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Current Affairs

Ban on ‘Chintamani Padya Natakam’

Date: 12 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The government of Andhra Pradesh has recently banned a 100-year-old play named ‘Chintamani Padya Natakam’. 

 

Background

A petition for ban was submitted by Arya Vysya Mahasabha to the Chief Minister after which the play was banned.

 

Details

The Arya Vysya community has been alleging since several years that the play portrays their community in a bad light.

 

Chintamani Natakam

  • In 1920, play-writer Kallakuri Narayana Rao wrote the play ‘Chintamani Natakam’. Rao was also a social reformer.

  • The play tried to raise awareness about the devadasi system and to warm people against flesh trade in society.

 

Content

  • The play is about a courtesan called Chintamani, who sings bhajans for salvation. She is also a devotee of Lord Krishna.

  • The courtesan is courted by a businessman named Subbi Shetty, who loses all his wealth and property due to his attraction to Chintamani.

  • The play was initially written to give social message but over the years it has been modified for the purpose of entertainment.

 

Objections about play

  • Throughout the play, the businessman Subbi Shetty is made fun of for losing all his wealth to his vices.

  • The Vysya community alleges that dialogues are offensive and make fun of the character by portraying him as short and dark person.

  • To make the play funny, crude and vulgar language is used. Due to this, the entire community is stigmatized. The latest modification has made it even raunchier.

 

The state’s effort

The state government initially wanted to remove the character of Subbi Shetty from the play but it was not possible since it was the central character.

 

The exhibition

  • The play is exhibited across the state mainly in rural areas during fairs and other festive occasions.

  • The drama still has loyal viewers in the state. It is considered as a must-see event during Dasara celebrations.