The crowd that visited Rangayana yesterday to watch the weekend play 'Beechi Bullets' returned disappointed as a few extended their support to the striking Rangayana artistes, who continued their protest against the apathy of authorities towards them.

Unlike previous occasions, yesterday the play was not staged inside Bhoomigeetha as the artistes were forced to perform the play 'Beechi Bullets' out on the street in front of Kalamandira. To hit back at the protesting artistes, the Kannada and Culture Department had arranged staging of 'Chora Charanadasa' by Natana troupe led by Mandya Ramesh.

The artistes later staged a dharna on Rangayana road during which Badal Nanjundaswamy painted the entire body of Mime Ramesh with black colour as a symbol of protest.

Meanwhile, Kannada and Culture Commissioner K.R.Ramakrishna, who assumed charge as Rangayana Director on Saturday, appealed to the artistes to withdraw their protest even as theatre artiste S.R.Ramesh condemned the Ranga Samaja for the treatment meted out to the artistes and demanded their immediate resignation saying that the productions of Rangayana will be less valued without the whole team.

Rangayana issue shifts to B’lore

With Deputy Commissioner Dr. Ramegowda urging the government to resolve the issue of transfer of artistes and removal of Dr. B.V.Rajaram as Director citing security reasons and the coming elections, the controversy surrounding City’s Rangayana has now been shifted to Bangalore.

It is reported that Dr. Ramegowda has written letters to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, State Election Commission, Secretary of the Department of Kannada and Culture yesterday in which he is said to have stated that the issue be resolved at the earliest as the district administration will not be able to provide security to the Rangayana premises in the wake of ensuing Assembly elections. He is also said to have expressed dissatisfaction over the transfer and removal of the Director when the election code of conduct was in force.

Meanwhile, District in-Charge Minister S.A.Ramdas, who is in Bangalore, is reported to have discussed the Rangayana issue with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and other senior officials and is learnt to be seeking an early settlement to the problem rocking the repertory.

It is also said that Ramdas is likely to apprise the CM of the possible impact of the controversy on the prospects of the party in the coming elections.

Artistes meet In-charge Director

It is learnt, the artistes of Rangayana yesterday met In-Charge Director Ramakrishna and presented a memorandum urging him to initiate steps to cancel the transfer of artistes to repertories in Dharwad and Shimoga besides makinfg efforts to get the removal of Dr. Rajaram cancelled.

They are also said to have urged Ramakrishna to allow them to stage dramas in the repertory and alleged that officials were acting in a partisan manner in dealing with the problems being faced artistes and the theatre faculty.

Artistes to seek court intervention

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the transferred artistes have decided to move a Court of law seeking cancellation of their transfer orders and also quashing of the order sacking Dr. Rajaram as Director of Rangayana which has virtually brought all activities in the repertory to a grinding halt. It is also reported that artistes have decided to continue their stir till all their demands were met.

The protest being staged by artistes entered its fifth day today as they resumed their protest from 10 am today.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore