Bangalore takes on moral police through love on stage

February 20th, 2009 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Feb 20 (IANS) Those who think that the threat from Karnataka’s moral police brigade is going to deter people here from expressing their love for each other, take heart. Far from succumbing to the pressure, they are going to show their love on stage.

In a unique way, Bangaloreans are going to showcase their “love” literally when an assortment of real life “love stories” will be enacted at the proscenium of the Nayana Auditorium at the city centre this Sunday.

The event, “All you need is love”, is the brainchild of Bangalore-based theatre troupe Yours Truly Theatre.

Explaining the nuances of the performance, Ranji David, theatre director and founder-member of Yours Truly Theatre, told IANS: “The performance will be purely unscripted and unrehearsed. Audiences present at the auditorium will narrate their love stories to our actors, musicians and conductor. Within minutes the stories will be recreated on the stage.”

“The exercise will be a collaborative effort between performers and the audience,” said Nandini Rao, another member of the group, set up in 2003.

Eight actors, two musicians and one conductor will collaborate with the audience in enacting the real life love stories.

The theatre group is flooded with enquiries from people, many of them not well-known theatre lovers. Sunday’s event should see the 830-seater auditorium packed to capacity, according to David.

What motivated the group to come up with the idea of showcasing real life love stories through theatre?

“Moral policing in Karnataka may give the impression that people of the state had no right to express love,” David said.

That is why “we want to celebrate the spirit of love. Through the medium of love we want to bring people together and help them relive their beautiful moments. All we need today is a revolution of love to change the world and conquer hatred, violence and war,” he said.

“Be it a common man or an artist, nobody has freedom of expression. Politicians and political groups in the state are curtailing people’s basic right of expression. The current situation is sad,” added Nandini.

However, the exercise has nothing to do with politics, David hastened to add.

The group’s effort comes eight days after Valentine’s Day. The so-called Lovers’ Day was a low key event in India’s IT hub but caught world attention when a rightwing Hindu group, Sri Rama Sene, threatened to marry off duos displaying love for each other in public.

Sene leaders were put behind bars before Valentine’s Day and 18,000 police personnel were on duty in Bangalore on Feb 14 to ensure trouble-free celebrations.

The Sene men were also involved in the Jan 24 attack on young women in a Mangalore pub in Karnataka.

Lauding the effort of Yours Truly Theatre, veteran theatre personality Vijay Padaki said that theatre had always been a perfect platform of expression and the effort was a positive one.

“Love is universal. It is good the theatre troupe has thought of enacting real life love stories on the podium. Moreover, in troubled times, we need to be again and again reminded about the necessity of love and unity,” he said.

(Maitreyee Boruah can be contacted at

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