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BARTYA BASU

2020-02-07
Bratya Basu (born 25 September 1969)[1] is a Bengali professor, dramatist, director, actor and a politician. Basu was West Bengal's minister for education till May 2014 and was then assigned the tourism portfolio.[2][3][4] He was elected a MLA, from the Dum Dum constituency in 2011 Assembly Election of West Bengal. Bratya Basu was born in Calcutta to professor Dr. Bishnu Basu and educational administrator Dr. Neetika Basu. His early name was Bratyabrata Basu Roy Chowdhury. He came from the "Basu Roy Chowdhury" family at Ulpur (now In Faridpur, Bangladesh). He studied Bangla at Presidency College .and Calcutta University Bratya Basu started his career as a sound operator for the theatre group Ganakrishti[5] and soon started writing and directing plays with the group. The themes of his writings focus on political fantasy, nature-human relationships, connection between music and life, ethical values and its lack, conflict between love and revolt, bonding between time and culture.[6] Bratya Basu joined City College, Kolkata as an assistant professor in the department of Bengali. But his passion for theatre could not confine him to the teacher's room of a college. He launched his career as a dramatist with the play Ashaleen (1996) [7] (or Ora Panchjon), described by theatre critics as the first postmodernist Bengali play.[8] His noted plays thereafter include Aranyadeb, Shahar Yaar, Virus-M, Winkle-Twinkle, etc. These plays are not only popular but also unique in different genres of modern literary theatre and subject to manifold interpretations. His other important plays include Ruddhasangeet, Chatushkon, Hemlat - the Prince of Garanhata, Krishna Gahobar, Sateroi July, Bikele Bhorer Sorshey Phool, Supari Killer, Boma etc. A compilation of his plays has been published in three volumes in 2004, 2010 and in 2016 respectively. He has even directed three films - Raasta[9] which has a theme of youth moving into terrorism, Teesta [10] a film on society and the failure of romance, Tara and acted in many films which include Kaalbela,[11] Icchey, Sthaniyo Sambad, Hemlock Society, Muktodhara etc. Basu has bagged many awards and recognition. Some of them include the Shyamal Sen Memorial award (1998), Dishari Award (2000),[12] Satyen Mitra Award (2000, 2002, 2003, 2017),[13] Shambhu Mitra Samman, conferred by Rajdanga Dyotak, Khaled Choudhury Samman, conferred by Abhash, Shilpayan Samman and the prestigious Ritwik Ghatak Smriti Puroskar, conferred by Rajshahi Ritwik Ghatak Memorial Committee, Republic of Bangladesh.[14] In the 26th Annual Kalakar Awards 2018, he has won the Special Jury Award 2018 for his outstanding performance in the film Baranda.[15]. He is conferred with Sera Bangali 2019 award, the most prestigious award in Bengal for his exemplary contribution in theatrical art form[16]. Added to his laurels in 2019 is the prestigious Dinabandhu Mitra Puroskar conferred by Paschim Banga Natya Akademi, a wing of the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Govt. of WB in recognition to his distinctiveness as a playwright in contemporary times[17]. Film Companion, an online platform for Independent Film Journalism has chosen his performance as an actor, as Moloy in the film Asamapta, directed by Suman Mukhopadhyay as one of the 100 Greatest Performances of the Decade in Indian Cinema[18] Hemlat, The Prince of Garanhata has won the critical acclaims from academic researchers for the adaptation. Sam Kolodezh of the University of California, Irvine, Drama and theatre heaped praise on Bratya's adaptation.[19] Formerly Associate Professor, Kuwait University and a Life-member of Shakespeare Society of Eastern India, Antony Johae [20] is so moved by the contemporary Indianization of Shakespear's mastertext that he lectured across India on Hemlat. Mr. Johae has contributed a research paper on Hemlat in the Vol-V, No.VIII of The International Journal of Cultural Studies and Social Sciences, edited by Dr Prof Amitava Roy.,[21] formerly Shakespeare Professor of Rabindra Bharati University and president and co founder of Shakespeare Society of Eastern India and Prof Ronan Paterson.,[22] an actor, director and a producer for theatre, film in Britain and Ireland and an extensive writer on Shakespeare. Bratya Basu has created his own space in contemporary theatre by moving beyond its existing boundaries. He has formed the theatre group Kalindi Bratyajon [23] in 2008. The first theatrical production of Bratyajon was Ruddhasangeet (2009), a play on the Rabindrasangeet exponent Debabrata Biswas's journey of bitter struggle throughout his life in the prevailing system. The play received instant critical and popular acclaim and has so far staged more than a record 150 shows [24] to packed houses. After producing "Boma" in 2015, a period piece that rips off the masks of the Bengali freedom fighters which reveals jealousies, greed for power and internal conflicts Basu has interestingly produced another untold history of Bengal spanning 1757 and 1764. The play, "Mir Jafar" [25] showcases the power politics and game of minds to unravel the complexities in which 'Mir Jafar' continues to retain the emblematic representation and throne of the 'Universal betrayer' in all societies in all times.