No takers for Dalit empowerment show at Kumbh
"Jamunia" has been one of the well received productions of the SDD since last year. "We had our first performance in Rae Bareli on February 4, 2012, in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. It was a huge crowd," informs Sushil Kumar, an actor, who has been playing the role of Diwanji, the main antagonist in the play.
The show has been performed before what Kumar describes as "capacity crowd" in places like Rajkot, Netrang, Porbander (all in Gujarat), Haridwar (Uttarakhand) Seekar (Rajasthan), Panna (Madhya Pradesh), Amravati (Maharashtra), Jhansi and Amethi (Uttar Pradesh). "In these places, the crowds could be anywhere between 20,000 to 30,000 or even more. We hoped Company Garden would look like a stadium," says Kumar.
The production has also roped in at least 70 local artistes, hoping to get some audience by word of mouth. Hoardings at around eight places, pamphlets and even announcements on push carts are being tried to spread information about the show.
"The artistes have worked hard to get the show in place within two days, including preparation of the stage. They will perform. But the fact is that many more are losing out on what could have been a great experience. This show has drama, comedy, music and dance. The language too has been localised to appeal to the people," says Vijay Tripathi, a famous face in comic roles on TV, who provides the laughs playing the side-kick of the main villain.