The theatre society of a women’s college has been rapped by the Sahitya Kala Parishad–the Delhi government’s cultural wing–for performing a play with a number of ‘cuss words’ like ‘bra’ and ‘panty’.
Students of the Kamala Nehru college’s theatre society ‘Lakshya’ were performing their play Shahira Ke Naam last Friday at the Mahavidyalaya Natya Samaroh, a theatre competition organised by the Sahitya Kala Parishad. After the play ended, the organisers reportedly announced that the theatre society had been disqualified from the competition.
However, the organisers claimed that the college has not been disqualified but will “only lose marks” for the use of some words. “The society has not been disqualified, they will only lose marks because they’ve broken the rules about obscenity,” Neha Sharma, coordinator of the competition told Hindustan Times. “Not just words like bra and panty, they’ve used several other cuss words, too.”
The play includes a scene where women living in a college hostel describe how they mark their underwear so that they don’t get mixed up with others’ clothes. “It is in this scene, among others, that we use words like bra and panty. And this is what the judges apparently didn’t like,” the theatre society’s president Radhika Dhawan told HT.
“Not just words like bra and panty, they’ve used several other cuss words, too.”
Theatre competition organiser
“So traumatized were the organizers by the words that they choked on them and could not bring themselves to spell out those “appalling” “disgusting” words while telling us the reason for disqualification,” the college theatre society’s coordinator Monami Basu wrote in a public Facebook post. “When the students asked them, they ran away from them.”
“We reject this kind of perversion which prevents youth from healthy discussions on sex, desire and yes even BRA PANTY which are pieces of clothing, if it titillates you, it is your problem,” she wrote. “We reject your pretentious hypocritical propriety, we reject your taboo-ization of the most normal day to day things like periods, sexual desire, consensual sex and BRA PANTY.”