About the Kala Manch
As the Cultural wing, the Kala Manch is the performing body of Ekta Parishad, its singing heart and its creative spirit. The Kala Manch not only participates in the Yatras of Ekta Parishad, it also organizes drama performances in small villages throughout India. Dramas, songs and dances are perfect tools to explain to the sometimes illiterate spectators the struggles of Ekta Parishad. They perform real stories, that have occurred in other villages. For example, it might be the story of a landlord taking away the land some villagers had occupied and maintained for many years. In this way, the spectators learn about the problems of other villages and may find that they deal with similar issues. They may then articulate their issues to Ekta Parishad and become important activists in our movement.
How the Kala Manch grew
The Kala Manch started with the first Theatre Workshop Festival in CESCI Centre 1998. In this first forum – mela – manch, activists from Ekta Parishad and artists from all over India gathered “in search for a common cause”.
Since then, the Kala Manch activists have built up their performance capacity and improved their creativity. Kala Manch activists also played an important role in the Chetawany march in 2006 and during the Janadesh 2007. Their performances along the march have encouraged the Yatris; they strengthened the people every day to succeed in their painful and demanding march, cheering the Yatris forward to Delhi with their traditional arts.
The Kala Manch now
After Janadesh 2007, Ekta Parishad grew enormously; every single activist had to work more then before to fulfill all demands and expectations raised through the success of Janadesh. So every Kala Manch artist went back first of all to being an Ekta Parishad activist and took their place in the field to struggle more for the livelihood resources of the poorest and landless people. However, the creative work continued and grew; now we can hear Kala Manch on a new CD recently produced and soon to be broadcast on radio.
The Kala Manch and the Jan Satyagraha
Now the Kala Manch is heading toward 2012, when it will again perform theatre, dance and music on the road. The activists are restarting their trainings and productions in workshops, contests, festivals and mela performances in order to animate, identify and mobilize new members. They will give their creativity a perspective on the future and make the Kala Manch ready for 2012, playing there its role of pushing forward the Yatris in the march. We will need them!