Folklore Repertory Jatradal premiered a jatra pala Dhiren Operar Alo, an adaption of iconic playwright Abdullah Al Mamun’s Meraj Fokirer Ma, at Rajshahi University on Saturday. Rajshahi Shilpakala Academy cultural officer Asad Sarkar gave the form of the jatra pala while RU theatre department Professor Ataur Rahman Raju directed the pala, which was premiered at Sheikh Russel playground of the university as a part of ‘Bangladesh Jatra Utsav 2022’.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has organized the festival where 100 Jatra Palas across the country would be staged to mark the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence between March 12 and March 30.
Dhiren Operar Alo depicts the victory of non-communal thinking and motherhood beyond fundamentalism. The story line includes two ‘pirs’ in a village who are in conflict. As the pala moves forward, it is seen that the pirs are not truly religious but in the business of religion. They wanted to declare ‘Jihad’ to establish the rule of Allah in the village and conspired against the local hindu people.
Suddenly, it is discovered that Alo Bibi, the mother of Meraj Fakir, the junior pir, was a Hindu lady who is the daughter of an opera owner and was married to a Muslim. This creates a great tension.
Meraj Fakir is questioned whether the young man considers his mother above religion, he is at a loss. Later, being aggravated, he went to kill his mother, but eventually realizes his misinterpretation of the spirit of religion after the verses from the Holy Quran were recited by his father and brothers and those clearly interpret that the significance of a mother is beyond question.
Meanwhile, the senior pir Geda Fakir thinks that this is an opportunity to defame his rival. Ultimately, he immediately declares a fatwa and orders Alo Bibi to be pelted with stones. However, Meraj saved her mother, saying that ‘a mother has no religion, a mother is a mother’.
Alo Bibi also advises his son not to betray his mother, his language, and his country, and not to do wrong in the name of religion, and serve people as it is the real religion of Allah.
Ajmul Huda Mithu, secretary at RU Institutional Quality Assurance Cell acted the role of Meraj Fakir while theatre department students Tosiba Ashrafia and Tuhin Imrul performed the role of Alo Bibi and Geda Fokir.
Rajshahi College teacher Nurjahan Bonna acted the role of Selina while Rajshahi Women College teacher Almas Mollik acted the role of Mojahar Mondol.
Among others, BIAM Model School and College teacher Shafiq Aziz, theatre department students Himangsu, Udan Karmakar, Ibrahim, Abir, Subrata, and Dhiren Limon acted in other roles.
Professor Ataur Rahman Raju said that none of the performers acted in a jatrapala earlier. ‘We have chosen the pala to protect the root of inquisitive culture and highlight it to our young generation. As well as protecting our root culture, the triumph of secularism and motherhood was declared above all throughout the play’, he said.