(Last Updated on : 28/04/2012)
Mayanglambam Biramangol, the founder of Aryan theatre in the Indian state of Manipur
, was born in the year of 1908. He was a unique product of the dichotomy between Sanskritic acculturation and the indigenous Meitei religion, and also a sympathizer of the Communist Party after World War II. The leading figure in post-War Manipuri theatre, he spent all his earnings from contract work during the War in the cause of theatre, without financial returns to his family. He wrote more than thirty plays after studying ancient Manipuri texts, and developed the issue of the contention or struggle between Hinduism and Meitei faith.
Sanamahi kolu yeikhaiba i.e. "Breaking Sanamahi's Iron Idol" in 1965, renamed Chingu Khongnangthaba, became a major anti-Hindu historical project that fanned the movement for the displacement of Hinduism in the 1970s. It described the historical experiences of the people during the reign of Pamheiba or Garibniwaz. At that time a Hindu missionary from Sylhet in West Bengal
, Shantidas Goswami, instigated the king to introduce the Ramandi cult as state religion. It has also described as how the native sage-intellectual Khongnangthaba fought for the dignity of the autochthons. It detailed the intrigues at court, the open debates on religion and ethics, the Hindus condescending attitudes, the burning of Meitei sacred literature, the breaking of Sanamahi's statue, the affliction of the Ramandi guru, and re-establishment of the native deity's power and grace. The style, however, was simple melodrama with the discourses between the religions over dramatized. Biramangol's other major productions on the Meitei theme include Gomati, Nara Singh, Tikendrajit, and Pamheiba.
He modernized the stage and acting techniques of Aryan Theatre. As a conservative director, he did little to intervene during rehearsals. His removal of wings from the conventional proscenium in favour of the box set revolutionized Manipuri theatre in the late 1960s. Absurdist drama, which led experimental Manipuri theatre
in the 1970s, received his support. He was an actor of great resources and internal strength. He created innovative constructs of mythical and legendary personalities through sheer strength of will, with economy in movement and speech. He was an administrator and worker of great tenacity, responsible with other personalities for the formation of the Theatre Centre, Imphal, in 1955. His play Sija-laioibi i.e. 'Princess-Deity' was staged in 1967 at New Delhi
. This person died in the year of 1979.