American playwright and activist Eve Ensler, currently in India to gather
support for her global movement to uproot violence against women, is also
celebrating 10 years of her award-winning play The Vagina Monologues in
Bollywood actors Chitrangada Singh, Manasi Scott and Suchitra Pillai will star
in the hindi adaptation of the play, scheduled to be staged in Mumbai on January
"Eve Ensler, has been in India for some time now to launch her One Billion
Rising movement to end violence against women. She will be performing a piece in
Mumbai along with the three guest actors from Bollywood," Kaizaad Kotwal, co-
director of the play, told PTI.
Eve is also scheduled to visit Delhi on January 8 and perform with the cast,
which includes Varshaa Agnihotri, Rasika Duggal, Dilnaz Irani, Dolly Thakore and
Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, who along with her son Kaizaad Kotwal has been directing
the play in the country for the last 10 years.
The play, explores violence and other experiences of women all over the world
through a series of monologues premiered in New York on October 3, 1996.
"With this new movement and with our efforts and Eve's visit we intend to put
India on the global map as a country that is going to take its role seriously
when it comes to once and for all ending violence against women and girls," says
Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal.
In the backdrop of the brutal gangrape and death of a 23 -year-old Delhi medical
student, the timing of the play is appropriate, says Kaizaad.
"I personally believe that the play has saved lives. Many women who have been
victims of genital mutilation have come up and talked about their experiences
and wanted to make sure their daughters did not have to go through what they
"And these are upper middle class women and not those in slum bastis. I believe
the play has a transformational power. Very few plays last for 10 years. The
audience has been growing over the years. This a reflection that the society is
growing up," says the co-director.
Eve had earlier in Thiruvanthapuram, met women rights groups, activists and
artists to drum up support for her One Billion Rising (OBR) global movement. The
activist will be launching the new movement on February 14, this year.
"The anti-rape protest movement will serve as a catalyst for the movement not
only for India but for an entire world where sexual violence is rampant," Eve
had said in Thiruvanthapuram.
She said she eschewed capital punishment for rapists and advocated for education
"I have never believed in capital punishment. I don't think that kind of
punishment serves a longer term I think it is about transformation and it is
about accountability. I think men need to be held accountable for their
actions," she said.
Eve, who had reportedly been physically and sexually abused by her father when
she was a child said, "I also think education and transformation is the key to
the future, how do we help man who have raped who have incested and, how to stop
doing that and how to teach their sons to do the same."
The 59-year-old playwright and activist had earlier tweeted "Sexual violence not
a cultural phenomenon in India - one billion women on the planet have been
violated around the world."
The OBR campaign, launched early in the year 2012 began as a call to action
based on the UN statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or
raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up
to more than one billion women and girls.
On February 14, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities across the world will
plan to get together to express their outrage, "strike, dance, and rise" in
defiance of injustices women suffer and demand an end to violence against women.
"The launch of the OBR is important. OBR is focusiing on the use of art to
create activism," says Kaizaad.
Meanwhile, Eve's play The Vagina Monologues, translated into hindi by Ritu
Bhatia and Jaydeep Sarkar is also set to travel to Lucknow.
"We did not get permission from authorities in Thiruvananthapuram to stage the
play but we will be showing in Lucknow on January 14 and towards the end of
January will stage the English version in Kochi. Eve will not be present for
both of them because she would be going to Bangladesh and other countries," said
Kaizaad Kotwal, the play's co-director.
The original stories of the play have been adapted to an Indian context.
"The original script we are not allowed to change, but we have done contextual
changes to adapt to the Indian situation. For example the Jewish woman in the
original script has been made into a Parsi," says Kotwal.
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