Giristi Karnad was born in Malherun, CBI. Bornbay Hindu myth on the theme of responsibility GIRISH KARNAD. Tughlaq (), karmad's second play, thas. PDF | Girish Karnad's Tughlaq is a representation of one of the most important but nevertheless neglected periods of Download full-text PDF. ENGLISH PLAY BY GIRISH KARNAD. 4, Views. 1 Favorite. DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. download 1 file · ABBYY GZ download · download 1.

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Keywords: Tughlaq, Girish Karnad, Ain-ul-Mulk, Historical. from the facts of history, and even introduce new characters in the interest of dramatic effectiveness. - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. article. Reading Girish Karnad's Tughlaq Author(s): Aparna Dharwadker Source: PMLA, Vol. While the particularobject of analysis here is a play, my analysis of the. Girish Karnad's first English play, Tughlaq (), is a historical play. It will be of . Karnad's characters Aziz and Aazam represent the public officer of Indian.

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Tughlaq was a brilliant individual yet is regarded as one of the biggest failures. He tried to introduce policies that seemed today to be farsighted to the point of genius, but which earned him the nick name "Mohammed the mad" then.

He ended his career in bloodshed and chaos. This is seen in different aspects throughout his Tughlaq's characterization. Karnad renders a vision where the reality and aspirations collide. How this plays out in the mind of the political ruler becomes one of the central issues of the drama.

As the drama opens, Tughlaq implores his subjects to observe a social setting in "without any consideration of might or weakness, religion or creed. Such a depiction shows how difficult political authority is. I was just the scribe," said Karnad in a later interview.

Eventually Yayati was published in , when he was 23 years old. It is based on the story of King Yayati , one of the ancestors of the Pandavas , who was cursed into premature old age by his preceptor, Shukracharya , who was incensed at Yayati's infidelity. Yayati in turn asks his sons to sacrifice their youth for him, and one of them agrees. It ridicules the ironies of life through characters in Mahabharata. It became an instant success, immediately translated and staged in several other Indian languages.

His next was Tughlaq , about a rashly idealist 14th-century Sultan of Delhi , Muhammad bin Tughluq , and allegory on the Nehruvian era which started with ambitious idealism and ended up in disillusionment. It was staged by the National School of Drama Repertory under the direction of Ebrahim Alkazi , with the actor Manohar Singh , playing the visionary king who later becomes disillusioned and turns bitter, amidst the historic Purana Qila in Delhi.

Herein he employed the folk theatre form of Yakshagana. Naga-Mandala Play with Cobra, was based on a folk tale related to him by A.

It was directed by J. At one importantlevel, then, the play acts out a polaritythathas fundamentallyshapedmoder political consciousness in India: the distinction between politics as the selfless extension of individual spirituality Mahatma Gandhi and vision Nehru and politics as the self-serving, sometimes demonic expression of individual fantasies of power evidencedin IndiraGandhi,SanjayGandhi, and, more recently, Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu fundamentalistleaders.

These two models of political action in turnimply radicallydifferentrelationsbetween leaders and citizens, but by embodyingboth impulses within Tughlaq, Karnadalso suggests a radical identity between them.

At another level, Tughlaq offers an ironic, clearly prophetic commentary on the ideology of secularism and the forces that subvert that ideology. The "idea of India"as an assimilative,tolerant,multiformpolitical entity was centralto the nationalistthinkingthat emerged under the leadership of Gandhi, Nehru, Abul KalamAzad, and othersduringthe s and s. The demandfor a separatePakistanundercut this idea tragicallyand led to the traumaof partition in The fundamentalist and secessionist movements of the last fifteen or so years have severely tested the concept of a pluralistic,secularsociety in India.

In this situation, Karnad'sportrayal of how differentreligious groups coexist, and how they respond to the idea of equality, has acquired new urgency. One of Tughlaq's subjects remarksthat Tughlaq is a king who "isn'tafraidto be human,"while anotherwon- This content downloaded from Tughlaq has shocked his subjects-Hindu and Muslim alike-by abolishing thejiziya, a discriminatory poll tax on Hindus prescribedin the Qur'anfor nonbelievers,and by institutinga judicial process in which he can be sued by his subjects.

