Noted playwright, actor and theatre personality Satyadev Dubey passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai today following several months of illness.
75-year-old Dubey slipped into coma in September this year after he suffered an epilepsy attack. His brain had sustained profound damage both in the right and the left hemispheres following the attack.
A Padma Bhushan awardee, Satyadev Dubey was born in Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh in 1936. He moved to Mumbai with an aim to become a cricketer, but ended up joining the Theatre Unit, a theatre group run by Ebrahim Alkazi.
He was the first Indian director who discovered Dharamveer Bharti\\\’s Andha Yug – a verse play in Hindi. This heralded a new epoch in the history of Indian theatre.
In his long career, he produced and directed plays of all the prominent playwrights: Girish Karnad (Yayati, Hayavadana), Badal Sarkar (Evam Indrajit, Pagla Ghoda), Chandrashekhara Kambara (Aur Tota Bola -Jokumaraswamy in original Kannada), Mohan Rakesh (Aadhe Adhure), Vijay Tendulkar (Gidhade, Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe).
He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1971. Dubey also won the National Film award for best screenplay for the Shyam Benegal\\\’s Bhumika in 1978.
He penned dialogues for several films, including Ankur, Nishant, Kalyug, Aakrosh, Vijeta and Mandi. Film Junoon even got him the Filmfare Best Dialogue award in 1980.
The Indian government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2011.
This theatre stalwart has two short films to his credit-Aparichay ke Vindhachal(1965) and Tongue In Cheek (1968).
Dubey also directed a Marathi feature film, Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe in 1971, that was based on Vijay Tendulkar\\\’s play.
Describing him as a doyen of Indian theatre, friends and collegues remember him as vibrant, talented, outspoken and revolutionary in approach.
Condoling his death, Shabana Azmi posted on her twitter page- it has been a terrible year for artists..he was a giant of theatre.
Theatre director Amal Allana said he was one of the founders of contemporary Indian theatre, who always found a reason to not to agree, to dissent.
Another theatre director Bhanu Bharti remebered him as a controversial figure. “You would dislike him in the beginning, and get excited by what he said. And in the end, you would end up linking him despite all his venom.,” he added.
His presence and contributions will be greatly missed in the theatre fraternity.