Theatre for Community Development
What People Are Saying About Budhan...
Click here for an even greater selection of pieces written about Budhan Theatre
For Children, Our Future
Article in Ahmedabad Mirror about Budhan Theatre October 29, 2014
"Known for breaking the glass ceiling and pushing boundaries..."
"Gearing up to launch a series of new theatre form called 'playback theatre," besides movie festivals and a three-day workshop."
Seetha BT: Budhan, the Third Theatre
Article in Muse India, 2007
"A new kind of unconventional theatrical art..."
"Various dimensions of space; emotional, intellectual, social and psychological more on the streets and public spaces than on the stage..."
"The struggle to overcome this stigma, in a world that often tries to implicate the innocent, the ignorant, the needy and the nomad, is one of commitment and dedication."
Please Don't Beat Me, Sir!: A Review
Review in "Anthropology Attacks!," September 5, 2012
"The Budhan Theatre, composed of Chhara sons and daughters of thieves and bootleggers, speak on behalf of themselves."
"I apparently have a very strong opinion when it comes to narration and intertitles. Please Don't Beat Me, Sir! utilizes the most effective and appropriate form that I've seen."
"I highly recommend this film to educators."
An interview with Dakxin Bajrange, director of Budhan Theatre and DNT rights activist, featured in the Mumbai Theatre Guide
“The art of theatre was used by our forefathers for stealing…my friends and I began to use this innate gift for social change and community development.”
“It is an uphill task and I just hope our voice is heard and our struggle acknowledged.”
“There are some good people in the police who support us from time to time…our community has benefited immensely from this…these positive inputs have not stopped the atrocities against our community,”
Liberation Drama in Ahmedabad’s Chharanagar
"The lives of denotified tribes are terribly pitiful and they are living constantly under fear of state scrutiny."
"Through theatre, many social and political sections are allied with Budhan Theatre and they come into discourse with each other whether emotionally or in a dialogue form."
There Are No Born Criminals
A project by Kaumadi Patil of IIT, Kanpur
The project, published on Osocio.org, includes a collection of videos depicting the plight of the Chhara tribe, deemed "born criminals."
"It is an effort to reintegrate the Charra community with the mainstream society by breaking the myth of ‘Born criminals’ The project aspired to construct a strategy of marketing human dignity for De-notified tribes in the country. The campaign is a result of community participation."
Tribals come together for their 'rights' on 62nd De-notification Day
An article for India Express News Service, September 1, 2013
"At anevent organised jointly by city-based Budhan Theatre and Indian council for Social Science Research, New Delhi, a seminar and plays depicting the struggle of more than 20 tribes, were staged at the citys Gujarat Sahitya Parishad.”
Budan play focuses on fake encounters
A piece in Ahmedabad Mirror from August 21, 2013, about Budhan Theatre's performance of Accidental Death of an Anarchit
“The percentage of DNTS in custody and under investigation is greatly disproportionate to their population.”
“It is a controversial play as it looks at corruption in the police and suspicion of the government’s collusion.”
A piece from LiveMint, November 2, 2014, by Maulik Pathak, about Budhan Theatre in the Chhara community and how it is transforming mindsets and spreading its influence and education widely.
“Utensils, bottles and other workday materials produce music.”
“Educational institutions…have invited Budhan Theare to conduct classes at their institutes.”
“While many people in Chharanagar…may still be into gambling or the illegal liquor business, a transformation is visible.”
They are beacons of hope
A piece on the Hindustan Times, New Delhi, from April 2, 2014, about Kalpana Gagdekar receiving the Woman Exemplar Award from the CII in 2014
“Through Budhan, Gagdekar was able to reach out to people across all sections of society and make them understand the importance of education, women…”
“…her very first ever play on the real life of Budhan Sabar, a triba who was murdered in West Bengal, is close to her heart.”
A piece in Front Line, by Anupama Katakam, 2008
“From this inhuman pit emerged a fantastic experiment…
“Young people inspired by performances have taken to acting professionally or have gained confidence while acting and later sought employment in professions other htan thieving and brewing illicit alcohol.”
“It is a technically and dramatically sound drama troupe…it has opened its wings and is trying to fly high.”
Indian director brings his documentary to Ottawa
An article about the film screening of Birth 1871 at the University of Ottawa, written in the student newspaper
“Birth 1871 ends on a hopeful note, revealing that despite tremendous adversity, these communities are puling themselves up and using the arts to spread a message of change.”
