National Book Foundation’s (NBF’s) latest publication “Balochistan Main Stage Dramay ki Riwayat” (Tradition of Stage Drama in Balochistan) aims to discover the tradition of stage drama in the province.
These days, when the tradition of stage drama is on the decline in the country, the book is like a whiff of fresh air. The book is written by eminent seasoned stage artist, writer and former Director of Civil Defence Quetta Fazlur Rehman Qazi who was the founding general secretary of Quetta Art & Literary Society.
He has been associated with drama for the last forty years. According to Fazlur Rehman Qazi, enactment of ancient folklore through dialogue and body movement began in Balochistan in the early 15th century.
The writer has made extensive research bringing to the light Balochistan’s artists of the world of stage. Some to them later shot to fame and made their presence felt at the national level. Ayub Khosa and Mah Noor Baloch are two such noted artists.
In the 107-page pictorial book the writer fondly remembers names like Haroon Sheikh, Latif, Anwar Chaudhry, Ishrat Ali Khan, Ali Muhammad Hazara, Afzal Chaudhry Saleem Dar and others who left lasting imprints on the history and evolution of the stage drama in Balochistan. According to the writer, without their contribution it was not possible for the art of the stage drama to grow in the remote province of the country.
Managing Director National Book Foundation Mazharul Islam who himself is an acclaimed writer of the country said the book will prove quite useful for students and researchers of stage drama in Balochistan. It will also serve to revive stage drama in that remote province of the country. Drama has always been a tool to eradicate extremism from the country and in the prevailing scenario of extremism and militancy, he said, adding that the book will inspire the coming generations of artists belonging to Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2011.