The Theatre of Veenapani Chawla: Theory Practice Performance is a timely book in more ways than one. It is tragically timely in that it appeared just a few months before Veenapani’s sudden death shocked us all in late 2014. Veenapani Chawla’s practice has, it seems to me, remained almost neglected.
Wildlife, forests and natural resources in India have never before been under such a concerted threat of obliteration, as they are now, under a regime that is as keen on overexploiting them as they are cavalier towards the intrinsic value of the environment to human survival.
Science and technology are often understood as socially disembodied and outside the cultural domain of values, although this view has been criticized by scholars working in the field of Science, Technology and Society (STS) Studies since the 1970s, and the scholarly endeavours resonated well with the civil society critique of the epistemology of modern science and the moral universe S&T was embedded in.
Thanks, perhaps to the Himalayas, India has largely had a westwards ori-entation. Or to be a bit more accurate, the West has always looked towards India, from the time of Alexander the Great. Neither statement is fully true but it does tell us how India’s links with the East have never been quite as deep as with the region to the West of India. Historically the only link that India had with the East was through Buddhism. In a large measure, conquest has been the reason for this orientation.
The visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan in April 2015 saw repeated references to some clichéd phrases describing Sino-Pak relationship, like ‘all weather friendship’. Some new linguistic coinage emerged, such as, ‘visiting brother’s home’ and, ‘security for one as stability for the other’.