The humilityand self-questioningnecessary for such public confessions of errorare fundamentalto Gandhi'spoliticalpractice.

In TheStory of My Experiments with Truth, for instance, Gandhi comments thatin , afterthe civil disobedience removementhad turnedviolent in the Ahmedabad he that he confessed at a had gion, public meeting launchedthe movementprematurely. My confession broughtdown upon me no small amount of ridicule. ButI haveneverregretted having madethatconfession.

ForI havealwaysheldthatit is only whenone sees one's own mistakeswith a convex lens, anddoesjust thereversein the case of othof the ers, thatone is ableto arriveat a just estimate two. I further believethata scrupulous andconscientiousobservance of thisruleis necessary forone who wantsto be a Satyagrahi.

He wants his people to follow him, but only if they have complete faith in him.

At this stage Karnad's hero is, to borrow Erik H. Erikson'sterm for Gandhi,a "religiousactualist"whose "very passion and power make him want to make actual for others what actualizes him. These he derives from a mighty drivenness, an intense and yet flexible energy, a shocking originality, and a capacity to impose on his time what most concerns him-which he does so convincingly that his time believes this concern to have emanated 'naturally' from ripe necessities" A few scenes later, the revolutionary urge toward action and self-purificationcharacteristicof Gandhi shades imperceptiblyinto the urge toward modernity and renewal characteristic of Nehru, particularlyin his role as the so-called architectof independentIndia.

Unlike Gandhi's strictly disciplined spirituality,Nehru's approachto public action is best describedas the romanceof leadership, in which the leader experiences intense love for the people and expects to be loved in turn. I felt they had vast stores of suppressedenergy and ability, and I wanted to release these and make them feel young and vital again" 50, In Karnad'splay, Tughlaq expresses to his stepmotherthe same desire for a transformativeunion with his "people," so that he may share with them the heady knowledge that "[h]istoryis ours to play with-ours now!

For Tughlaq, as for Nehru, this sense of intense identity with the people is closely linked with both a desire for cultural modernity and an acute selfconsciousness abouthistory.

I was eager and anxious to change her outlook and appearance and give her the garb of modernity" Tughlaqsimilarly announces that he has to mend his subjects' ignorant minds before he can think of their souls 22 ; he also describes to the courtier Shihab-ud-din his "hopes of building a new future for India" The presence of the historianBaranias a character in the play also ensures that Tughlaq is always conscious of his role as historical subject and his tenshaperof history,as Nehruwas throughout ure as prime minister,perhapsmost memorablyin his address of 15 August , when he spoke of independentIndia's "trystwith destiny.

While the suspicion of patricide against the historical Tughlaq is a matter of speculation, KarPrimeMinister andAazamat Abbasid , Najib,Aziz posingas Ghiyas-ud-din nad's character admits that the fortin Daulatabad.

Schoolof Thisproduction of Tughlaq, by the National he killed his father and and at Drama was directed E. Alkazi by presented theOld Repertory Company, brother-"for an ideal" Fortin Delhiin Company, Repertory By the end of the play, however, Tughlaq's obsession with his failuresand his own culpabilityhas caused propriately from him, not from Tughlaq.

Tughlaq A Play In Thirteen Scenes

The so much despair and confusion that he offers his world of politics Aziz discovers in Delhi is full of starving subjects prayers instead of food and repeople "withoutan idea in their head" 50 , so his fuses to punish Aziz because of the very enormity cunning compensates for his low origins.

Power of Aziz's crimes. To rape a Tughlaq'smadness and tyranny-the only qualities his subjects attributeto him-are thus forms woman only out of lust is a pointless game, in his of powerlessness posing as power. In the character view: "Firstone must have power-the authority of Aziz, the will to power, unhamperedby moral to rape. Then everythingtakes on meaning! His first appearanceconfirmsthat he under- then Hence he explains to Aazam why, as making gestures, Aziz conducts his micropolitics a Muslim, he could not sue the king but had to bewith singularsuccess.

