The pioneering legacy of renowned theatre artist Habib Tanvir, who considered theatre his home and democratised it by bringing it to the common man, is now the subject of a book.
A playwright, theatre director, poet and actor, Tanvir is famous for his work with Chhattisgarhi tribals and plays like 'Agra Bazar', 'Charandas Chor', 'Mitti Ki Gadi' and 'Bahadur Kalarin'. He died in 2009.
Titled Habib Tanvir: Towards an Inclusive Theatre, the book was launched last evening as a tribute to the grand old man of Indian theatre, who would have turned 89 today.
"It is a specially timed book launch, a tribute to Tanvir saab on his birth anniversary. It is imperative that his legacy should not be just remembered but understood and valued. This book is not a biography but reflects his journey through his work," author Anjum Katyal said during the launch.
The event was also attended by Tanvir's daughter, Nageen, theatre personality M K Raina, theatre critic Javed Malick and writer Mahmood Farooqui, who is translating Tanvir's memoirs in English.
Launching the book, Raina said Tanvir has been a constant inspiration.
"What we discarded as backward and disrespected, he adopted that. He moved towards that culture and honoured it nationally and internationally. Habib saab's work inspired us to return to our villages," Raina said while remembering the theatre veteran.
Nagin, who is a well-known vocalist, recalled her father as someone who was very focused and clear in his vision for inclusive theatre.
"It is very difficult to talk about one's father... He was very obstinate which I think is important. I remember he used to play to empty house. When my mother would point out that he would say, 'It's okay, at least, I am seeing my own production'," said Nageen, who continues to take his legacy forward through 'Naya Theatre', the company he founded in 1959 with wife Moneeka Mishra.
Book on Habib Tanvir's Theatre Work
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