Mysore/Mysuru: Reacting to the Congress protest and the party leaders seeking Police action against him for allegedly misusing his position to divide the society, Rangayana Director Addanda C. Cariappa told Star of Mysore this morning that the play ‘Sambashiva Prahasana’ was a satire and must be seen as a comedy.
“The play does not mention Siddharamaiah and Shivakumar but is a satire on rulers and it must be taken in that spirit. I cannot help if they interpret the scenes in the play to suit their political narrative. All political leaders are lampooned and in the past, Siddharamaiah himself justified many plays and books where his opponents were ridiculed and said it was artistic freedom. Why the same yardstick is not applied here,” he asked.
“We have not insulted anyone and it is their figment of imagination. Moreover, in the copy of Dr. Chandrashekhara Kambara’s play, second or third reprint, there is no mention of having to take permission or to pay remuneration to stage the play, generally mentioned in some plays,” he added.
Cariappa said that after the play was staged, certain rowdy elements barged into the Rangayana campus on Jan. 10 at 11.30 pm to disturb peace there. “The rowdy elements were drunk and were asking for me. I was not in Mysuru and they tried to vandalise the Rangayana campus. There is a school (Bharathiya Ranga Shikshana Shaale) inside the Rangayana campus and there are girl students who are studying. These drunk hooligans threatened their safety and well-being. The inebriated elements even tried to assault our staff,” Cariappa alleged.
“All political parties and leaders are lampooned on social media these days. Will they ban social media? In a democracy, there is freedom of expression and it applies to all irrespective of party affiliations. But here, when BJP leaders are criticised and ridiculed, they say it is freedom of expression. But when Congress leaders — the so-called champions of freedom of expression — are mocked, then it is taken in another way and protests are organised,” Cariappa added.
“Their main grouse is that I am continued as Rangayana Director by the Government even after the completion of my term. They cannot bear this fact. But they must remember that I will not be cowed down by their empty threats. They have no moral standing to criticise me,” he said.