I mean, where's the question of justice there? Where's the equality play's first half and suppress the cruelty, represbetween Hindusand Muslims? If on the otherhand siveness, and cunning of Tughlaq-Azizin the secthe plaintiff's a Hindu The analogies with Indira Gandhi and her crowds" 8. As Aziz claims in Tughlaq's prespolitical successors reverse this emphasis and ence, he has indeed "studiedevery order,followed bring the two halves of the play together,because considered measure of what Romesh Thaparcalls her "mercurial, instruction, every every manipYour Majesty's with the greatest attention," and ulative, conspiratorial, brilliant" style of leaderthe play's absolutistdiscourse of power comes apship replicates the contradictions and tensions This content downloaded from In the political mythology of the nation Mrs.

Gandhi appearsas both demon and goddess, emasculating widow and nurturingmother Gupte ; in journalistic and scholarly writing she is a "mixtureof paradoxes," a sign of the "amoral politics" of the late s, and a pragmatist "political to the very soul" Malik and Vajpeyi 13, But she is closest to Karnad's protagonistin her propensityfor choosing evil out of a compulsion to act for the nation and in the Thus self-destructiveness of her authoritarianism.

Gandhi declared a national emergency instead of resigning from office: "What would have happened if there had been nobody to lead [the country]?

I was the only person who could It was my duty to the country to stay, though I didn't want to" Moraes In serious political assessments, however, the emergencyappearsnot only as a majorcause of the rapid erosion of constitutional structuresin India but also as "an ill-conceived experiment in introducing a form of controlleddemocracyto a country that [Mrs.

Gandhi] privately felt-her demurrals notwithstanding-was not quite capable of handling the clangor of an open society" Gupte The extent to which the emergency underscored political violence and foreshadowedMrs. Gandhi's dynastic tragedyis suggested by a programnote to a productionof Tughlaqmounted in Delhi in September , three months after the suspension of constitutional rights.

It is for this purposethat all the murdersmerely mentioned in the script are presented on stage" "Tughlaq". The macabreend of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty is, inevitably, a more durable analogue for the public violence and privatemadnessin Tughlaq thanNehru'sromanceof discovery is.

Tughlaq and the Crisis of Secular Nationhood Karnadtraces the political failure of the nation in Tughlaqto a complex ambivalence in the personality and intentions of the leader and to the un- governablenessof the people. The centralcrisis in the play, however, is that of irreducible social inequalities and religious difference. As my account of Barani suggests, these problems make the historical reign of Tughlaq an extremely suggestive parallel for modern Indian experience.

Tughlaq (play)

Following the example of Ala-ud-din Khilji, sultan of Delhi from to , Muhammadbin Tughlaq ignored Islamic shari'at, or canon law, and attempted to rule and to administer justice along what are now called secular humanist lines.

In doing so he antagonizedthe sayyids and the ulema, the religious leaders and scholars, whose influence in political and administrativecircles diminished considerably. At the same time, he was inevitably alienatedfrom most of his subjectsbecause he represented the Muslim ruling elite in a predominantly Hindu culture.

This historical situation is symptomaticof a culturalcrisis that dominatesthe play's analogicalpotential. Despite the attempts of Indian historians to dislodge orientalist constructions of "medieval" Indian political and social life, the nature of premodern Indian society remains a controversial issue because, ironically,there are now conflicting Muslim and Hindu interpretations of history. Nizami, a Muslim scholar, believes that even though the Muslims of the sultanate period held most of the positions at court, British historians were wrong in describing them as a ruling class and that no Indian empire could ever have been built without the cooperation of all significant social groups 4.

In contrast, A. Srivastava, a Hindu scholar, maintains that Islamic rule was tyrannical, that throughout the medieval period Hindu society "deteriorated morally and materially,"and that as a people the Hindus "suffered a great deal of moral and intellectual degradation" Romila Thapargives a more complex but no less discouraging account of communal relations duringthe sultanateperiod: Hindus andMuslims Orthodox alikeresisted anyinfluencefromtheother in thesphere of religion.


