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Teachers' Day: Remembering Keval Arora, Who Taught Us Value Of Non-Hierarchical Community That Theatre Could Be

Tarun Bhartiya writes a tribute to his teacher Keval Arora on the occasion of Teachers' Day.

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Photo: Tarun Bhartiya
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Someone like Keval Arora is an example of what the neo-liberals (fascists) hate in colleges and universities. Does he have a PhD? I don't know. Has he produced many peer-reviewed essays? I don't know. Did he run around for some highly-paid professorship in some University? No. Or some fellowship? Not Sure. But in this totally unfit degree factory that our colleges and universities have been forced to become, he did what a teacher is supposed to do - he taught us to think, he taught us to question, he taught us to see the world askew. He made The Players, an undergraduate college theatre society whose productions and theatrical innovations could challenge professionalised theatre. Why should college do experimental theatre? I can hear education managers say.

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He taught us the value of a non-hierarchical community that theatre could be.

Who else but Keval would defend us in front of the administration when right-wing prudes wanted us suspended for obscenity - no question asked but belief in the ideas of freedom and curiosity.

He once told me, "Choose a play which you want to experiment with because that may be the last truly independent production you may do." 

That is the freedom college gives you.

They just destroyed the system which could have a person like Keval.

To borrow from Narayan Surve. you are my Vidyapeeth Keval Arora because you are the person whose reading I always like to learn from (basically seek his approval).

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