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Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) A Peer Reviewed International Journal - http://www.rjelal.com RESEARCH ARTICLE

Vol.1.Issue.1.;2013

ISSN 2321 –3108

VIJAY TENDULKAR’S ‘SILENCE! THE COURT IS IN SESSION’: A MOCKERY AGAINST EXISTING JUDICIAL SYSTEM Dr. MEDIKONDA SAMBAIAH
Assistant Professor in English, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, JNTUACEP,YSR Kadapa (Dist), Andhra Pradesh, India

Mrs. KATUMALA SANDHYA
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, JNTUACEP,YSR Kadapa (Dist),Andhra Pradesh, India ABSTRACT A criticism against Indian Judicial system that ‘the failure of modern legal theory and practice lies in its understanding of what it is to be a human being’ can be undoubtedly attributed to the themes of Vijay Tendulkar’s play Silence! The Court Is In Session. The play barbs against existing judicial system at two levels. Firstly, it can be studied as a ‘legal plea’ which demands for emancipation, equality and liberation of women and stresses the need for a social transformation of law, culture, and social patterns which release women’s potential, where the legal curriculum has neglected issues of central concern of women like: rape, domestic violence, reproduction, unequal pay, sex determination and sexual harassment, from Benare’s ‘case study’: Secondly, the play can be a thesis on elite-court relations in India as an unsatisfactory arrangement, where being structurally part of the state, the courts are expected to maintain a high degree of independence and to be ensured of a democratic policy. The play is highly relevant as it discusses the present atrocities occurring on women throughout India including Delhi ‘Nirbhaya’ gang rape case and demands for verdict and bits the elite society to ponder on the issue seriously. Key words: Judicial system, Unequal treatment, Legal plea, elite-court relations, Play within the play

Dr. MEDIKONDA SAMBAIAH

Mrs. KATUMALA SANDHYA

Article Received on : 26/03/2013 Article revised from: 28/03/2013 Article accepted on: 28/05/2013

The stimulus for Silence! The Court is in Session came from a real incident for the writer. Tendulkar met an amateur group which was on its way to stage a mock-trial in Vile Parle, a suburb of Bombay. While overhearing their conversation, the outline of a play began taking shape in the writer’s mind and resulted in the creation of Silence! The Court is in Session. The play was written for Rangayana at the instance of Arvind and Sulabh Deshpande and was first performed in March 1971 in Madras. When the play was first performed in 1967 for a drama competition

by the small group, it was rejected by the judges who said it was not play. But later it received The Kamaladevi Chatterpadhyaya award and was translated in fourteen Indian languages. The play was staged all over India in different versions. In a sense Marathi drama found a place on the national map and Tendulkar was recognized at the national level. When asked in an interview: “This play is a caustic satire on the social as well as justice….The mental agony suffered by the girl throughout the play is in no way less than the legal punishment. Is that all you

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VIJAY TENDULKAR’S ‘SILENCE! THE COURT IS IN SESSION’...| Medikonda

Sambaiah et al

Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) A Peer Reviewed International Journal - http://www.rjelal.com wished to convey or something more?” Tendulkar said: “This is exactly what I had in mind. If I say anything else now, that will be an after-thought. An undaunted girl of Benare’s make-up could have, besides defending herself, made a counter-attack , tearing to pieces the dos and don’ts of the selfish society. Had I shown her aggressive that would have been attitude, not hers? Otherwise also the playwright should only suggest leaving the rest 1 to the viewers.” The opening scene of the play turns into a marvellous piece of satire by pitting the self-consciously...
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