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After withdrawing from mainstream art, puppetry troupe from Bellary gets set to perform in Indonesia

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Trust, a renowned puppetry troupe from Bellary is all set to bring laurels to the country by performing in Indonesia from May 24 to 31.

SA Krishnaiah of Udupi, a folk researcher scholar and a member of Central Sangeet Nataka Academy will be leading the troupe on the eight day journey to the Ramayana Puppets Festival in the neighbouring South-East nation.

After gradually withdrawing from the mainstream performing arts, many puppetry groups have turned towards the Indonesian art form called ‘Wayang Kulit’ (Shadow puppets in Indonesia), which resembles the art form of the Karnataka leather puppeteers.

The leather puppeteers of the Ramayana play of Belagallu Veeranna and his team are sponsored by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi and Sangeet Natak Academy. The state and central governments of India have bestowed various awards on ‘Nadoja’ Belagallu Veeranna.

Krishnaiah, the managing director of the entire puppetry show will manage the entire team of artists during the Indonesian tour.

“The nomadic tribal arts of shadow-puppet-play artiste from Ballari renowned as ‘Gomberama’, will interact with Indonesian Dalang (puppeteers) during their eight day trip to the Island nation”, Krishnaiah said.

Apart from managing the team, Krishnaiah will also perform as an artiste in various shows.The shows will be staged at various locations in the nation of Indonesia on different dates.

Mahalingam, BV Ramesh; BV Prakash, K Lingappa; Chilagod, artiste from Manukula Ashrama, BV Mallikarjuna; BV Hanumanta are some of the renowned artistes who will be a part of the tour.

Wayang Kulit is a shadow puppet theatre belonging to the famous Java islands. The epic story of Ramayana is conveyed by these puppets and is remembered during the time of Diwali in India.

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Indonesian Government Forces Instagram to Close Pro-LGBT Account

Nearly 88 per cent of Indonesia's over 260 million people are Muslims and the majority of them are said to be moderates

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pride flag
The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. wikimedia

Popular social network Instagram on Wednesday suspended an account which published comics discussing the problems and acceptance issues faced by the Muslim LGBT community in Indonesia.

The move came after the government asked the social network to remove the gay-friendly account that allegedly published cartoons containing pornographic material and riling many in the country – home to the world’s largest Muslim population.

The Ministry of Information and Communication alleged in a statement that the account, run by a user known only as @Alpantuni, violated the Electronic Information and Transactions Law by distributing content that “breached decency”, according to Efe news.

The Ministry thanked users for their complaints which “accelerated the process” against the handle.

LGBT, Thailand
Thai LGBT community participates in Gay Freedom Day Parade in Bangkok, Thailand. VOA

The comic strips, which showed Muslim gay characters and criticized homophobia and religious fundamentalism in the country, were targeted by a large number of Instagram users, who tagged the Ministry in their comments.

Instagram took the decision after Communication Minister Rudiantara on Monday threatened to shut down the platform in the country unless the company took steps to fulfil the Ministry’s demand.

Homosexuality is legal across Indonesia – except for in Sharia law-ruled Aceh province – and though the LGBT community has yet to meet acceptance, it had been tolerated in the past.

But the Electronic Information and Transactions (EIT) law and the law against pornography have often been used in Indonesia to criminalize homosexuality and the LGBT community, according to non-profit Human Rights Watch.

Edith Windsor
Edie dearly loved the LGBTQ community which loved her right back and held her in reverence for her fight for freedom, equality, and justice. Wikemedia

In February 2018, the government blocked more than 200 mobile applications and websites with content related to homosexuality.

Months later in October, the police arrested two people on the Java Island for running a Facebook page for gays, accusing them of publishing pornography and pressing charges under the EIT law.

Also Read- Twitter Considering Ways to Restrict Mental, Physical Threats: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

To “safeguard” moral norms on the Internet, the Ministry of Communication has also threatened to shut down other social networks and messaging apps in recent years apart from blocking hundreds of webpages and apps carrying content that promotes homosexuality.

Nearly 88 per cent of Indonesia’s over 260 million people are Muslims and the majority of them are said to be moderates. (IANS)