Shimla’s Historic Gaiety Theater falling victim to mismanagement


Careless attitude of Gaiety Theater management is discouraging the culture of theater and theater artists in Himachal

Shimla-On the second evening of the Folk Culture festival organized by the art and culture group Platform at the Historic Gaiety Theatre’s amphitheatre, the Mall in association with the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi and Department of Language Art and Culture Himachal Pradesh due to certain the scheduled Horingfo show on March 2, got cancelled leaving many spectators disheartened.

However on the venue same day another poster was displayed saying “Platform Sanstha ke sahyog se Abhinay Darpan ke prastuti Puran Bhagat” at 5.00 P.M. (as can be seen in photograph) though it was few minutes passed five few spectators came and sat on the seats but when no performance they all walked away. On the other hand the Nanda the director of so called play and president of Abhinay Darpan; mentioned on poster was seen talking in harsh tone to his team member when they refused to perform considering the drunk condition of the fellow and was later pulled away from the spot by the teams members of Platform group. Nandan on the same day was refused the green room keys too considering his condition by the Gaiety Management.

The entire incident left the sentiments of many theatre related people in bad taste as Kedar Thakur, one of the well know name in Shimla theatre says, “What happened was not something acceptable. We try our best to make young kids develop interest in this filed as people usually do not let their children choose this profession and with such examples how can we expect to preserve and promote this filed. I think some serious action should be taken by the concerned department as this will bring bad name to entire profession. We need to look at the bigger picture.”

Whereas S.N. Joshi member of G.D.S. (Gaiety Dramatic Society) while commenting on the issue said, “I feel that action should be taken against the person who is at fault. I do consider that though Platform was doing good work but still they were too at fault to have invited someone to perform on that day as it was a folk festival and the team or play was not fit to be performed at that time. Last years even Mohan Joshi (who happens to be his brother) too was blacklisted for the very same reason and same should be done to preserve the decorum.”

When Ajay Sharma, the president of the group was asked about the whole incident he said, “I had given in written to the Gaiety office that my event has been cancelled and from my side venue is free. Whatever happened was not right and if the management wants to black list the person I will stand by their decision.”

While commenting on the issue and action taken, Director LAC. D.K. Gupta, first said, “It was an open function where if anyone came drunk what can be done.”

Later when situation was explained to him, he said, “If the person will regret then he will be forgiven, and if he is a member of G.D.S., then the free facilities provided to him too will be forfeited, and his behavior will be monitored. If he continues on same line then strict actions might be taken again him too.”

On one hand people of city are feeling proud over Gaiety to be included in the list of world heritage and on the other we have such condition were over simple violation of rules actions depends upon ifs and buts. It took almost 4 days to get to this version and still the air of uncertainty surrounds the situation.

The irony of situation is that the person heading the department himself is not aware about the situation. Why would any spectator ask for green room keys and to how many spectators its available is not a million dollar question.

Another interrogate question is why only Abhinay Darpan placed their banner on the venue which was booked in the name of Platform Group and why not any other group from Shimla. Was it the managements consent or the Platform’s that Nandan took the initiative?

It is really heartbreaking to say who is more careless out of the two parties involved- Platform or the Management as someone puts the name of a former on a poster without their knowledge and consent or the Gaiety Management who is busy sleeping unaware that someone comes and pins up the poster on their property.

How much progress can our culture do when such type of management is seen and whose fault is it anyways if the youngsters do not step up and participate in this field?

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