BY ARUNDHUTI BANERJEE
Mumbai, (IANS) The National School Of Drama (NSD) appointed actor Paresh Rawal as Chairman on Thursday, and the veteran film and theatre actor says he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with the future generations.
“Yes, it is confirmed that I have been appointed Chairman of NSD. I am very happy! I have been doing theatre for the past 48 years. I started doing plays and stage performances since 1972. So, I know the performance part as well as the structural part of it, the training, what it requires to prepare everyone in every aspect of theatre — the performing arts,” Rawal told IANS.
“It will be a great opportunity for me to share my knowledge and experience with the future generations. I am really looking forward to it. I am ready to take responsibility and face the challenges along with it. It is a happy day for me and I want to look forward to my new role. Thank you,” he added.
Rawal, also a politician affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, takes a pragmatic line when asked if art has the power to unite and establish harmony in society given the current socio-cultural and political realities.
“I will tell you something. Whether it is our mythology — our epics like ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ — or our holy books like the ‘Bhagavad Geeta’, the ‘Bible’, the ‘Quran Sharif’, we are told that truth wins and human beings should live in harmony and refrain from violence. But we all know what is happening in reality, right? People still get into violence. So, why are you putting the onus on art? I am slightly skeptical about this. On one hand, we hold peace talks and on the other hand we can all see what is going on in the world!” he replied.
However, he does believe that good art is powerful enough to offer a new perspective. “A good piece of art can provoke your thought; can offer you a new perspective. Whether you want take it home and apply it in life is still your choice.”
Widely respected for his versatility, Rawal was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2014, and he won the National Film Award in 1994 as Best Supporting Actor for “Woh Chokri” and “Sir”. He is also widely known for his outstanding performance in the biopic “Sardar” (1993), where he essayed the titular role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Among his many popular roles are “Naam” (1986), “Shiva” (1990), “Tamanna” (1996), “Aitraaz” (2004), “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!” (2008), “OMG: Oh My God!” (2012), and “Table No. 21” (2013).
He is particularly loved for his comic roles in commercial entertainers including “Andaz Apna Apna” (1994), “Chachi 420” (1997), “Hera Pheri” (2000), “Aankhen” (2002), “Awara Paagal Deewana” (2002), “Hungama” (2003), “Hulchul” (2004), “Garam Masala” (2005), “Phir Hera Pheri” (2006), “Bhagam Bhag” (2006), “Malamaal Weekly” (2006), “Welcome” (2007), and “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?” (2010).
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)