A play on feudalism
C. SURESH KUMAR
Munshi Premchands's novel `Rang Bhoomi' was translated into a play in the city recently
Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, A.P. and the Hindi Academy, New Delhi, jointly organised the 125th Jayanthi of renowned novelist and writer Munshi Premchand, by presenting a play titled Rang Bhoomi, at the JNTU Auditorium last week.
The play was an adaptation of the famous novel by Munshi Premchand of the same title. The subject relates to the feudal system prevalent in society then. The play was well presented and the songs incorporated into the play were well suited to it. Sri Surendra Sarma of Rang Sapthak, New Delhi, directed the play.
However, bad organising marred the play. It started one hour late and there was no written material made available to the audience. The lights at the venue tripped throughout the duration of the play bringing the act to frequent halts. . Neither the AC nor the fans could be switched on and the audience had to sweat it out. Few senior officials of the Hindi Prachar Sabha, who were the guests of honour for the day, were continuously talking and passing remarks for each and every dialogue, not only irritating the other audience but disturbing the artistes onstage as well.
Perhaps these teachers and officials forgot that they were watching a play and not a mushaiara or a ghazal programme. This was one reason the play, known for its powerful and meaningful dialogues, lost its tempo in the final stages and became a drag. The dialogues got lost in the din created by these senior officials, not to mention the mobile phones that rang constantly.
The story revolved around a small hamlet, which consists of few families belonging to various walks of life in society, and how they stay together and solve their problems. In this hamlet lives Surdas, who's blind by birth and ekes out his living by begging. The opening scene unfolds, with a top industrialist visiting the hamlet to see a huge piece of land lying vacant and intends to buy the same for setting up an industry. Surdas runs up to him for alms and he is shunned for his appearance and being from the lower rung of society. However, the industrialist changes his stance once he comes to know that the owner of the land is Surdas.
He tries to woo him for selling the land. The industrialist tries to influence the other people in the hamlet on the benefits they would reap when an industry is set up at the land. However, after a lot of discussions amongst the hamlet folk, Surdas refuses to sell the land. This infuriates the industrialist and with official support evicts the entire hamlet and takes over the land by force. Surdas refuses to budge from his house and is shot dead by the police.
The play also showed how internal conflicts amongst each other in a society are solved amicably. All the characters did full justice to their roles, with N.K. Pant who played the blind Surdas, giving a remarkable performance.
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