Hanging on a string
A piece in The Hindu, by Swati Daftuar, about the relocation of Kathputli Colony residents and how the performance of Zameen Hamari Jaan Hai” presented real fact about the uprooting of the performers from their homes.
“While the deal seems simple and even beneficial, its translation to paper has been anything but, with numerous fine print clauses.”
“The play’s end spelt both revolt and strength…the grim, determined faces of the young people from the colony were the last thing you saw before the lights faded.”
“Its demolition is technically supposed to spell a better life for its residents, and yet, it’s their voices that have risen to protest the move, and their art that is under threat.”
Ill-wills in society
A piece in The Hindu, detailing the mixed reactions to the play Choli ke peeche kya haiin Hindi, performed in Hyderabad on the anniversary of the KrishnaKriti Festival of Arts and Culture
“The use of two artistes to portray Jashoda was meant to give the mirror image and also to highlight the character.”
“The invitees who came with their family members were dumbfounded wih the seriousness of the play…”
In Pictures - Theatre for Development in Chharanagar
In India Together, a piece about Act Like a Thief, the documentary made about Chharas and theatre, 2005
“…we were struck by the sophistication and importance of what Budhan Theatre is doing. Not only are they first-class writers and actors, but they are also working hard to change their own community.”
“...traveled to Chharanagar to shoot some footage, but fell in love with the community and knew they wanted to do a bigger project.”
Accidental Death of an Anarchist was performed for law stuents
A write-up in My Theatre Café about the performance in September 2013 during a troubling political time in Gujarat
“During the performance you can’t even dare to skip eyes from the stage, you just get into it…you become eye witness of the entire process of the revelingthe truth by the maniac!”
“Overall a must watch performance by Budhan Theatre.”
The political power of play
By Nisha Nair in Times of India, 2012, a piece featuring how Budhan Theatre was founded for the social uplifting of DNTs in Chharanagar
“The Theatre group recently hosted Ahmedabad Theatre Festival…after the festival’s success, the group decided to exert itself beyond the role of a community theatre.”
Promoting a dying Bhantu language through drama
A piece in the Deccan Herald from October 2012 about the revival of language and theatre in Chharanagar
“Efforts are on to ensure that it does not disappear from the list of languages spoken in the country.”
“The themes of the plays are loaded with social messages.”
Director uses filmmaking to show lives of indgenous groups in India
Piece in the Ball State Daily News (US University) about Dakxin Bajrange’s hopes and goals for the film Birth 1871 and the rights of DNTs
“He said he wanted to target policymakers and members of the media to discuss the issue and make it visible in order to create change.”
“He becomes more confident about the project after hearing how people react to it.”
Thieves who steal a chance in life
An article in Tehelka that details the historical plight of Chharas and how the vibrant Chharanagar community is changing its future through role models in Budhan Theatre
“I’m not in favour of stealing. We have problems, okay. We don’t get jobs, we get arrested, and people call us thieves.”
“The back seat of the police van is a place every adult Chhara is acquainted with/”
“Not one Chhara has received a loan from a bank”
“This is where the Budhan Theatre Group has made a difference. It is dedicated to breaking this destructive cycle, by moulding self-esteem and encouraging ambition”
Lee Miracle on Her Exchange with the Chhara
Lee Maracle’s academic article about her funded international cultural exchange trip to India for the Canada Council for the Arts
“There is nothing like the process of conjuring theatre and performing all in a week with a dozen or so people.”
“The youth were so wonderful. They were so generous. They kept telling me they were awed by my energy and learned so much from my performance.”
“India is such a paradox…generous and kind…bottom of the social scale…poverty makes the country.”
Budhan Bolta Hai
A piece by Anosh Malekar in InfoChange about stigmatization against Chharas and the work of Budhan Theatre
"The plays performed by Budhan Theatre are neither conventional nor experimental as you would know them. They have unique themes that are based on the personal experiences of the actors and have unfailingly touched a chord with audiences."
"Entering Chharanagar always felt like crossing an invisible border into another world."
"The Chharas, after centuries of stigma and a little over a decade of theatre, seem to have perfected the art of purposeful deceit. And they have an open invitation for all those voices that go unheard, to join them."
Dakxin Bajrange; Nominated for: Empowering stigmatized de-notified tribals
Piece in Ahmedabad Mirror Heroes about Dakxin Bajrange and Budhan Theatre
"Their efforts to get attention of the masses have yielded results."
"...after decades of oppression and atrocities, things have finally started looking up for these people, thanks to Budhan Theatre..."