Jain Community Addressing Social Issues Through Theatre

Jain Community Addressing Social Issues Through Theatre

Community members hailing from different professions spare time from their work and perform plays in their native Vaagad dialect, which acts as a guiding light for the audience from different communities.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 06:54 PM IST
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Jain Community Addressing Social Issues Through Theatre |

In a time when the Gujarati theatre in Mumbai has been commercialised to a large extent, a Jain community in the city has been using the art form to address social issues pertaining in the society. Community members hailing from different professions spare time from their work and perform plays in their native Vaagad dialect, which acts as a guiding light for the audience from different communities.

The Vaagad Visha Oswal Jain community, a native of Vaagad area of Kutch, has picked up theatre as a medium to convey social messages to the members of the community. Since 2018, the community has started performing plays under the name of Team Vaagad and address issues faced by the community while also preserving their native dialect.

The cast and crew of these plays are common people

The cast and crew of these plays are common businessmen, builders, professionals, students and housewives, who showcase their talent through the stage provided by their community.

Team Vaagad started their theatre journey in 2018 with a play called ‘Parka Thaya Pote Ane Pote Thaya Parka’ with a story of a father-son duo whose relations grew bitter due to financial reasons. The message that was spread through the play was to value the family more than money.

Problems faced by families

Lakshmichand Charla, Chairman and Trustee of Team Vaagad, said, “During my 11-year-long tenure of serving the community as president, I used to receive many complaints about problems faced by families. The idea sprung at that time to convey social messages through theatre as it impacts deeply on people’s minds when it is showcased in a light mood. Through theatre, we are also preserving our mother tongue’s sweetness for the young generation.”

After their first play received commendable response in 25 shows across Mumbai, it was also translated to Gujarati adding 50 more shows to the list. In 2019, the team came up with another play titled ‘Dikri Muji Ladakvayi”, showcasing the bond of a father and daughter with the subplots about adoption and revenge. After 22 shows, the play had to be stopped due to the pandemic but the team worked to bring up a masterpiece which has started its tour this year.

Lagan E Hu..Tu..Tu..’ is a play about excessive divorces

‘Lagan E Hu..Tu..Tu..’ is a play about excessive divorces in the societies and the decreasing trend of joint families. Within one month, the play has completed 16 shows with four more shows scheduled before the end of February. The community has also received an offer to commercialise this play which is seeing housefull shows every weekend.

Vijay Gala, a theatre professional with 30 years of experience has been directing all the plays for the community. He said, “There is a limitation in commercial plays due to the commercialisation of Gujarati theatre. We need to write a light story which the audience would like to watch. Whereas at Team Vaagad, we have the liberty to give justice to the message meant to be delivered. Since our recent play, many people from other communities are also coming to watch our play.”

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