Jeema-Changing Scenario of Indian English Drama

Sawant, Sidharth. “Changing Scenario of Indian English Drama”. Indian Stream Research Journal 4.1 (2011). Web. 9 June 2016.

The article traces the history as well as the contemporary relevance of Indian English drama. The Indian English Drama started its tradition from Sage Bharata’s Natyashastra (in Vedic Period). It was known as “Fifth Veda”. The author asserts that long before Westerners, Indians had started their tradition in drama. Aristotle’s Poetics and Sage Bharata’s Natyashastra were the two important works in the field of theatre.

“The combination called natya is a mixture of rasa, bhavas, vrittis, pravittis, sidhi, svaras, abhinayas, dharmic instruments, song and theatre house”.(Bharat Gupta: 86)

Sage Bharata’s dramatic art was followed by other writers like Kalidasa, Bhasa, Shudraka, Bhavabhuti and so on. Kalidasa was known as Shakespeare of India because of his famous work Shakuntala.

Until 15th century only Sanskrit plays were familiar to everyone which were shown in different states like Tamilnadu, Kerala, UP, Gujarat and Karnataka. Indian drama in English was introduced and came into practice after the arrival of British in India who set up English missionary schools for dual purpose: Preaching Christian religion and creating employees for British government. This essay asserts that drama is the only art which is capable of total involvement with a lasting impact. In the beginning of Indian English drama, the themes were mythological, historical, religious (plays of Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, T.P. Kailasam, Bharati Sarabhai and so on). In the modern era playwrights like Manjula Padmanabhan brought a new change through her play “Harvest”. But the plays of Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani are more popular. In the current scenario plays are being performed all over the world by the creative efforts of present Indian English playwrights.

 

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