Sudha Chandran- Harassed for her Artificial leg at various Airports

Sudha Chandran has been an example for many. Despite having her right leg amputated, the popular television actress went on to become one of the highly acclaimed of India. However, living with a Jaipur foot is not easy. And the actress has been facing problems during air travel. And it’s not because of any physical discomfort. Mumbai Mirror has learnt that Sudha had been facing problems with the airport officials. The actress had been harassed by the security officials in Mumbai, Trivandrum and Hyderabad airports.

Talking about her experience, Sudha told Mumbai Mirror, “Twice in the last ten days I have been harassed due to my artificial leg. And this has happened despite me carrying my medical certificate along. The certificate has all the details including how many screws are there on my artificial leg etc.”

Her worst experience was however at the Mumbai airport. “They asked me ridiculous questions. When I told them that I was an actress, they said, ‘Arrey pehchaana nahi aapko. Makeup ke bina bahut different lagte ho.’ It was quite embarrassing.”

Describing the recent Trivandrum incident, Sudha said, “I went to Trivandrum on February 14. The security staff at the airport was extremely rude.”

“They asked me to undress. I was wearing a salwar kameez and couldn’t possibly have undressed. There was also no changing room. They wanted me to remove my artificial leg and show. It was very humiliating. The other people present there came and started watching me,” added the actress.

Hoping that security people will understand the humiliation that a person goes through due to such checks, Sudha added, “I agree that not everyone knows who I am. I am not that famous. However, when I show them all the documents, I just wish they dealt with me respectfully. I wonder what would happen to common people who have issues like these.”


Mumbai Miirror, March 3,2012

A democracy that sleeps

Suprateek Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, March 03, 2012

Exactly two months after alleged Maoist Arun Ferreira was granted bail, post a widely criticised four-year-long incarceration, comes playwright Ramu Ramanthan’s politically-charged play Comrade Kumbhakarna.

The Hindi play, inspired by the 2007 arrests of Ferreira along with Sridhar Srinivasan and  Vernon  Gonzalves, will be staged in Mumbai for the first time this Sunday.

Comrade Kumbhakarna was written in English towards the end of 2010. He wrote the play for Pune-based director Mohit Takalkar’s theatre group, Aasakta, with whom he had worked on Kashmir, Kashmir in 2009. “It [Kashmir, Kashmir] was an incomplete script,” says Ramanathan. “I decided, therefore, to write Comrade Kumbhakarna to compensate for it.”

Oppression is what the play deals with, as it introduces a central character named Kumbhakarna, a member of a theatre troupe that enacts stories from the Ramayana. Born into poverty but high on self-respect, Kumbhakarna proceeds to subvert the mythological figures his plays portray, which leads to him being branded a rebel by the government, and his subsequent arrest.

Commenting on the parallels with Ferreira, who recently spoke out against inhuman police torture methods, Ramanathan says, “Democracy in India is only skin-deep. There are innumerable Arun Ferreiras out there, still languishing in jail. This is what Comrade Kumbhakarna attempts to show.”

The play has been extensively staged all over North India as well as cities such as Bengaluru. It has received rave reviews as well as several standing ovations.

However, according to Ramanathan, this may just be the only show Mumbaikars get to see, given that the play, which has been travelling since last June, may be reaching the end of its run.

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