Kanika Batra: Theatre and the Right to Food Staples in India

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Dr. Kanika Batra’s lecture on ‘Theatre and Right to Food Staples in India’ gave our series a definitive cultural turn. It lucidly merged the question of cultural representation into the sociological, mediational and economic concerns raised by the previous PRISM lectures about the inclusivity of our growth processes. Evoking the plays of Premchand, the productions of Jana Natya Manch in the 80’s, and the works of Arjun Appadurai and Jayati Ghosh, Dr Batra asked why theatre and other cultural sites no longer consider ‘hunger’ a relevant theme of our times. Have we surpassed our hunger pangs? Where has hunger disappeared? Or has there been a systematic attempt to expel the hungry from our nation?┬áDr. Purabi Panwar chaired the lecture, and the Q&A hour raisedt very important questions and observations.