Nations are not built in the air but from the gross-root level. Unless the foundation pillars are not laid deep and stronger, the castles cannot be raised high. Similarly the bridges are built to complete the road. To bridge the gulf between the people and the people, between the people and the state, between the state and the government, between the government and the people is to pave the way for the nation building through cultural exchange, interaction and promotion as a measure effort in that direction.
In the modern times the history of the nations is mostly studied through its art, culture and heritage. Both change and evolve with the passage of time. The strong and rich the cultural heritage and the history a nation has, stronger and richer the nation is. To make culture of a nation more rich and stronger, the institutions have to be strong, well-organised, well-established, disciplined, well-managed and rich in resources. In this direction
In building a nation, the stronger and deeper foundations are laid in its cultural ethos.
The theatre of Kashmir has suffered the greatest debacle during the last fifteen years of political turmoil. No serious and sensible theatre activity was possible to be organised even by the leading institutions of theatre movement anywhere in rural or urban areas of the Valley. The situation has deteriorated to the worst when there has been no serious effort from the governmental bodies to save the theatre from such a debacle. So much so I believe that a nation without theatre is a dead nation.
Being a torch-bearer of theatre movement in Kashmir, having been involved in theatre for the last over 30 years and even being the only Alumni of National School of Drama, New Delhi, based in the Valley and professionally involved in this field, I feel it my moral duty and national obligation to take all possible measures to revive, rejuvenate and boost-up theatre movement in Kashmir, even after having remained out of the State for about ten years, motivated by my conscience for obvious reasons.
Now having directly deeply observed and witnessed all the inns and outs of the present ongoing political happenings and its effect and impact on our cultural ethos, I am motivated rather convinced by circumstances to bridge the gulf between the people and the society and to work for rebuilding our socio-cultural ethos through theatre-movement. Since theatre is a cultural bridge, it has to be build strong. For that matter it has become inevitable to establish an institution of professional significance, which could impart professional training in dramatic arts, encourage young talented theatre activists and accentuate the artistic and aesthetic standards of theatre. This is the primary need of the hour to explore, innovate and re-generate a new theatre-movement in
HENCE – The Ensemble
(School of Drama-cum-Repertory), Srinagar-Kashmir.
It may be apt to remark that in the present situation, establishing such an institution is an up-hill task, Taking such a step, I am inviting a great risk for my life and honour but keeping in mind that “only those live, who dare”, I have no doubt in my mind to face all challenges and surpass all hurdles. To succeed in that direction my artistic passion, cultural commitment, will and determination, life-long dedication, mental devotion, moral character and professional zeal and zest are the only assets and instruments to full-fill my obligation towards the cherished dream of nationally emancipated theatre movement in
To establish a drama school and a repertory at a regional level is equally more significant in the context that while National School of Drama, New Delhi has had to play the role of a prime national institution for training theatre activists in professional specialisation, there has had to be some primary institutions at regional levels to impart theatre education, training and motivation to promote the theatre.
March 27, 2004 Founder/Chairman, EKTA