Acom­plex Duet

India Today - - MAIL - by S. Saadiq

Indira Parthasarthi’s new play Au­rangzeb mounted the stage for the first time early in Novem­ber, not in the orig­i­nal Tamil but in Suren­dra Gu­lati’s Hin­dus­tani trans­la­tion. The per­form­ing group was Agre­dot, the di­rec­tor M.K. Raina and the venue the Fine Arts The­atre, New Delhi. An English ver­sion of the play ap­peared in the er­ratic the­atre mag­a­zine En­act in Au­gust 1974. The drama is wo­ven around a se­ries of con­fronta­tions both per­sonal and ide­o­log­i­cal, be­tween Dara Shikoh and Au­rangzeb, Shah­je­han and Au­rangzeb, Ja­ha­nara and Rosha­nara. The play­wright knows his his­tory well and the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the var­i­ous con­flicts and hap­pen­ings is faith­fully wrought. Bas­ing him­self on the premise of pa­ter­nal dis­crim­i­na­tion in their child­hood, Parthasarthi por­trays the favoured Dara as awarm and hu­mane philoso­pher, a scholar with dreams of a sec­u­lar Hin­dus­tani and ne­glected Au­rangzeb as the cal­cu­lat­ing re­li­gious fa­natic whose one am­bi­tion is to cre­ate “one Hin­dus­tan with one lan­guage and one re­li­gion”. The open­ing con­ver­sa­tion be­tween two soldiers not only de­scribes the ri­val po­si­tions but also in­di­cates the in­evitable end.


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