A critical look at societal injustice
Plays in the regional language straddle various genres and Lamakaan has been host to many such presentations where searing social issues have been depicted to telling effect.
The play ‘Khadga Shrusti’ highlighted the rottenness of the society
Plays in the regional language straddle various genres and Lamakaan has been host to many such presentations where searing social issues have been depicted to telling effect. Nishumbita, the theatre group of Dr Rammohan Holagundi, enacted two such Telugu plays on Friday evening – ‘Kukka’, a play originally penned by Yandamuri Veerendranath and the next, ‘Khadga Shrusti’, a social drama by Dr Kandimalla Sambasivarao.
It may be a throwback to the oppressive feudal times that the state had seen in the first half of the twentieth century, but ‘Kukka’ made one feel that such an unequal relationship still exists between what was a popular coinage of those days – the haves and the have-nots. In around 40 minutes the enactment of the scene where a poor oppressed domestic help pleads with his domineering master to return him the ornaments pledged with him and how he is constantly rebuffed by the boorish man was an eye-opener. That such inhuman treatment of fellow human beings was a routine affair in the landlord-servant relationship justifies the later social movements that came about to eliminate this injustice to a large extent.
Keeping the proceedings rooted in the typical Telangana dialect, the play saw the interplay of three characters – the moneylender Dora- Keshav Deepak, the spoilt brat Chinna Dora, Nikhil Kandhari and the poor domestic help, Rajesh Royal who is reduced to a hapless figure between the exploiting, sadistic father-son duo. The manner in which he is made to mime a dog and an elephant for the pleasure of the wailing rich son makes one feel that, drunk on power, the rich had often gotten away with such despicable behaviour. The exploited servant finally manages to get his due by hacking his tyrant master to death was the only consolation at the end. The performances of the characters matched the requirements that were set rather adequately.
The second play, ‘Khadga Shrusti’, was more on the lines of street theatre with a clearly laid out route map about the theme they had set out to highlight -the rottenness in the society. The onus on the common man who is caught between the frying pan and the fire when it comes to electing his leaders and aspiring for a welfare- oriented rule is often a mirage. The play, in which there are more than a dozen characters including group performers, kept to its brief by relentlessly panning the corrupt system in which none is lily white. The seeds of revolution to overthrow the existing helpless governance model is sown only during such scenarios, one wonders! The cast was passionate and raised quite a few laughs with their precise performances.