Best known for “Bedu Pako, Bara Masa” this new book unearths the intriguing story and radical roots of Mohan Upreti, one of Uttarakhand’s greatest cultural artists. Who knew that Bedu Pako was first performed in front of Khrushchev?
By Jaya Ramanathan
The Hindu, November 21, 2006
MOHAN UPRETI â€” The Man and His Art: Diwan Singh Bajeli; Pub.by National School of Drama, Bhahawalpur House, Bhagwandas Road, New Delhi-110001. Rs. 300.
It was the decade before Independence â€” the most poignant years in recent Indian history. While the majority of the freedom fighters threw themselves behind Gandhiji and his peaceful resistance, there was a minor group of radicals that saw Subhash Chandra Bose as its messiah and there was a third group that subscribed wholeheartedly to the Communist doctrine â€” Mohan Upreti belonged to this Marxist group. Upreti’s birthplace (1928), Almora, Uttarakhand, had a very rich folk tradition that was relatively untouched by centuries of British rule, because the colonialists did not attempt to develop this hilly terrain as they did Shimla and Nainital. The place considered itself blessed by the visits of Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore and of course found itself on the Indian cultural map after Uday Shankar started his famous school of dance here in 1937. [more]