Remembering Safdar Hashmi (12 April 1954 – 2 January 1989)
Safdar Hashmi, one of the founders of Jana Natya Manch (JANAM), was murdered twenty-eight years ago, on January 1, 1989. The troupe were performing their street play Halla Bol, which Safdar wrote, when a group of goons from the local Congress party unit attacked them. Ram Bahadur, a worker, was also killed in the attack. The next day JANAM returned to the same spot to complete their performance. Since then, JANAM has come back to Jhandapur on the first of every year with a new play.
On January 1, 2017, we were at the Dr. Ambedkar Park in Jhandapur to talk to members of JANAM and those who've been coming to see their plays every year. Watch the video here:
In 2016, JANAM along with the Freedom Theatre from Jenin, Palestine, performed their joint production Hamesha Samidha (Forever Steadfast), also in Jhandapur. Here, from our archives, is a photo essay on that performance:
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