Ram Gopal Bajaj

Born on 1 July 1940 in Darbhanga, Bihar, Shri Ram Gopal Bajaj took his Bachelor's degree from Bihar University in 1960. While he was in the final year of his M.A. in Hindi literature, he joined the National School of Drama, Delhi, specializing in acting (1962-65). Apart from being a renowned actor and director, he has worked in many capacities during his more than five decades association with theatre. Beginning as a Drama teacher in Modern School, New Delhi (1969-73), he was appointed Reader in the Department of Indian Theatre, Punjab University, Chandigarh, 1973. He was the Professor and Head of the Department of Dramatic Arts, Punjabi University, Patiala (Punjab) from 1979-80. He was the chief of the NSD Repertory Company between 1988-94. Shri Bajaj was also the Director of the National School of Drama during 1995-2001. Besides, he was on the Dr Radhakrishnan professorial chair at the Central University of Hyderabad from July 2002 to May 2003. A former visiting faculty in the theatre department of S.N. School in the University of Hyderabad (2008-2010), Shri Bajaj is currently active as an actor, director and teacher in the field of theatre, films and television. Shri Ram Gopal Bajaj was one of the founder-members of Dishantar, a group of professional theatre artists established in 1967. He has also established Shabdaakar theatre group in 2008. His performances in Suno Janmejaya, Hayavadan, Begam ka Takia, Ghasiram Kotwal, Andha Yug, Tughlaq, and King Lear were highly acclaimed. Later, he established himself as a director with the productions of Ajatghar, Aashad ka ek Din, Surya ki Antim Kiran se Surya ki Pahli Kiran Tak, Qaid-e- Hayat, Andha Yug (in Hindi, Telugu, Assamese), Skandagupta, Muktadhara (in Punjabi), Seagull, Bhookh Aag Hai, Talghar, Jal Damaru Baje, and Layla Majnun to name a few. He has translated and adapted several plays, and is also known for his recitation of poetry. Shri Bajaj has to his credit the conception and organization of the first ever Bharat Rang Mahotsav (International Theatre Festival by NSD) in 1999. He is also credited with starting a National Theatre Festival for Children, known as Jashn-e-Bachpan and Bal Sangam held in 1998 and 2000 respectively. For his services to the field of theatre, Shri Ram Gopal Bajaj has been honoured with the Padma Shri (2003); the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1996); the National Kalidas Samman (2017-18); the Bihar Kala Puraskar (2015); the Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman (1990, 1992); and the Hindi Academy Natak Samman (2017). Shri Ram Gopal Bajaj is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian theatre.