Although theMuslims ruled theinfidels, theinfidels calledthem barbarians. To the Muslim,a Hindutemplewas not only a symbolof a paganreligionandits false gods, but a constantreminder that despitetheirpolitical there were over power spheresof life in the country This content downloaded from Exclusion, in turn, was the only weapon whichorthodox Hinduism coulduseto prevent assimilost its 1: lation, ascendancy.

As a secularhumanistwho ignores the Qur'anicinjunction to proselytize actively, Karnad'sprotagonist initially refuses to impose a monolithic order on his people, because the Greek philosophers have instilled in him a troublingpluralityof vision: "My kingdom too is what I am-torn into pieces by visions whose validity I can't deny. You are asking me to make myself complete by killing the Greek in me and you propose to unify my people by denying the visions which led Zarathustraor the Buddha I'm sorry, but it can't be done" The assumption behind Tughlaq's refusal is that modern leaders must define their roles in terms broaderthanthose of religion, since politics and religion are separatespheresof action.

Presentingthe orthodox position and using Barani's words from the Tarikh ,the theologian Imam-ud-dinreminds Tughlaqof the duties that the Qur'an specifies for an Islamic ruler:to found a strongMuslim dynasty and to further the cause of Islam in the wider world. The separationof religion and politics is, in the imam's view, merely a "verbal dinstinction," but one thatwill destroythe sultan As with Tughlaq's politics of humility, Karnad both presents and ironically undercutsthe secular ideal.

Despite Tughlaq's enlightened policies, the society within the play is not an enlightened one; and despite his egalitarianism,his relationwith his subjects remains that of oppressor and oppressed. Karnadshows that communities markedby political inequality and religious difference survive through a negative equilibrium.

Anyone who disturbsthis balance arouses suspicion and hatredinstead of becoming a liberatingforce. As the Hindu says in the crowd scene at the beginning of the play, "[W]hen a Sultan kicks me in the teeth and says, 'Pay up, you Hindu dog,' I'm happy. I know I'm safe.

But the moment a man comes along and says, 'I know you're a Hindu, but you are also a human being'-well, that makes me nervous" 2.

and Postcolonial Girish Reading Representation: Karnad's Tughlaq

An older Muslim seconds this response because the Hindu who prefers to be treated badly is Islam's best friend. Before you know what, he'll turn Islam into anothercaste and call the prophetan incarnation of his god" 2. For Karnad's communally divided characters,selfhood lies not in unity and equality but in difference; hatred and oppression are not wholesome, but they are predictable and hence safer.

Karnad enforces this irony by meticulously maintaining the distinctions of religion and community throughout the play. While Tughlaq's quest is for harmony, the terms of difference"Hindu"and "Muslim"-are the keys that unlock the literal and symbolic action of the play.

Tughlaq is most concerned about being just to his Hindu subjects ratherthan to all his subjects because he wants his treatmentof the oppressed majority to be exemplary.This sharpideological rift within the nationalist politics of late colonial India, which split one imagined community into two, resonates strongly in the religious politics of Tughlaq.

Following the example of Ala-ud-din Khilji, sultan of Delhi from to , Muhammadbin Tughlaq ignored Islamic shari'at, or canon law, and attempted to rule and to administer justice along what are now called secular humanist lines. The Sultan also invites non-Muslim scholars for discussion.

In Karnad'splay, Tughlaq expresses to his stepmotherthe same desire for a transformativeunion with his "people," so that he may share with them the heady knowledge that "[h]istoryis ours to play with-ours now! Similarly,Rajiv Gandhiwas assassinated with relative ease by Tamil extremists in the southern state of Tamilnadubecause, after months of precautions against death threats, he became impatientwith elaboratesecurity arrangements and wished to get close to his people while campaigningfor nationalelections.

Chaudhuri has agreedthatBaraniwas "stronglycriticalof any public policy not in harmonywith the religious traditions of Islam" Wallacearguesin the context of seventeenth-century English historical writing, an audience can always reduce history to a topical allegory,but it is importantto reiteratethe "analogical structure" of historical fictions, since "past examples and presentpredicamentsare never identical, and one charactercan never substitute completely for another"

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