Lit fest dwells on portrayal of Partition in Punjabi theatre : The Tribune India

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Lit fest dwells on portrayal of Partition in Punjabi theatre

Lit fest dwells on portrayal of Partition in Punjabi theatre

Folk singer Padma Shri awardee Puran Chand Wadali and singer Kanwal Grewal at Khalsa College in Amritsar on Friday. Sunil Kumar



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 23

Punjabi theatre has had a long and intimate association with the pangs of Partition, with many revolutionary thinkers, playwrights and artists born in the aftermath of one of the most brutal era of Punjab’s history. Revisiting that turbulent period, and to assess its impact on Punjabi theatre and cultural landscape, a special session was held at the ongoing Amritsar Literature Fest at Khalsa College, with dramatists Kewal Dhaliwal, Jatinder Brar, Atamjit Singh and others sharing the contribution of Punjabi theatre in this long, arduous journey.

A detailed discussion about how and to what extent Punjabi dramatists presented the pain of 1947 in their plays, the stories that were born out of shared pain and personal experiences that remain etched in the memory of the people, was held on the occasion. “The Partition of the country affected the Punjabis more than the independence of the country in 1947, the pain of which is still carried by the old generation in their hearts. This pain appeared in every genre of Punjabi literature, but Punjabi drama has presented it prominently. Many of the plays adapted from stories of Manto, Amrita Pritam and others, who were stuck in mayhem in the aftermath of Partition, were presented with conviction, so that this brutal yet important aspect of our history gets retold, from generations to generation,” said Dhaliwal, whose play Pul Sirat, presented the story of Punjab’s pain from 1947 to 1984, through the lens of a Muslim girl.

Later in the day, Padma Shri awardee Puran Chand Wadali and Kanwar Grewal, engaged the young audience as well as the older ones, in a poetic performance that traversed the famous love stories of Punjab to love for our cultural identity, urging the young to not leave their nest, never to return.

“One must understand that the Punjab we knew was the one that had cultural and social harmony. It had a community kinship that still remains, only now, we are in a race to achieve more than the other, whether it is material or otherwise. There is nothing wrong in the Punjab of today, if only we, its citizens, try to imbibe and preserve the same values and traditions that our Gurus, peers and saints taught us,” said Kanwar Grewal, while addressing a huge crowd of students.

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