India is a land of emotions, exhibition of feelings and voyeurism in that respect. The movies, dramas and plays all have a touch of emotional attachment to everyday life and Indians basically believe in sharing not only the joys in life but also the related sorrow.
One of the best ways to reach out to a bigger mass of population is to have a street play. Street plays have been a mainstay in Indian culture since ancient times. Right from the early stages of development, there are traces of art and drama in Indian life which is seen through the paintings in the caves and monuments.
Street Play in India
In India a street play is had to send across a message to the masses. The issues could be regular ones like growing population, hygiene, health, education and other such related matters. Whatever be the case, one only has to spread the message and this is the crux of a street play in India.
I happened to watch one such street play which was staged on the road by a group of college students. These students were all attired in white and had a saffron scarf wrapped around their waists. They really looked determined and ready to send a message to the world. They had a leader who had a colourful wig on his head.
What The Play Could Show
As the street play unfolded, they first dealt with issues on the domestic front. They first sat in a circle denoting unity and had the leader speak in a song and dance tone to the masses. Later they enacted how domestic fights are always dealth emotionally by people and showed two husbands fighting with each other at the same time having the wives in an emotional war.
Topics of Street Play
The street play then went on to inform people about drug abuse. They showed three students sitting together and falling prey to drugs and educated the people on how bad drugs are for the masses and enacted the scene of being a victim of drug abuse. The scene touched a few hearts in the crowd and people around applauded the efforts of the students.
Then there was a small speech given by the leader in question and his acting brought tears to everyone’s eyes. He spoke as Mother Earth and told the people how much we are troubling her and how we could make this world a better place.
In the end, the participants formed a human pyramid showing strength and unity and had Goddess Kali the Goddess of Power on top with a girl enacting the Goddess with her tongue out. The play thus focused on killing the evil in the society through self control and making the world a better place to live in.
The effect of the play on the streets is that it was visually perceptive and registered in the minds of the masses. The fact that it was a free for all ensured that people had the choice to just spare a few minutes, watch it and move on. There was no need to buy a ticket or travel to see a particular play. This was the advantage of the street play which was quick, informative and a constructive effort towards a better world.
Street play is certainly a culture that has to be globally popular.