Jammu and Kashmir News
Jammu, Oct 20: Navratra Festival Katra enlivened on eight day with the electrifying performance of internationally acclaimed Dogri play ‘Bawa Jitto’ which was staged here at Spiritual Growth Centre, Katra. Scripted by Late Prof. Tram Nath Shastri and directed by Balwant Thakur, the presentation of the play was supported by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. Welcoming the distinguished guests, Director Natrang Balwant Thakur gave a brief about this magnificent theatre production which holds a record for being the longest living theatre play of India. The performance of the play ‘Bawa Jitto’ in Navratra Festival becomes even more relevant for the reason that it is based on the supreme sacrifice of a devotee of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi who used to climb the shrine hills every morning to offer prayers at the Darbar. Balwant Thakur expressed his heartiest gratitude to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and its chairman Honorable Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Sh. N.N. Vohra for supporting Natrang endeavours in preservation and promotion of the heritage and culture of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine hills.
Based on the supreme sacrifice of a great Devotee of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, the current series was supported by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. A true representative of the traditional performing arts heritage, culture and folk lore of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi hills, the play Bawa Jitto based on a folk tale of Aghar Jitto (Katra). The story of Bawa Jitto portrays the age-old saga of exploitation of landless farmers by landlords. Due to the constant and persistent pressures of relatives, with a piece of land as bone of contention, Bawa Jitto, a hard working, farm less farmer is forced to leave his native village. Accompanied by his nine-year-old daughter, he takes shelter in the house of a friend in Shamachak, a nearby village. The efforts of his friend Rullo result in a land grant from landlord in Shamachak and one fourth of the produce is fixed as land revenue. The hard work put in by him, the sweat and toil of Jitto turns a barren land into prolific treasure. This makes avaricious landlord to back out on his word and ask for major share of the crop. Helpless Jitto, unable to endure injustice, kills himself. The agony becomes boundless when Gauri, his little daughter immolates herself on her father’s pyre.
Girdhari lal and Harbans lal, the folk artists rendered soul to the play with their ‘Karkan’ singing. The most outstanding feature of the play was the performance by versatile actors on stage. The role of Bawa Jitto was played by celebrated TV/Film and stage actor Arvind Anand who kept everyone spellbound through his outstanding electrifying performance. He was supported by senior actors like Neeraj Kant as Rullo, Renu Sharma as Jojan, Dimple Sharma as Mehta Beer Singh, Subhash Jamwal as Malli, Vijay Bhat as Ghaghi, Rahul Singh as Isso, Pawan Verma as Aadmi in a highly professional manner. Another noteworthy performance was by young Sanchita Dubey as Bua Gauri and Juhi Singh as Jeuni. Others who gave vibrant performances included Mohd. Yaseen, Rajan Thakyal, Sachin Saini, Masood Qadir, Yash Manhas, Pallavi Mathur, Kritika Bhau, Aishwarya Sathe, Sunita Gupta, Rohit Sharma, Manik Gupta, Vishal Sharma, Abhi Bargotra, Sudesh Parihar and Kuldeep Angral .The lights were designed and executed by Suraj Ganjoo.