The NAPA Repertory Company was in India this week to perform their play, MANTORAMA, at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Festival, an annual event at the National School of Drama, New Delhi.
Four hours before the performance, which was sold out (all 500 seats), the NAPA troupe was informed that their play will not go on as scheduled.
So much has been going on in Pakistan at the moment that the incident at the LOC (line of control)and India's reaction to it has not made waves here. In India though, the case is different. Their media has blown this issue to such gigantic proportions that all bilateral relations between the two countries have come to a halt. We already know about the hockey players and the women's cricket team. But the arts and cultural activities, too, have come under attack. And it was this very reason that the NAPA Repertory was refused permission to stage their play.
It seems that the Indian media and Government conveniently used the LOC incident to sweep their own problems, especially the inefficiency of the Government to handle the grotesque rape case, under the carpet.
This whole episode seems like a chapter from Manto's stories or his life itself. During his lifetime he was persecuted for his stories. And even after his death, he remains the center of conflicts between the two countries.
Poster: NAPA Repertory Theatre Official Page (Facebook)