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Jan 2017

9:49 am UTC

Every month, three main theatres in Pune hold around 100 plays successfully; but most of them are produced in Mumbai. The artistes and professionals from the field have to give a serious thought as to why this is happening.

Pune is considered to be the cultural capital of Maharashtra and has maintained this title with pride. It has some of the most talented people in the field of art, and has several cultural organisations and a variety of new projects and activities.

The audience here has always been supportive of literature, music, dance, theatre, cinema, among other things. Considering the journey of the city towards becoming a metro, maintaining and nurturing this legacy is certainly a huge challenge. However, the greater need of the hour is to get the rural areas of the district, which are lagging behind on this front, on par with their urban counterparts. In fact, even the experts feel that for the field of art and literature to sustain and develop itself, it is very necessary to get participation from rural areas.

If you analyse the most popular art forms today, you will notice that Pune is the most reliable market for theatre and cinema. It has the maximum share of market for Marathi cinema in the State. In the three main theatres of the city, close to 100 shows are being run successfully every month. However, most of these successful films and plays are produced in Mumbai to which the city professionals need to give a serious thought. Fortunately, there is no dearth of new talent or skill in the city. Parallel theatre, the newly-discovered medium of short films and a network of educational institutions, which can be the hubs for fresh healthy creativity, can help Pune’s entertainment industry in the long run.

In both these fields, which work on direct cash payment, producers are facing a big problem of lack of effective and profitable distribution. City-based producers are struggling to draw audience towards their films and plays, while in the rural areas, audiences don’t have facilities to watch them. It’s not difficult to establish a system for the same in Pune city, Pimpri-Chinchwad and other parts of the district. However, the infrastructure facilities required for the same are lacking. Except for Baramati, no other taluka in Pune district has any theatres or cinema halls.

For a city, which is well known to be the cultural capital of the State, the sad condition in the rural areas is a hurdle for the overall development of the field. Even Pimpri-Chichwad is not at par. In Talegaon Dabhade, organisations like Kalapini are trying to promote art and culture. Cultural establishments in other parts of the district should also voluntarily take up such activities. Some such organisations in Baramati, Indapur, Daund, etc, are already trying to keep art and culture alive in their respective areas through a variety of activities and projects. However, these organisations can’t function efficiently without local support. For instance, preserving the ‘Tamasha’ art form of Naranyangaon isn’t just the responsibility of the district, but of the State as well.

In this era of globalisation, it is right for the Marathi entertainment industry to aspire to gain success at national as well as international level. However, even before that, it is necessary to make one’s roots stronger. Along with proving and preserving itself, the entertainment industry, in the process, will also help in the cultural development of the area.

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