wiki:Thoppil Bhasi

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Thoppil Bhasi (1925-92)

Malayalam director and prolific scenarist born in Vallikunnam, Alleppey. Often used the pseudonym Soman. Major literary and political figure in the Kerala CPI. Starting out as an activist for the state Congress, he became politicised and joined the CPI after being accused of murder and having to go underground for three years. Became a playwright, later adapting several of his best- known plays as film scripts: Ramu Kariat’s Mudiyanaya Puthran (1961), A. Vincent’s Ashwamedham (1967) and Thulabharam (1968), P. Bhaskaran’s Mooladhanam (1969), and his own Sarvekkalu. His most famous play, and later his directorial début, Ningalenne Communistaki (You Made Me a Communist, 1952) launched the Kerala Peoples’ Arts Club (see IPTA) and became emblematic of the influential literary socialist-realist tradition in post-Independence Kerala. The leading figure of Kerala’s CPI(M) later described the play’s lead character as the ‘worst and most inane [i]n all of Kerala’s radical theatre’ (E.M.S. Namboodiripad, 1974). Bhasi also wrote many scripts for the Malayalam studio magnate, Kunchako, and for Sethumadhavan, Vincent and Bhaskaran. Was a member of the Travancore-Cochin State Legislature (1954) and, later (1956), of the Kerala State Legislature. His autobiography is one of the more detailed chronicles of the Party’s late 40s movement against the erstwhile Travancore State ruled by Dewan C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyer. His son, Ajayan, made a promising début directing the critically acclaimed Perumthachan (1990).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1970: Ningalenne Communistaki; 1971: Sarasayya; 1972: Oru Sundariyude Katha; 1973: Enippadikal; Madhavikutty; 1974: Chakravakam; 1975: Mucheettu Kalikarante Magal; 1976: Sarvekkalu; Ponn; Missi; 1977: Yuddha Kandam; 1978: Ente Neela Akasham; 1979: Mochanam.

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