Usham Rojio

Theatre in the Time of Crisis

Was there a time with no crisis at all? Can one appreciate art without a crisis? Can an artiste keep silent in the time of crisis?

Manipur has been living with crisis for many years. AFSPA has been part of our life a long time now. But it has not deterred our creative faculty. Rather artistes have produced more creative arts in this land. Art in a land of crisis can never be the same as art in a more peaceful place. Moreover, Art in a period of global crisis can never be the same as in more stable times. It could be remembered that Khongjom Parva emerged just after the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. One Dhobi Leinou, a balladeer, mourned the tragic loss and praised the great heroes of the War who sacrificed their lives for Manipur. Later, it accentuated into a collective mourning of the people of Manipur. Another important event is that the first recorded Meeteilon/ Meiteilon song in gramophone “jati koubi sakhenbi, leiranglaktagi athoibi” was recorded during the turbulent Japan Lan (2nd World War) in 1944.

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