Sunday October 21, 2018

Will Indian theatre find relevance beyond Ramlila?

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Theatre

By Ishan Kukreti

Theater as an art form has been there since the early days of civilizations. From ancient Greek and Roman classical theatre to the postmodernist Theater of the Absurd, the stage has remained a constant for centuries-exploring, opining, criticizing.

‘We no longer have the strength to try and glimpse what lies beyond the walls we create to protect ourselves. And that’s exactly why theater should exist and where it should seek its strength. To peek inside where looking is forbidden.’ Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski said in this year’s World Theatre Day (WTD) International Message.

WTD is celebrated all over the world by the theatre communities on March 27 to commemorate the art. It was started by International Theatre Institute in 1961.

Indian theatre is one of the first in the world to emerge. It has its presence all across the country in some form or the other. Metros have a brimming culture of theatre and an enthusiastic audience. But, apart from the ten odd days of Ramlila, there is not a lot of theatre in the smaller towns and cities. The introduction of cinema halls into the picture has also resulted in divergence of theatre audience to films. Yet cinema can never match the interactive quality of theatre.

‘Theatre will always remain relevant as the things one can say through a play sometimes cannot be said through cinema. It is a process which is very evolved and the way theatre helps actors achieve catharsis along with the audience is something that is absolutely magical.’ said Shilpa Shukla, critically acclaimed Indian actress.

Theatre, apart from being a powerful tool of communication is also a very good activity for personality development. Although a lot of people joining theatre enter it with an intention of using it as a medium to get into films, theatre’s relevance goes beyond being a trampoline.

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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India
As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)

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