Culturing Voices through Act IV of An Enemy of the People
Farmers in a village lose their land to a factory, all in the name of development. All of a sudden they have not only lost their land, but also life and livelihoods. They have only two options ahead – fight for their rights; or resign to their fate. What happens to these farmers when they decide to take the former option. What happens to the teacher who supports them?
Janashatru is a play that narrates the story of an extraordinary ordinary teacher who raises her voice against majoritarian oppression. She stands up in spite of several efforts by the system to suppress her voice. She continues her unstinting commitment to fight for truth.
The economy is surging. People have more buying power than ever before. Government has become ‘business’ friendly. Its policies favor industrialists and more facilities doled out to them so that ‘they’ can ‘help’ people buy things. In the process, more and more farmers are losing lands; more and more farmers are becoming ‘coolies’ in the factories to whom they have lost their lands; more and more farmers are migrating to cities in search of livelihood. The farmer, once an “owner’ of land, is now living in penury.
What happens when the government takes land away from a farmer, in the name of development? What happens when people in power connive with the powers that be? What happens when the government is cowed down by a powerful industrialists’ lobby? How will a farmer ever protest in the face of such a majoritarian tyranny? Will his “cry” for justice ever be heard?
Janashatru Vol. 2 is all about the extraordinary teacher, trying to rise up to the occasion and raise her voice against such tyrannical oppression. This is the voice of a teacher, who is shouted out in a public meeting, but still fights for the truth, arguing that the truth is always with the minority.
Janashatru Vol 2 premiered in the city of Mysore on March 14th 2021 and will also tour villages in the district of Mysore.
The play was written and directed by Surendranath.