wiki:Bijon Bhattacharya

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Bijon Bhattacharya (1917-78)

Actor, playwright, writer, scenarist, composer of stage music, singer and theatre director. Born in Faridpur (now Bangladesh). Teenage years strongly influenced by Gandhi’s Satyagraha agitations. Became a Marxist during WW2. Part of radical literary group, the Agami Chakra, and joined CPI in 1942. Founder member of IPTA for which he wrote Aagun (based on Binoy Ghosh’s novel, Laboratory), Jaban Bandi, and one of modern Indian theatre’s most influential plays, Nabanna. Dealing with the experience of the 1943 famine, the play as first staged by Bhattacharya and Sombhu Mitra (1943) tried to define post- WW2 documentary realism, which had a major impact later in theatre and cinema, in e.g. Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and K.A. Abbas’s Dharti Ke Lal (1946). Acted in Nemai Ghosh’s Chinnamul. Left IPTA in 1948. Scenarist at Filmistan (1948-50). Wrote Jaswantlal’s mammoth hit Nagin (1954), loosely adapting his play Jiyankanya. Returned to Calcutta where he ran his Calcutta Theatres (1950-70) and the Kabach Kundal (1970-7). Did the classic scripts for Nirmal Dey’s Uttam Kumar movies (Basu Parivar, 1952; Sharey Chuattar, 1953). Wrote the story of Binu Das Gupta’s Daktar Babu (1958), dialogues for Asit Sen’s Trishna, in which he also acted, and story/dial. for Piyush Ganguly’s Debigarjan (1984). Featured regularly in Ghatak’s films, e.g. as father in Meghe Dhaka Tara, Ishwar’s friend Harprasad in Subarnarekha, the Sanskrit scholar in Jukti Takko Aar Gappo. His presence and performance in Sen’s Padatik helped set the tone of the film’s political address. His interest in religious motifs, which eventually turned into obscurantism, earned him criticism from former Marxist colleagues.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1950: Tathapi; Chinnamul; 1954: Haan; Shoroshi; 1959: Bari Theke Paliye; 1960: Meghe Dhaka Tara; 1961: Komal Gandhar; 1962: Subarnarekha; 1964: Kashtipathar; 1965:Trishna; 1966: Swapnaniye; 1969: Parineeta; 1971: Nabaraag; Pratham Basanta; Sona Boudi; 1972: Archana; Bohurupee; 1973: Padatik; 1974: Jukti Takko Aar Gappo; 1975: Arjun; 1977: Bhola Moira; Swati; 1978: Dooratwa.

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