Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Performance by Mukhosh

Yesterday was unique in a sense. Saw a play for the first time in Rangashankara. That too by the IISc Drama people. It was a good experience.

Especially the second play 'Soorponaka' had its message quite clear. Throughout it was an anti Aryan propaganda. It showed the other side of an otherwise well-popularised story of Ramayana. In that Soorponaka, Ravana's sister, is not a demon who approached Laxman for sexual reasons, but a pampered princess and sister who unfortunately falls in love with Laxman, an Aryan, and gets punished by being ruthlessly mutilated by Laxman. Raakshasas are not savage man-eating demons, but original inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. They are far more advanced compared to their Aryan counterparts. Talk about arts, science, architecture, or culture, Raakshasa are well-developed, while Aryans are savage in comparison mostly thriving on their maiden advantage: that in war-technology. Being invaders knowing not much beyond waging war on other more developed, and less aggressive civilisations, their only plan is to destroy other civilisation and encroach on their land. The stories about the atrocities by demons, and their ugliness, and the generally bad image that thrives about raakshasas is projected as nothing but negative propaganda by the then powerful aryans.

More than any particular chain of events, the play conveyed the same message loud and clear: the glorification of our mythological heros, and the dishonouring of Raakshasas could be nothing but a propaganda.

Right from the start, I saw the play in the light of the colonisers and colonised people. The Aryans represent the imperialist forces, and Raakshasas represent the Indians. The whole thing fit perfectly! Regarding the negative light in which the aryan mythology has been shown looked to me as nothing more than an allegory. There seem to be some historical evidences regarding the authenticity of the actual scenario shown. Could be. But I could never really think that even if such a school of historical thought exists, portraying it could be the prime motive of the play.

Anyway, just a matter of interpretation.

1 comment:

sumanc said...

Thanks for the review ... keep writing about us. :)