Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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Indian theater activists see rise in political risks – The Nikkei Asian Review

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My latest story with Laure Siegel on government censorship and the arts in India, focusing on theater on Mumbai and Delhi.

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI — “First they come for the movies. Then for the books. Theater will be the last to be hit, but the clamp-down is coming,” said Anish Victor, a founder of Rafiki, a theater collective from Bangalore, in India’s Karnataka state.

“They constantly test how far they can push their agenda and how much resistance they encounter,” Victor said of the Hindu-based Bharatiya Janata Party government that took power in 2014. “It happens in the courts, on the censorship boards. They push their moralistic values to suppress all public means of expression.”

Victor’s comments reflect growing concerns among many intellectuals in India about the impact of resurgent Hindu nationalism, which is widely thought among artists to have had a chilling effect on artistic values and contemporary theater.

Read the full story in The Nikkei Asian Review.

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