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Posted at: Aug 14, 2016, 1:25 AM; last updated: Aug 14, 2016, 1:25 AM (IST)

Manch Rangmanch performs at Natshala as Pak artistes denied visa

Manch Rangmanch performs at Natshala as Pak artistes denied visa
Artistes perfom a play, ‘Kabira khada bazaar mein’ at Punjab Natshala in Amritsar on Saturday. Photo: Vishalkumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 13

The members of the Azad Theatre group, who were to perform play 'Husain -- The Weaver' at Punjab Natshala were forced to cancel the show as they didn’t get visa approval for their visit. Ahead of the Independence Day celebrations and the ongoing political turmoil between the two countries over the Kashmir issue, the visa denial was expected, said Satnam Manak from the Hind Pak Dosti Manch.

The Hind Pak Dosti Manch annually organizes cultural activities and seminar on furthering artiste exchange between the two countries ahead of Independence day. They also hold candle light march and invited Pakistani artists to perform in Amritsar to promote the peace process. But this year the slight change in the schedule has put a minor setback in that purpose. “It definitely affects the overall sentiment during our annual activity, which highlights the issues and proposed solutions in improving the relations between the two countries. Like every year, we had invited a delegation of literary and social standing from Pakistan to speak at our seminar and take part in peace activities. But unfortunately only five members from the delegation have managed to get visa clearance and will be participating in our programme,” said Manak.

Pakistani sufi artiste Khalid Husain Warsi, who arrived in India a fortnight ago, will also be joining the team of Hind-Pak dosti Manch in candle light vigil. While, the denial of visa to artistes from both sides during a heated political situation is not new, most feel that it defeats the purpose of peace as cultural exchange is something that can mend the fence between the India-Pak, “People to people interaction are the best way to find a way towards peaceful co-existence,” said Manak.

Meanwhile, keeping with its tradition of putting up a show for its audience despite the last moment cancellation, Punjab Natshala presented Manch Rangmanch’s production Kabira Khada Bazar Mein. The play directed by Kewal Dhaliwal, was based on the life and teachings of Saint Kabir, it narrates the journey of a simple man, who after witnessing years of social injustice, intolerance, turns towards his faith and becomes a mystic. Written by celebrated playwright Bhisham Sahni, the play received standing ovation after its culmination. “The play was pat replacement today as it reflects upon the secular and sacred principles of Saint kabir, whose teachings find relevance even today.


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