Pratik Theatre receives SM Solaiman Pronodona

Habiganj-based theatre troupe Pratik Theatre, which consists mostly of tea garden workers, received ‘SM Solaiman Pranodona 2017’ at a programme held at the Studio Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Friday.
SM Solaiman Pranodona, named after late eminent theatre personality and playwright SM Solaiman, was introduced by Theatre Art Unit in 2005. The award is presented annually to a young theatre activist or a theatre troupe.
The awards ceremony, which marked SM Solaiman’s 65th birth anniversary and 18th death anniversary, also included SM Solaiman Memorial lecture and a theatre show by Pratic Theatre.
Theatre activist Shubhashis Sinha delivered the SM Solaiman Memorial lecture on the occasion.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general and Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation chairman Liaquat Ali Lucky was present as the chief guest at the programme and handed over the SM Soaliman Pranodona 2017 to Pratik Theatre.
Thespian Ahmed Iqbal Haider, Ishrat Nishat, and Mohammad Bari, among others, were also present at the event.
Pratik Theatre chief Sunil Biswas received the award on behalf of the troupe. ‘Pratik Theatre is a troupe solely run by tea garden workers. It is a platform where tea garden workers can express their dreams and sorrows through theatre’, said Sunil Biswas.
The troupe staged its acclaimed production Nijbhume Parabasi, written and directed by Sunil Biswas at the programme.
The play revolves around the revolt of tea garden workers in 1921. During the revolt hundreds of tea garden workers were killed at the hands of British colonial rulers.
Back then tea garden workers were brought in from different areas of the subcontinent like Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and others. They were forced to work under inhumane conditions.
Thousands of tea labourers left their work and gathered near Chittagong’s Chandpur river port to go back to their homelands on May 20, 1921.
The British owners of the gardens, with the help of the then Assam law enforcing agency, blocked the path of labourers and opened fire at them, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The play depicts the massacre and it also shows the everyday sufferings of the tea garden workers who came to the tea gardens for work and became caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and exploitation.



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