Under Modi, Hindu hardliners turn Indian theatre into a battleground

Source: Reuters

BY Anuja Jaiman

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Five days after a suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF personnel in February in the Kashmir Valley, playwright and director Abhishek Majumdar was forced to cancel a play looking at the behaviour of Indian security forces in the disputed region.

A man takes a picture of an art installation at an event titled “Artists Unite”, during which various artists signed to register their concern against hate and intolerance, at a public park in New Delhi, March 2, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files

The play, which was scheduled to be staged on February 19 in Jaipur, was stopped by police but if they hadn’t stepped in, hardline Hindu activists had made it clear they would have physically forced it off the stage. The activists said Majumdar was “anti-national” or unpatriotic.

Hours before the show was due to start, the crew said they were forced to escape the venue as a mob had gathered. They said they ran down back alleys and had to take side roads to avoid being attacked on a main road.

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