B'wood starpower supports US playwright's gender justice fight

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 06:32 hrs

American playwright and activist Eve Ensler, currently in India to gather support for her global movement to uproot violence against women, is also celebrating 10 years of her award-winning play The Vagina Monologues in the country.

Bollywood actors Chitrangada Singh, Manasi Scott and Suchitra Pillai will star in the Hindi adaptation of the play, scheduled to be staged in Mumbai on January 6.

"Eve Ensler, has been in India for some time now to launch her One Billion Rising movement to end violence against women. She will be performing a piece in Mumbai along with the three guest actors from Bollywood," Kaizaad Kotwal, co- director of the play, said.

Eve is also scheduled to visit Delhi on January 8 and perform with the cast, which includes Varshaa Agnihotri, Rasika Duggal, Dilnaz Irani, Dolly Thakore and Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, who along with her son Kaizaad Kotwal has been directing the play in the country for the last 10 years.

The play, explores violence and other experiences of women all over the world through a series of monologues premiered in New York on October 3, 1996.

"With this new movement and with our efforts and Eve's visit we intend to put India on the global map as a country that is going to take its role seriously when it comes to once and for all ending violence against women and girls," says Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal.

In the backdrop of the brutal gangrape and death of a 23 -year-old Delhi medical student, the timing of the play is appropriate, says Kaizaad.

"I personally believe that the play has saved lives. Many women who have been victims of genital mutilation have come up and talked about their experiences and wanted to make sure their daughters did not have to go through what they did.

"And these are upper middle class women and not those in slum bastis. I believe the play has a transformational power. Very few plays last for 10 years. The audience has been growing over the years. This a reflection that the society is growing up," says the co-director.

Eve had earlier in Thiruvanthapuram, met women rights groups, activists and artists to drum up support for her One Billion Rising (OBR) global movement. The activist will be launching the new movement on February 14, this year.

"The anti-rape protest movement will serve as a catalyst for the movement not only for India but for an entire world where sexual violence is rampant," Eve had said in Thiruvanthapuram.

She said she eschewed capital punishment for rapists and advocated for education and "transformation".

"I have never believed in capital punishment. I don't think that kind of punishment serves a longer term I think it is about transformation and it is about accountability. I think men need to be held accountable for their actions," she said. MORE

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