Play on Veer Savarkar’s life story to blaze on stage soon
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Play on Veer Savarkar’s life story to blaze on stage soon

September 9, 2023
  • Former Director of Rangayana Mysuru Addanda C. Cariappa helms the new Kannada play ‘Karineera Veera’
  • Cellular Jail in Andaman, where Veer Savarkar was incarcerated, was known as ‘Kalapani,’ black waters in Hindi. In Kannada, ‘Karineeru’ means ‘black water.’ Hence the title of the play ‘Karineera Veera’ 
  • Inaugural show in the city by this month end

By M.T. Yogesh Kumar

Former Director of Rangayana Mysuru Addanda C. Cariappa has adapted the life story of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, known as Veer Savarkar, into theatre.

The Kannada play titled ‘Karineera Veera’ will hit the stage in the last week of this month (September 2023) in the city, before embarking on a State-wide tour from October.

A new forum named Bharatiya Ranga Ghataka (Indian Theatre Unit) has been founded with the sole intention of kindling national and patriotic spirit by staging such plays. The maiden play from the stable is ‘Karineera Veera,’ which is a year-long project involving 15 artistes and two technical staff.

Savarkar Pratishtan of Mysuru that holds allegiance to Sangh Parivar has lent its support to Indian Theatre Unit, with Pratishtan President Dr. Yashaswini, Treasurer Sandesh, Secretary Rajath and Trustee Shivakumar being the backbone of the play.

Director Speaks

Sharing his thoughts with Star of Mysore, Addanda C. Cariappa said: “The play ‘Karineera Veera’ was written based on the facts related to the life of Veer Savarkar, with the support of Savarkar Pratishtan and Sangh Parivar. To make it realistic, a 15-member team of young artistes who have completed one-year Diploma Course in Acting at Rangayana, Neenasam, Sanehalli (Shivasanchara Repertory), Chitradurga, Natana and Karnataka State Dr. Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University, Mysuru, were selected and involved in the task since Aug. 1. They are paid a monthly salary of Rs. 15,000, besides providing food and accommodation to them. While I am the Director of the play, my wife Anitha Cariappa is also acting in the play, besides being the Manager of the troupe.”

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The pre-theatre training and rehearsals are being held at Sri Sai Saraswathi Vidyakendra, Bogadi. Following the staging of inaugural play, it is planned to stage 75 shows across the State, with invitation received from 10 to 20 places to stage the play, said Addanda Cariappa.

Former Director of Rangayana Mysuru Addanda C. Cariappa and his artiste-wife Anitha Cariappa with the artistes of the play ‘Karineera Veera’ after a rehearsal session.

Book before the play

A book on Savarkar’s play will also be launched a fortnight before the maiden show. It is being planned to release the book at the hands of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi in Dharwad.

The reading of the play ‘Karineera Veera’ was done before four to five eminent persons involving those from theatre and literature fields. It was on their insistence, that the play was adapted to stage, said Cariappa.

The play is of two-and-a-half hours duration with 11 sequences. Savarkar started untouchability eradication campaign even before Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar did. Dalits were allowed inside the temple and also Sahapankti Bhojana (the opportunity to have food along with others), which are all a part of the narration.

Rs. 1 crore project

“It is Rs. 1 crore project that made a beginning from zero. We have organisers throughout the State, who take care of organising the show, with the prominent leaders of Sangh Parivar supervising them. They (Sangh Parivar leaders) have told me to focus on finer aspects of the play, without worrying much about funds and organising the play,”  said Cariappa.

The 10-day orientation programme conducted before rehearsing for the play was attended by Retired Additional Secretary to the Government of India C.V. Gopinath, Senior Musician Puttannaiah, Light Designer Nanda Kishore, Music Composer Pa.Ra. Krishnamurthy, Theatre Artiste Jagadish Manavarthe, singer Sriharsha, Orientation Organiser Karthik Upamanyu and several others lending their moral support to this project.

Artistes Speak

The truth hidden in the womb of history should be dug out some day. We were not aware of Savarkar during our college days. Now, the work of presenting the facts before people will begin with this play. —Theerthesh, who plays the role of Savarkar as a boy

I am happy to have the privilege to tell the truth about Veer Savarkar, which the people were not aware of till date. —Manoj Ekalavya, enacting the character of Subhas Chandra Bose

The history of Savarkar, which I read earlier during school and college days, was totally different from what I understood after reading the play. There was no mention of his (Savarkar) contributions to freedom struggle. Now, everything will be made known to the people through the play. —Harisingh, playing Savarkar’s role

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