Bal Krishna Sama remembered on 121st birth anniversary

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Feb. 8Sama Centre, officially the Kathmandu University Bal Krishna Sama Educational Guthi, organised a programme to celebrate the 121st birth anniversary of the eponymous playwright  and discuss his contributions to Nepali literature on Tuesday.

At the event, held at late Sama’s Gyaneshwor home, historian Professor Dinesh Raj Pant, poet and critic Professor Dr. Abhi Subedi, Actor Madan Das Shrestha and other academic and literary personalities shed light on various aspects of the life of dramatist Bal Krishna Sama.

Pant talked about life of Sama, often celebrated as the Shakespeare of Nepal, led under the Rana regime. 

Subedi called Sama a pioneer of modern Nepali drama who took theatre to the normal people. 

Shrestha said that his presence made the field of drama prestigious and inspired people like him to join the sector.

Faculty and staff members of Kathmandu University (KU), including Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Bhola Thapa, were present on the occasion. Thapa stressed the need for preserving the house Sama was born in and said that his university would do right by the building known as Samar Nikunja.

In 2019, Sama’s relative Delight Singh, who is the president of the Bal Krishna Sama Educational Guthi, handed over the home where the icon revered as the crest-jewel of Nepali plays (Natya Siromani) lived and breathed to the University. 

Since then, KU has been working to rebuild the structure damaged by the 2015 earthquake and develop it into a gallery to showcase his legacy.

Born in 1903 as Balkrishna Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, Sama dropped the ‘Jung Bahadur Rana’ after the establishment of democracy in 1950 to reject the formerly ruling Rana class and the atrocities they committed. He adopted the moniker Sama, meaning equal, to champion equality.

Sama passed away in 1981. But he left immortal plays like Mukunda Indira, Prahlad, Prem Pinda and Oo Mareki Chhaina, among others, which are still staged.

Meanwhile, the book ‘Lekhnath Poudyal Ra Tarun Tapasi’ penned by Dr. Ram Chandra Paudel, Associate Professor at KU, was also launched at the ceremony.

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