An open-discussion programme about the popular play ‘Crutch-er Colonel’, the most acclaimed production of BotTala theatre, was held on 1st June, at Mahila Samaity Auditorium, Dhaka. Renowned playwrights, directors, actors of different theatre troupes and audiences participated in the discussion. Among others, late Colonel Abu Taher’s wife Lutfa Taher, brother professor Anwar Hossain, cultural activist Lubna Marium, singer Kafil Ahmed, actor Ziaul Hasan Kislu and researcher Tanvir Ahsan were present. Eminent Indian actor Ashish Vidyarthi also attended the programme.
The play ‘Crutch er Coloner’ (an adaptation from eminent writer Shahaduzzaman’s novel in the same title), dramatized jointly by Amina Luthfa and Soummo Sarker, and directed by Mohammad Ali Haider, has already completed its 31st show in Bangladesh and India.The play is based on the life of freedom fighter and leftist politician Colonel Taher who was one of the masterminds of the coup of November 07, 1975 and was executed in 1976. Colonel Taher, who was a high-achieving officer of the Pakistan army, joined the Liberation War and was appointed the Sector Commander for Sector 11. He lost his leg from a mine blast during a debriefing. After liberation war, he joined Bangladesh Army and later got himself involved with Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal. He had a direct role in the coup that resulted in General Ziaur Rahman coming to power. After taking charge, Ziaur Rahman tried him in a military tribunal for high treason and murder inside the Dhaka Central Jail and was executed on July 21, 1976. After more than three and a half decades, High Court declared in 2011 that the verdict of the military tribunal and the execution were illegal.
The performance focused on the history and historical characters. In a sense it can be considered as a historical play, though the production takes different perspectives into account.
After the discussion, BotTala artistes Samina Luthfa, Rokasana Parvin Ruma and Sheuty Shagufta staged an improvised play named ‘Ar Noy Chup Thaka’, which depicts the stories of women making a stand against sexual harassment.