Post Colonial India English Drama

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English Literature
Eng 102

Term Paper II

Topic:
Post-Colonial Indian English Drama

India has the longest and the richest tradition in drama. During the age of the Vedic Aryans, drama was performed in a simple way. Different episodes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad-Gita were enacted out in front of people. When Britishers came in India, the crippled Indian drama regained its strength. In 1920, a new drama in almost all the Indian languages came to the fore, it was a drama largely influenced by prevailing movements like Marxism, Psychoanalysis, and surrealism. Indian drama got a new footing when kendriya Natak Sangeet Akadmi was started in January 1953. National school of drama set up Sangeet Natak Akadami in 1959 was another development. The year 1972 was a landmark year for Indian theatre. Badal Sircar, vijay tendulkar and girish karnad have contributed to the modernization of the face of the Indian theatre, these play wrights have made bold innovations and fruitful experiments.

Postcolonial Writings as we have observed, emphasize the process of strong resistance in the societies and also put emphasis on the reality of life. It deals with the literature written by the people of colonized countries that take the suffering and survival and resistance of their people as their subject matter. Postcolonial Writings can be considered as the historical marker of the period because it deals the literature which comes after decolonization as well as it is considered as an embodiment of intellectual approaches. At the intellectual level Postcolonial writers engaged themselves in opening up the possibilities of a new language and a new way of looking towards the world. Their writings can be taken as a medium of resistance to the former colonizer. Their themes are focused on the subject matters like identity, national and cultural heritage, border crossing, contemporary reality and situation, human relationship and emotions etc.

In the Indian context, Postcolonial writing makes its presence felt in the English-speaking world by giving new themes and techniques. The rise of Postcolonial Indian English writing was a significant aspect of Indian English literature. If we talk about the different genre of Postcolonial Indian English literature, drama became one of the best mediums for expression. Postcolonial Indian English poets make use of current situation in the society to give their poetry a Indian flavor.

The new phase of Indian theatrical development happily coincides with the personal development of Girish Karnad as a dramatist. His contribution goes beyond theatre: he has directed feature films, documentaries, and television serials. He represented India in foreign lands as an emissary of art & culture. He has experimented with the fusion of the traditional and modern dramatic forms and content. Pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial experiences in literature cannot be compartmentalized in true sense. They are not divorced from each other. His play ‘Tughlaq’ was a reflection of the changing times- the narrowing of the great divide between the rulers and ruled. Karnad reminds us of T.P. Kailasam and Rangacharya who go back to myths and legends to show the modern life with all its elemental passions and man’s struggle to achieve perfection.

If creating new themes and techniques is a part of Postcolonial writing, Shiv K. Kumar can be truly called a Postcolonial poet. Winner of Sahitya Academi Award with various books of poetry, drama, short story and translation, Shiv K. Kumar gave an identity and a sense of direction to Indian English poetry in the Postcolonial period. His knowledge of Indian myths and Indian history is amazing and he uses them as themes in his poetry. But the most appealing aspect of his poetry is that it gives a distinct touch to Indian...
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