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Commercial Punjabi theatre: Is it who we are?

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During the previous years, commercial theatre has been observed and considered as one of the advancing mediums of entertainment on local level. Commercial theatre is one of those ignored taboos that takes place behind the curtains of our society; merely in the name of entertainment. Glance inside a hidden industry within an industry helps us uncover its ground realities.

Such theatre shows are targeting audience who quench their thirst of entertainment through vulgar dances and comedy.  There are different reasons why commercial theatre reached new heights of vulgarity. One being that the masses are not literate enough to understand the core message of performing arts which automatically turns into moral-less vulgar form of entertainment.

Education and literacy apart, the artists of this industry face real time problems. Most of them are financially not very stable to even feed their children and families and when hunger strikes, means of income are not really cared much about.

The censorship board has a huge responsibility here. Everything that happens, it happens right under their nose.

A minister of newly formed government made fun of female artists in a recent public statement. Later, he apologized and took his statement back when he was bashed and criticized by the very artists. Neutralizing the very ideological tussle between the artists and those who are against it, the government needs to play a vital role and cater the problem by providing platforms for decent entertainment shows, generating revenue for the artists and strictly prohibiting theatre shows that exhibit vulgarity and indecency.

My point of writing the report is to reflect how things considered taboo in our society are popular at the same time.

Professional artists too don’t find any harm in vulgar activities. Ranjha, a stage artist said that: ‘Our artists go through real hard times; our government is not even bothered about the intellectual property rights and royalty of the artists.”

“We are forced to do so and in the end that’s what people enjoy.” “Artists are ignorant, but do realize the essence of ethics and morals but no one realizes the crisis that artists go through” he added. He also said that “no one is forcing nobody to go to theaters and watch the show, those who are against it are free to turn their eye and rest of them are more than welcome.”

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