Artistes urge govt to lift ban on theatres

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

LAHORE: Theatre artists held a press conference Monday at the Lahore Press Club on the recent closure of theatres by the Punjab government on charges of vulgarity.

Tahir Anjum while talking to the media with his fellow artistes said the artistes are all against vulgarity and stand with the government when it comes to putting a check on theatres.

It is only four to six people who are giving performance that no decent person can watch, Anjum said. They are bringing a bad name to theatre in Lahore and the government should rightfully punish them, but the hundreds of artistes whose livelihood depends on theatre performances and doing nothing vulgar, should not be punished. The artistes called for lifting the ban on theatre, Anjum said.

Tahir Anjum, who has been associated with theatre for the last three decades, said artistes very much want to work with the government. This is the first time that a government has taken interest in theatre—for whatever reasons. The artistes are open to suggestions and would welcome a guideline from the government. The government can seek the artists’ help in conveying necessary messages, he said.

He said artistes can themselves point out those who are giving substandard and morally objectionable performances. These are people who have bypassed the role of writer and director. Tahir Anjum alleged there is a ‘producer mafia’ that needs to be dealt with. Artistes have been used by producers for long, he said and called upon the IG Punjab to deal with Badmash mafia in theatre.

Qaisar Sanaullah who had given application to the government to stop lecher acts, thanked the government for taking notice of the objectionable stuff in theatre.

Stage actor Durdana said, “We are with the government. We will now perform drama that everyone can watch. We did great plays such as ‘Janam Janam ki Maili chadar’ which many families came to see. At present theater that is popular, is all about dance. This needs to end.”