Bengaluru: A play titled ‘Shiva’, based on sexuality and gender, that was supposed to be staged on October 13 and 14 by Jagriti team in the city, was canceled after several Hindutva groups sent an official order saying that the title of the play hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community.
Jagriti was all set to showcase their play to the audience, but unfortunately on the night before the show, a group people allegedly from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VPH) forcefully entered the practice hall and said that they would never let the play happen. On seeing this, the art director of the Jagrati team, Arundati Raja immediately rushed to the Whitefield Police Station and asked for protection so that they could put up the play.
“Members of pro-Kannada organizations, the RSS and the VHP came to the police station. I spoke to the Hindutva group members and tried explaining about the motive behind this play but hey were not ready to listen to any of our explanations. Instead, they repeatedly told us to change the title of the play. One of the members of these groups said that we can use his name as the title of the play but not that of Lord Shiva’s. He also accused us of trying to hurt the sentiment of Hindus,” said Arundathi.
In response to Arundathi’s request, the police said that they could not give protection at such short notice. The team then learnt that protection could be obtained only after getting permission from the police commissioner and that the procedure was lengthy and time consuming, and so they decided to cancel the play, said sources.
The play is about a boy named Shiva, who starts to struggle with his gender identity when he develops an interest in dance and this interest of his is not accepted by all. The play also deals with discrimination faced by the LGBTQI community.