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M.L. KEMMU
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Born in 1933 in Srinagar, Shri Moti Lal Kemmu graduated from Jammu and Kahmir University in 1953. He received specialized training in Drama and theatre from Prof. C.C. Mehta at Baroda University from 1961 to 1964 under a Govt. of India scholarship. Later he served in different capacities, in the cultural establishment of Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir from 1964 to 1991, during which period he also wrote, acted and directed plays in Kashmiri. He emerged as an important Kashmiri writer with his plays: Teen Asangati Aikanki (1968), Lal Drayas Lol Re (1972), Trunove (1970), Tshai (1973), Natak Truche (1980), Tota Tol Aina (1985). Several of his plays were also translated and produced in Hindi.

He was actively involved in preserving the age-old, dying folk theatre of Kashmir, by reorganising Bhand artists into regular groups, now working in the valley under his guidance and support. He is the founder of many theatre groups such as Abhinava Bharati, Kashmir Bhagat Theatre, Shahwali Lika Rang, Luka Theatre Bombay, National Bhand Theatre, Wathora etc.

Shri Kemmu has also been writing well researched articles on folk theatre, music, dance and culture of Kashmir in Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and English, which have been published in prestigious journals. Shri Sidharth Kak's documentary film The Bhands of Kashmir was produced under Shri Kemmu's expert guidance.

Shri Kemmu is presently a Senior Fellow (Literature) of Govt. of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, devoting his time to writing of plays and a book on folk theatre of Kashmir. He has also organised a number of actor's and playwrights' workshops in Kashmir and made significant contribution to the promotion and dissemination of Kashmiri arts and culture. In recognition of his service to Kashmiri arts and literature, Shri Kemmu has been honoured with several awards by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Rashtra Bhasa Prachar Samiti etc. He received the Sahitya Akademi award in 1982 for his contribution to Kashmiri literature as a playwright. 

 


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