postponed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This prestigious repertoire based out of Mysore City is hitting the headline for all the wrong reasons in recent times, more so after Addanda Cariappa took charge of the same in December 2019. Recently, a controversy has erupted after Rangayana invited controversial right-wing ideologue, Chakravarti Sulibele as one of the speakers for the prestigious Bahurupi Annual Theater Festival.
Recently the media reported about the matter and asked for the reason behind inviting such a controversial man to the prestigious event, but Cariappa who kept defending the decisions and showed scant regard to the opposition posed for such a decision. He also replied in a rude manner while defending the decision.
After the reports got published and it snowballing into a major controversy in the field of theater, in Karnataka, many organizations and progressive people are raising their voices against Addanda Cariappa as they have demanded his removal from the post of Director of Mysore’s Rangayana.
The members of various progressive organizations recently joined and staged protests near Rangayana. They have voiced out that, a man who does not believe in pluralism, should not become director of Rangayana, a repertoire which was established with the very purpose of giving scope to vary belief of pluralism and socio-cultural diversity of the country.
Condemning the decision of inviting Chakravarthi Sulibele and BJP activist, Malavika Avinash, they said that such people strongly propagate the ideology of dividing the society and have no respect for the Indian Constitution.
Criticizing the adamant nature of Addanda Cariappa, the members said that becoming director does not mean that he can run Rangayana as per his whims and fancies. Considering all these aspects, the members have announced to boycott Bahurupi event.
In his regard, they have also written an open letter where they have shared their views and demand of removing Cariappa from his post.
The letter explicitly mentions that for many reasons, Bahurupi is a significant programme. They have held that the place is a platform for the culmination of various cultures, beliefs and languages through theater and that the event organized here, helps in uplifting the socio-cultural values and strengthen the social fabric of the religiously and culturally diverse country such as India.
The artists and theater lovers across the country watch every event carefully as the theater is given the opportunity to widen their view of socialism and creativity.
This is the reason why many renowned artists of the country have remained associated with it for so long.
Expressing anguish over the invitation extended to people like Chakravarthi Sulibele and Malavika Avinash, the letter said that the invitation to such people harms the basic principles of Rangayana as these people do not believe in the ideology of a diversified India.
Since these people openly support a particular political party, therefore, they should not be invited to Bahurupi, mainly because they have no contribution to the field of theater, art and culture.
Known for creating communal divide with his inflammatory speeches all across the state of Karnataka, Chakravarthi Sulibele is not suitable to be invited as guest speaker. Making it clear that Rangayana is not merely an institution that belongs to Kannadigas, but also statutory body, the director of the Institution must never make any attempt to push ideology of any political organization into it and should work only to take forward the basic principles of Rangayana no matter which political party is ruling the State. It should not become a platform to spread communal hatred, the letter stated.
Asserting that Rangayana has witnessed numerous artists, writers and thinkers in over three decades of its establishment, but it is unfortunate that after Addanda Cariappa took over as the director, it has become a political tool of a party. “ In order to appease his political masters, Cariappa is breaking the treading of Rangayana which never invited politicians to the events”, the letter stated.
The letter has been signed by P Mallesh, Kalegouda Nagawar, N Diwakar, KP Suresh, NS Gopinath, MM Ramesh, Madhav Khare, KS Shivaram, BG Nandish, V Purushottam, Rajesh, V Lakshminarayan, Ratirao, Panditaradya, GP Basavaraju, VN Lakshminarayana, Anand, MF Khalim, Khadar Ahmed, Jagdish Suryna and L Jagannath.
While many progressive thinkers have expressed ire over the invitation to Chakravarthi Sulibele and Malavika, the junior artists of the play ‘Parva’ have also expressed their reservations. They have written letters to Addanda Cariappa to share their views and oppose the invitation to Chakravarthi Sulibele and Malavika Avinash.
Describing Bahurupi festival as the crown of Rangayana, the letter said that the event should invite only those people who believe in giving respect to various cultures and religious beliefs.
While calling Chakravarthi Sulibele as a man who spread canards and false information, they said that Malavika Avinash is officially a member of a political party.
The letter says that junior the artists vehemently opposed the invitation to these two people.