Leadership void at Rangayana even eight months after polls
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Leadership void at Rangayana even eight months after polls

February 4, 2024

Preparations in full swing for Bahuroopi National Theatre Festival from March 7 to 11

Mysore/Mysuru: As Rangayana Mysuru prepares to host the 24th Edition of the Bahuroopi National Theatre Festival from March 7 to 11, there is a notable absence of appointed Directors not only for Rangayana in Mysuru but also for other Rangayanas in Karkala, Kalaburagi, Dharwad, Shivamogga, and Davanagere.

Rangayana Mysuru, a significant entity in the world of theatre enthusiasts, has been without a Director for the past eight months since Congress assumed control of the State. The resignation of the last Director Addanda C. Cariappa shortly after the announcement of the Assembly poll results in May 2023 has placed the responsibility of the theatre repertory in the hands of officials currently managing the operations.

As per the by-laws, the appointment of Directors to Rangayanas should be recommended by the Ranga Samaja, a committee comprising distinguished personalities, with the Minister for Kannada and Culture and the Secretary of Kannada and Culture among its members.

However, the State Government is yet to appoint members to the Ranga Samaja, which was dissolved soon after the formation of the new Government. The State Government’s delays extend not only to the appointments for Rangayanas but also to various Academies, including the Karnataka Nataka Academy, Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy and Karnataka Sahitya Academy, among others.

Speaking to SOM, senior theatre personality and former Rangayana Director H. Janardhan (Janni) expressed unhappiness over the delay in appointing Directors for Rangayana.

Underscoring the importance of the repertory as a key institution, Janardhan urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and District Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa to take the lead in establishing the Ranga Samaja that would play a crucial role in recommending names for the appointment of Rangayana Directors.

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According to reliable sources, Kannada and Culture Minister Shivaraj Tangadagi has conducted meetings to discuss appointments to various Rangayanas and Academies. The selection process is reportedly complete, awaiting the final approval from CM Siddaramaiah before an official announcement is made.

Insiders reveal that Shivaraj Tangadagi is scheduled to meet with the CM for the final approval and the announcement is expected within the next week. With Lok Sabha polls looming, there is a sense of urgency to expedite the appointment process for Directors of institutions before the model code of conduct comes into effect. When approached for comments, Shivaraj Tangadagi assured that concerted efforts are underway to appoint Chairpersons to various Academies and Rangayana Directors at the earliest.

Preparations begin for Bahuroopi

Meanwhile, Rangayana Mysuru is actively preparing for the upcoming Bahuroopi National Theatre Festival this year. The theatre repertory had issued invitations for theatre groups from across the country to showcase their performances at the festival.

For this year’s event, the State Government has allocated Rs. 25 lakh, complemented by an additional Rs. 25 lakh previously released to Rangayana during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

To oversee the festival preparations, Rangayana has established a committee chaired by senior theatre figure H.S. Umesh. The committee comprises Suresh Babu, President of the Mysuru District Amateur Theatre Artistes Association, Anju Singh, a Rangayana artiste, Nirmala Mathapati, Deputy Director of Rangayana and V.N. Mallikarjunaswamy, Joint Director of Kannada and Culture.

Nirmala Mathapati said, “To date, we have received approximately 62 entries from various regions such as Delhi, Mumbai, Assam, Hyderabad, Manipur and Kerala, including local groups eager to participate in Bahuroopi. The committee is diligently reviewing all submissions and shortlisting potential plays. With the deadline for entry submission set for Feb. 5, the final list of selected plays will be announced shortly after completion of the screening process.”

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