Frequently wounded by Shiv Sena during his lifetime, Vijay Tendulkar, one of India’s leading modern drama writers, now faces an illegal ban in Madhya Pradesh after his death.
The annual IPTA (Indian People’s Theater Association) in the parliamentary city of Chattarpur was recently canceled by its organizers after Bijrang Dal objected to the placement of his play ‘Jaat Hi Pucho Sadhu Ki,’ saying it was a “anti-Hindu and Indian tradition.”
Tendulkar’s ‘Jaat Hi…’ is a Hindi version of the original Marathi version, entitled ‘Pahije Jatiche’ (‘Wanted: Of the same caste’). The Marathi drama began in 1976, with Nana Patekar writing about one of the main characters, and has been played in Marathi and Hindi decades ago. The play is not about “sadhus” or religion but is a sardon that takes on the Indian education system and casteism. Its central character, Mahipati Porparnekar, who originally called himself “M.A., Unemployed,” puts the work in a difficult position but goes through a series of events that illuminate the natural bias in the entrenched social order. The game also makes fun of people who call themselves students with their vague concerns and apathy.
Veterans of theater, including Rohini Hattangady, Lillete Dubey and Atul Kumar have signed a petition protesting the “illegal ban” on the show. An online application, submitted by art entrepreneur Sanjoy Roy, said “cancellation of the show and festival is a huge loss for all theater lovers” and they want it to be organized “without problems.”
While IPTA MP General Secretary Shivendra Shukla and ‘Jaat hi…’ director Shantanu Pandey said they received threats from Bajrang Dal but were not protected by police, Bajrang Dal regional head Surendra Shivhare said the uniform “did not pose any threats. two matches have been played – one being ‘Besharam Mev Jayate’ written by Hindi playwright Prem Janmejaya – to be deleted.
The IPTA said the games were a masterpiece and “opponents” admitted they had not read or seen them. Bajrang Dal’s Shivhare told that the title of the play of the Tendulkar clear. Shivhare said that the director of the play said “sadhu” here means “sajjan (gentleman), which is the most commonly used word in Hindi. “And it has nothing to do with faith. The tukde-tukde group spreads propaganda through artistic deception. “Shukla said IPTA’s” left-wing views “were the main reason for Bajrang Dal’s problem.
Preeta Thakur of the Ank theater group, who has performed “400 to 500 shows” of ‘Jaat hi…’ all over India, said there is nothing in the play that can be offended. ”There is no mention of religion and not at all against Hinduism, but Tendulkar emphasizes the weakness of man and woman. The game is actually a riot of laughter and public comment.
Tendulkar, however, is almost like an argument. Several of his plays, including ‘Ghashiram Kotwal,’ ‘Sakharam Binder’ and ‘Gidhade,’ were illegally banned in the 1970s and 80s following opposition from Sena, although he and Sena founder Bal Thackeray had begun their journalism career together in the 1950s and Tendulkar left of time, in the words of Balasheb, helped him with the latest suggestions of Thackeray’s weekly Marik. Sena in the 1970s came up with a plan to prevent the ‘Ghashiram’ group from going to the United States to do work before the party finally abandoned the idea. Later in the 1990’s, Thackeray also appeared on a TV program hosted by Tendulkar and his daughter Priya, but the relationship remained strained.
Girish Karnad, another well-known playwright of the generation, had written to TOI after ‘Gidad’ created a storm in 1970 that Tendulkar “kept refusing to flatter middle-class people… and paid the price.” Karnad also said, “Tendulkar, like Ibsen, is taking what is not allowed in the stadium to take the audience to the human soul than before.”
Known for highlighting women’s issues in her plays such as ‘Shantata Court Chalu Aahe,’ in a game currently embroiled in controversy, Tendulkar highlights the issues of a woman imprisoned in traditional chains and medals.
In the case of the organizers that the police did not provide them with protection, Chindwara SP Sachin Sharma told the TOI, “There was no communication or request from the organizers. Permission is required in the hall and at the event. ”