Moti Lal Kemmu
in 1933 in Srinagar, Shri Moti Lal Kemmu graduated from Jammu and Kashmir
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
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.
has played pioneering role in reviving Kashmir's Folk-Theatre, Baand Pather. His
book ‘Bhandnatyam’ is considered to be a classic on Kashmir's Folk-Theatre.
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.