Budhan Theatre – for people who live with death

It’s not a performance, it’s a life on stage

Who Are Chharas?

Historically, Chharas comprised a group of nomadic people in India. When the British attempted to maintain the colonial regime in India, they used theories of crime being hereditary. In 1871 the CTA, Criminal Tribes Act, made the enforcement of restriction and harsh punishment for members of these now doomed criminal tribes legal. This act still remains in practice today, revised in 1959 into the Habitual Offenders Act that replaced the CTA. Members of these groups, known as Denotified Tribes (DNTs) will have difficulties receiving jobs or education, often forcing them into pursuing the very criminality they are accused of being born into.  The formerly nomadic Chharas are known by other names throughout the country, including Sansis, Kanjar, Kanjarbhat, and Adodiyas.

Born Actors, not Criminals

While evidence that people can be born criminals is non-existent, there is evidence that other abilities and talents are innate in Chhara people. They are widely known for their street performances and they are recognized for excelling in acting, singing and dancing. They use only their bodies as an creative outlet, since they are poor due to postcolonial oppression.

Budhan theatre

Bhudan Theatre do not perform, they put their life on stage. The theatre content sheds some light on the disturbing fact that people are legally born into criminality.  It is by acting the Chhara people can reach out to the world.

Common people, government officials and the world may finally recognize the human needs of the Chhara community.

All the information in this article is from budhantheatre.org where you can also read more about the Chharas.

Featured image from Live Mint E-Paper .

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