Romesh Chander

Born in 1915 in Muzaffargarh in western Punjab, now a part of Pakistan, Shri Romesh Chander took his B.A. degree in 1938 at the Government College, Lahore. A political activist since his student days, he organized a workers’ theatre in Lahore during the second World War, which briefly performed street plays at factory gates. The performances were eventually stopped by the police and Shri Romesh Chander was jailed, compelling him to discontinue his postgraduate studies. Moving to Delhi after the Partition, Shri Romesh Chander gravitated towards journalism, writing on the current theatre for the daily press. In the interest of fair criticism, he gave up his membership of theatre groups at that stage. He was for many years the drama critic of the Times of India, briefly he wrote for the Patriot, and is currently the critic of the Hindu. Through his writings in various periodi- cals, he has consistently upheld originality, innovation, and social awareness in the theatre. He has long been acknowledged as a perceptive and discriminating critic. Children’s theatre has been one of Romesh Chander’s special involvements. He has published a collection of children’s plays in Urdu titled Bhaloo, and has represented India in the first World Children’s Theatre Conference organized by Unesco in 1980. He has also lectured extensively on Indian theatre at home and abroad; and has contributed to semi- nars and conferences on theatre, education, and the mass media. His book Planning for Satellite Broadcasting was published by Unesco in 1977. He has to his credit a film on the eminent artist B. C. Sanyal (1993), and a film on Dara Shikoh’s collection of Mughal paintings in the British Museum, titled Muraqa Nafees (1998). Shri Romesh Chander was honoured for his varied work with the Parishad Samman of Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi, in 1984. Shri Romesh Chander rece- ives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his overall contribu- tion to Indian theatre.