“Tujhe ahe tujpashi”
Atul Parchure and Daji Bhatawadekar
A resolution was passed in the General Body Meeting of the Sahitya Sangha held on 24th October 1943 that the Sahitya Sangha should take lead in organizing the centenary celebration of Marathi theatre in Mumbai. Accordingly, a grand theatre festival was organized by the Sangha, which began on the 15th April 1944.
Centenary celebrations of the Marathi theatre were organized by the central committee for celebrations in November 1943, at Sangli. Sahitya Sangha participated in this festival by successfully producing the play “Sangeet Sharada” written by G.B. Deval. The highlight of this performance was the role of Shreemant played after a long period by late Chintubuva Gurav; as well as the simultaneous appearance of stalwarts like Shri. Balgandharva, Shri. Ganpatrao Bodas, Shri. Keshavrao Date and late Shri. Chintamanrao Kolhatkar.
In 1949, the Sahitya Sangha established its theatre wing for maintaining continuity in its theatrical work.
Representatives of the Sahitya Sangha met the then Home minister of Mumbai state, Shri. Morarji Desai and presented their request for exemption of entertainment tax on plays and for removal of various restrictions on plays and theatres. They discussed the issue thoroughly for about an hour.
The major achievement of the theatre wing in 1954 was the performance of the play “Bhaubandaki” at the National Theatre Festival held at New Delhi.
The various current activities of the theatre wing
- 5th May to 9th May – late Shri. Damu Kenkre memorial drama festival. It is a five-day experimental theatre festival – Rangostsav.
- 25th August – Death anniversary of the founder of the Sahitya Sangha, Dr. A.N. Bhalerao. Many senior theatre artists including actors, singers, directors, stage workers, makeup artists are honoured on this day by giving them “Sahitya Sangha Natya Seva Gaurav Puraskar”.
- 28th October – Sahitya Sangha anniversary day. Though the Sangha was established on 21st July 1935, the actual work commenced on 28th October of that year. So the day is celebrated with various literary and theatrical programmes.
- 12th December – The birthday of Dr. A. N. Bhalerao – the founder of Sahitya Sangha. “Amrit-Kumbh” one-act play competition is held on this day.
- 26th December – Late Dr. Daji Bhatawadekar memorial day. Programmes like scenes from different plays, Natya Sangeet etc. are presented on this day, jointly by “Daji Bhatawadekar Smruti Sewayan” and Sahitya Sangha.