Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cracks emerge in nascent Tiatr academy

While this writer collated the views of tiatr lovers on the "Tiatr" academy which is to be inaugurated on 16th February, 2009 at 1730 hrs IST at the "Pai Tiatrist" Joao Agostinho Fernandes Hall at Margao Goa, there was a volley of support for the proposal to grant posthumous awards to the trio, Lucacinho Ribeiro, Joao Agostinho Fernandes and his spouse Ms Regina Fernandes. Even others ought to be considered posthumously now itself. Else the awards ceremony should be differed for a later date they felt.

When this writer spoke telephically to the Chairman of the Tiatr Academy Mr Tomazinho Cardozo on Friday the 13th February, 2009 on the issue of posthumous awards and the criteria adopted for selection of tiatrist, besides putting up photgraphs of the trio at prominent places he stated that a) the committee had proposed to award those in the age group of above sixty and above seventy and those who were infirm and may not be available the next time round. It would be an annual excercise he said and therefore the fear of being left out does not arise. IThough 10 were to be selected each year this time round they have settled for 15. However as regards the posthumous award he only stated that photographs of the pioneers viz Mr Ribeiro and Mr Fernandes would be given the due place. When asked why Regina was left behind when she rightly deserved the award being the first woman on stage even before any woman came on stage and even the Marathi drama stage, had not had a woman on stage then; he merely stated that he would make a mention of her role during the inuagural but nothing beyond that and he stated that he had plans to form a separate Committee for a woman's wing in the Tiatr academy at a later stage. He also went on to add that there were several other Goan tiatrists who have achieved much more and were even pioneers in Rap dance etc but since there was no documentation others have got the credit.

Though there is an element of truth, in what he says about the documentation that is in no way convincing why Ms Regina has been left out. Even though he claimed that now it was late, he was reminded of the fact that one of the audience members from Mungul Margao indeed had proposed to the panel Chairman during the two day "first Roman Script Cultural and Literary Conference" on 20th and 21st December, 2008 at Pai Tiatrist Hall that Regina should be honoured considering it is her 100 death aniversary on 30th December, 2008. This proposal was accepted and it was obviously the right moment to honour her. Merely paying lip sympathy is an insult and the Government ought to take note of such biased attitude. When one of the lady members who is on the committee of the Tiatr academy was asked for her views she fully supported this view but did not dare to go public as she was a member of the Tiatr academy.

None of the ladies considered for the award even though living can have the gumption to receive the award if Regina has been left out others stated.. It is she who dared all when there was a stigma for ladies to perform on stage on 22/11/1904 therefore Tomazinho needs to justify the reason she has been left out.

Lest he contends that no photo of hers is available the same was made available to him and the Directorate of Art and Culture by this writer.

:Later since the CM could not be contacted this writer spoke to the Director of Art and Culture and impressed upon him to do justice to Regina Fernandes and have her portrait. He was aware of the discussions held by this writer with Chairman of the Tiatr Academy Mr Cardozo and promised to rectify the same.

Ironically today's edition of the Herald carried an advertisement inviting tiatro lovers for the function, but sadly the photograph of Ms Regina has been left out. This could have been because the observations were made only after the advertisement was released and Saturday Sunday being a non working day it is left to be seen if they make amends on Monday.

Meanwhile Mr Wilson Mazarello agreed that Regina Fernandes should be considered for an appropriate place, however he is not a member of the Committee of the Tiatr Academy.

Another, member Mr Osvy Viegas has come out with another stinker directed to the Director of Art & Culture Mr Prasad Lolayekar, wherein vide a letter dated 14/02/2009 (copy available with this writer) he has questioned the criteria for selection of playwrights for State awards. He has launched a diatribe against the selectors who he claims were not competent to distinguish between "artists" and performers". No doubt he was all praise for the Government instituting awards but selection was biased. How come a "participant" like Concessao D Silva "Conny M" was awarded the State award when he was a mere non de script musician? What happened to several others like "Carlito" from Navelim whose passion for music was so great in the Company of late Chirs Perry that he also won accolades from his employer the Bahrain military band for his artistic rendition of the trumpet.

He also spoke of artists like Fidelis from Chandor, Mr Alex Mestri from Maddel Margao - a violinist and Band Leader who deserved State awards.

He was also furious over the mudslinging resorted to by Lolayekar who was obsessed with his heading the Department "as if his own" and put the blame on selections on Tomazinho Cardozo. Mr Viegas also alleged that Tomazinho did state that it was apparently a political decision to include Conny M.

According to Mr Viegas the Government should constitute a panel of selectors and invite names of consideration before granting awards. They should peruse the bio-datas of the artists shortlisted and only after ascertaining the facts they should finalise the awards.

Meanwhile there has been some further tremors being felt even before the inaugural function where it has been alleged that those adorning the Committee of the nascent Tiatr Academy are the same who have been given the privilege to perform at the musical show after the inaugural. If this is what the Tiatr Academy is all about it the less said the better.

Many felt that the Government should not have appointed Mr Tomazinho Cardozo a politician (ex Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly) with due respect to his credentials in the field of performing arts. Infact they feel that the same disunity and bias among the tiatrist will reflect on the functioning of the Tiatr Acdemy and the pro-devanagari lobby of which the CM extends covert support will have the last laugh seeing the death of the Tiatr Acdemy even before it completes 100 days they stated. Even the amount of Rs. 15 lacs budgetary support and that the Government is still scouting for premises is a pointer for things to come.

In another development there has been a vociferous demand that in the same breath that tiatr lovers have demanded the restoration and preservation of the "House of Pai Tiatrist" at Modsai Margao which was supported by Rajya Sabha MP Mr Shantaram Naik a similar demand has been made to preserve the now nearly in ruins abandoned home of noted poet Baki Bab Borkar. The Government has already named a road after him at Porvorim and many feel that the homes of both Joao Agostinho Fernandes and that of Baki Bab Borkar should indeed be preserved for posterity.

It is hoped that the CM who has been addressed on these issues will as Head of the Department of Art and Culture see merit in the observations and do justice before the ensuing event.

+91 98221 58584 (24 HRS)


[Poster courtesy:
received via. Lino B. Dourado]

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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.