CAFPD Minister Leishangthem Susindro Meitei on Sunday called for collective efforts to preserve Manipuri theatre, while raising concern on its present existing condition.
The minister was speaking as a chief guest at the premier show of Khangjing Repertory Theatre’s new theatre production ‘Smokey Lake’ at Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA), Imphal. It was organised under the sponsorship of Cultural Function and Production Grant (CFPG), Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
He said that Manipuri theatre which was considered as one of the important art forms of the state has been facing a gradual deterioration each day. Most people are even unaware about what new productions are coming, releasing or showcasing, he said. This rich art form gifted by the forefathers of the state needs to be preserved, he added.
He further said that the schemes launched by the state government for artistes are still unable to cover all the existing art forms in the state. However, most of the art forms which are actively being performed in the state are benefitting from the scheme. The state government is putting all efforts to cover all the existing art forms in the state, he added.
In a state like Manipur, artistes struggle a lot due to low income, he said. Many artistes had quit their professions in search of other means of livelihood and this has resulted in reduction of a number of artistes drastically, he said. He further expressed his appreciation to see the artistes still continuing the art as a mandatory activity to preserve the art form despite facing numerous problems, he added.
Function president Budha Chingtham, who is the chairman of Cultural Workers, Activists Forum Manipur (CAWF), said that theatre is a serious art form which can reflect socio-economic, political, religious issues in a highly impactful manner. For this art form, there is a need for proper training and anyone or any artist cannot pick it up, he added.
"This could be one factor that theatre is degrading each day,” he said.
He said that Manipuri theatre is one of the biggest assets of the state as it has occupied many national and international platforms. Through the dedication and sacrifice made by renowned theatre personalities, Manipur has been able to reach the international levels, he said. The coming generation should think of preserving this valuable art form, he added.
Deputy director of department of art and culture G Dharmadas Sharma also attended the function as guest of honour.