EVENTS » PERFORMING ARTS
PERFORMING ARTS CELL
As a part of the belated Renaissance Movement in Bengal, Late Babu Joykrishna Mukherjee, the leading Humanist and Reformist of the then Bengal, established Uttarpara College, in the penultimate decade (20th June, 1887) of the nineteenth century. However, the legacy of the Enlightenment programme was inherited by the son and heir of Late Babu Joykrishna Mukherjee, Raja Peary Mohan Mukherjee Incidentally, Raja Peary Mohan Mukherjee was the first M.A. from Calcutta University, and it was he who emerged on the scenario as a savior, benefactor and a patron.
Raja Peary Mohan provided at that cataclysmal situation of the College a substantial financial aid and helped the College in its attempt of resurrection from the abysmal depth of decay and destruction by properly constituting a Governing Body in 1907. The demise of this great patron-benefactor of the College in 1923, however, did not lead the College to an altogether cul de sac, for his son Kumar Bhupendra Nath Mukherjee, too, inherited the Renaissance Idealism and Reformative zeal of his grand father and his father. He, too, like his father contributed a substantial financial assistance for the maintenance and survival of the College. In 1953, the College was renamed as Raja Peary Mohan College.
Since the date of its foundation, the College had been slowly but surely moving towards its predestined shape, and in course of time, it has transcended its local boundary and grown into a very large educational institution catering not only to the academic requirements of boys and girls coming from its vast hinterland but also to the talents in cultural activities and specially in Performing Art. It has now developed itself as a premier center of education and as one of the biggest Colleges in West Bengal under the University of Calcutta. In 1955, the College was upgraded to a Degree College with affiliation in degrees of Arts and Science. The College, in the mean time, had celebrated the Centenary of the College in 1987. The beautification of the College, however, came about, as an Auditorium comprising three hundred and twenty seats, and all modern amenities, was built – an asset indeed of the College that has been witnessing, since its inauguration on 15 January 2002, so many cultural functions, seminars, debates, performed and organized by the students and the staff. This auditorium is used by Social organization, Schools, Library Organization, Cine Club etc. as a platform to carry out various activities related to the overall cultural upliftment of the community.The College is centrally located with the famous Kali Temple of Dakshineswar on the other bank of the gliding Hooghly which provides the solemnity and serenity necessary for an educational institution. The G.T.Road, and the Railway Routes, on the other side of the College have made the institute easily accessible to the students of Kolkata, Hooghly, Howrah and North 24 Paraganas. The College is situated not only near the Howrah-Bandel, Howrah-Tarakeswar, Howrah-Burdwan and Sealdah-Burdwan Railways, but also at the meeting point of two Districts, Howrah and Hooghly. Thus, the location of the institute is an ideal one.
Raja Peary Mohan College was established to cater to the educational needs of the elite and radical classes of rural Bengal. It started off with a humble note and today after nearly 120 years it is one of the premiere Institutions of West Bengal with an Alumni Register of eminent personalities in all walks of life. The Institution imparts quality education to students with varied socio-economic backgrounds.
In 2005 the college has been accredited by NAAC, under UGC and is graded B++. The visiting peer team of the NAAC highly appraised the talents of the students in the field of performing Art, after seeing a programme of the students during their two days visit. They have recommended in their report to open a Performing Art Cell to encourage and uplift the talents in the field of Performing Art. After the formation of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), as is the process after NAAC accreditation, the college has established a Performing Art Cell under IQAC in 2007. The cell began its journey by participating in the weeklong cultural programme to commemorate the Sesquicentennial celebration of Calcutta University in the 2nd half of January 2007. The cell also organized a three days work shop on "Theatre Performance" from 20th to 23rd December 2007. About 50 students appeared for the screening tests from different colleges of West Bengal, among which 36 were selected . Famous theatre personality Sri Arun Mukhopadhay inaugurated the workshop. The Secretary of West Bengal Natya Academy was also present and graced the occasion. After the three day workshop a certificate of participation was awarded to the participants.
Cultural upliftment: This College have always encouraged cultural activities among students. A few examples may be cited :
- Freshers’ Welcome :
At the beginning of the Academic Session, after admissions are complete, the Students’ Union Organise Freshers’ Welcome for the newly admitted students. The Principal and some members of the Staff apprise the students regarding the College, its ambience and aims. This is followed by Cultural Programme organised by the students.
- College Drama Group:
- From 1957 plays were regularly staged during the annual festival of the College. It is said that the students of the College were taught the techniques of acting by the famous Indian theatre personality Sisir Kumar Bhadhuri (who was once a College teacher in English) who came to the college regularly to direct the students of the College for a presentation of Tagore’s Post Office.(Theatre Prayag, p-73, Vol. 3, No.1, October, 2004).
- We would like to specially emphasize the role of the students of this College in taking active participation in cultural activities in the form of theatre, dance-drama, singing competitions etc. The Students’ Theatre Group was ranked first in "All Bengal Inter–College Drama Competition" under the leadership of Dr Kuntal Mukhopadhyay, a prominent theatre personality and a faculty member of the college, organized by Sudrak and sponsored by Maharaja Manindra College, Kolkata.
- The Students’ Union actively participate in socio-cultural upliftment through production of dramas which are staged in various villages and townships of the districts of West Bengal. Such dramas depict the Social evils, the atrocities against women and the downtrodden.
- Presently the ex-students of the college has formed a theatre group "Saronik" which performs regular shows in different districts of the state and has also received some recognitions from theatre loving persons of Bengal.
- The Shakespeare Society of India has staged excerpts from the plays of Shakespeare in which the students of English Honours have actively participated.
- Student's Festival:
A two-day programme is held in the month of January every year. The major programmes are :
- Prize Distribution Ceremony : Prizes are distributed among successful candidates of various University Examination who have topped among the College students, and to winners of Singing, Recitation, Debate, Extempore Speech, Quiz Competitions.
- Inter-Institutional Cultural Competition: Academic Institution in and around the College are invited to participate in a cultural competition. Every year a significant number of schools take part in this programme. Such initiatives are taken to spread the message of peace, equality in diversity and a drug-free world among the future of the Nation.
The students of the Departments of Bengali, Philosophy, English, Physiology, Political Science, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, History, Mathematics, Zoology, Botany, Commerce have organised function to felicitate teachers on Teachers’ Day.