Mokshagati Dance Drama organized by the Management Centre for Human Values, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta on Friday, August 2, 2013 through Touch World, a unique social transformation initiative pioneered by Smt. Alokananda Roy.
The Management Centre for Human Values (MCHV) at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta was created in April, 1992 to initiate training, research and offer consultancy on Human Values and Ethics in Management. The Centre aims to institutionalize training and research in Human Values and Ethics as a paradigm in Management education. Through Post Graduate courses, corporate training programs and by conducting seminars, workshops and conferences at national and international levels, Centre focusses on the Human and ethical side of management. Its main objective is to crystallize and disseminate time-relevant inputs from the classical wisdom literature of India, both ancient and modern, to enrich the principles and practices of modern management.
MCHV offers several courses for management students and the bedrock of all these courses rests on the corpus of carefully sifted and systematically organized wisdom culled from the rich cultural heritage of India. The core of these courses has been built around the most universal and enduring concepts and practices of psychology and philosophy, which had originated and flourished in the Indian sub-continent. These courses make an attempt to integrate Western management skills and systems with a holistic, homegrown cultural ethos and value system.
By uniquely handling human values from a multidisciplinary perspective, MCHV has pioneered a fresh approach towards understanding the relevance of human values in the present context. It’s addressing of deep, stimulating and highly relevant matters like the relevance of human values in today’s world, human values at the organization level and the culture specificity of human values, makes sure that a wholesome view of the impact of human values is presented. Also, through its programs such as Orations Workshops, Cultural Shows and Conferences, MCHV provides an international forum for the exchange of ideas, principles and processes regarding the practice of human values in organizations, institutions and societies.
We all want to be FREE. In fact, one of the basic pillars of modern day democracy is Freedom. It is the birthright of every individual and hence is correctly considered Priceless. But all are not fortunate and being ‘free’ for some is a struggle. They seek freedom not only from the oppressions of the outside world but also from one’s own internal demons. Manacles like drug addiction, alcohol abuse and criminal offences incapacitate a person from taking holistic decisions absolute their acts and destroy the very fabric of their life completely. Hence, to break free from such shackles, a therapeutic balm becomes an essential antidote to the sufferers. And well-known artistic director and choreographer Alokananda Roy has initiated a very unique salutary cultural therapy for many such distressed souls to the guide them on the path of redemption.
Mokshagati, which means independence and attaining a spiritual nirvana, aims at lending that much-needed healing touch to the troubled minds, so that they turn over a new leaf and lead a positive life. Mokhshagati is the story of Mother India – Bharti Amma who teaches the rhythm of life to each Indian. Inspired by the life and work of Emperor Ashoka, Mokshagati seeks to spread the message of forgiveness. The story shows how one can also conquer through love, not just war. The dance drama depicts a story of real life transformation and is enacted by the inmates of the West Bengal Correctional Homes.
The inspiration and moving force behind this venture is Smt. Alokananda Roy, a leading cultural icon of Bengal who has been dedicating her energy and creativity to unusual social projects. Apart from the highly professional production of dance dramas, what is path-breaking is the fact that everyone from wardens and their families, prison authorities and inmates have come together in not just performing the drama but also in designing and constructing, costumes and props for these performances. This has manifested in a bond of a different nature – not of ‘the jailor and the jailed’, but of talent coming together on equal terms.
The recent film Muktadhara inspired by Alokananda Roy’s work is an eye opener and has been appreciated by all for sensitizing society towards the issue of prisoners’ reformation and rehabilitation. She has now given an institutional shape to her work through Touch World which is a non-profit social organization working with the inmates of the Correctional Homes in West Bengal with the sole objective of helping them and their families to restore their lives and integrate them into mainstream society in practical and sustainable ways.
The Dance Drama performed in IIM Calcutta was a huge success and the standing ovation displayed how much the audience felt the connection. It was a graceful drama with an even graceful purpose. The professionalism was evident from the first act itself. From Props to Lighting, everything was Divine. Only one word can sum it up, “Perfection.” Everyone was moved by the performance and the effort which this “First of its kind initiative in the world”, had put forth. But the appeal from IG Ranbir Kumar was even more moving. He said “Confidence is important in Life. This platform provides them with self-dignity and confidence. They have to start their life from scratch and for that social acceptance is required. Hence, make them feel useful to the society and embrace them.” It’s true that inmates have been punished for the evil they had committed in life. But, post a strict phase of penance, they deserve social acceptance and a second chance to atone for their actions and evolve as better human beings.