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Play on Saddams life runs houseful in Kerala
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Play on Saddams life runs houseful in Kerala

A play on Iraq President Saddam Hussein, depicting him as a crusader against colonialism, opened to packed houses here this past week.

By K.S.Ashik

Balrampur (Kerala), May 28 : A play on Iraq President Saddam Hussein, depicting him as a crusader against colonialism, opened to packed houses here this past week.

Organised by Mudra, a theatre group affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the play titled "Saddam" highlights the life of the Iraq's dictator who was awarded death sentence by hanging.

According to the writer and director Dinesh Pallath, Saddam was a hero who fought against mighty imperialism of the West.

"A leader like Saddam Hussein has emerged as a leader of third world countries and he fought against the colonialist countries, which is why we chose this subject. The fight against the colonialist countries, the stand taken by Saddam and the fight against America leads to this drama," Pallath said.

The final scene of the play shows the execution of the former Iraqi president, with the message -- "the fight against colonialism will not end."

Saddam was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, December 30, 2006, despite his wish to be shot (which he felt would be more dignified)

Well-known theatre actor Sudarshan said that acting as Saddam Hussein in the play was a big challenge.

"I am very happy to perform the role, I have great pleasure to do this, for the last 17 years I am in the field, it is one of biggest challenges for me, and as an actor I am happy to act like Saddam Hussein," Sudarshan said.

Saddam's execution had sparked protests in various parts of India.

"Nowadays, the main problem in the world is colonialism the attack against humankind by the colonialist forces is at its peak now. Even the media is under American control. The play conveys a message against colonialism," said Pavithran, a member of the audiences at the premier show.

The play held at Balaramapuram near Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, will be shown in other towns and cities in the following days.

Theatre troupes travel around rural towns and cities and a single show often fetches 50,000 to 70,000 rupees (1,000 to 1,200 dollars).

With cable television and Bollywood films posing a big threat to the existence of traditional art form, artists related to traditional art forms are now taking up contemporary issues.

Be it 2004 Asian tsunami or the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers in the United States, real life incidents are being used by these artists to revive olden days of traditional art forms.


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