Source: The Hindu :-
The play was staged by students of dance, drama and music department of Bangalore University in Bidar on Monday night.
A play on Mughal prince Dara Shikoh, known for his tolerance and belief in multi-culturalism, enthralled the audience in Bidar on Monday night.
The medieval drama built around King Aurangzeb and his ill-fated brothers reminded the viewers about current day debates about intolerance and the need for harmony.
The Kannada play ‘Mughal Dara Shikoh’, staged by the students of the dance, drama and music department of Bangalore University highlighted the visionary outlook of Dara Shikoh by bringing out his patronage of saints, Sufis and monks of various faiths, discourses with scholars and creative writing.
Dara Shikoh’s humility and kindness to his subjects was shown in the way he ensured education of children of slaves and treated the destitute. His ambitious brother Aurangzeb’s cruelty arising out of intolerance and puritanism were played out effectively. Light and shades were used to add meaning to the conspiracies and palace intrigues taking place on stage.
Concepts like the relationship between the believer and the Almighty and iconoclastic spiritualism were conveyed through the background music that was set to Sufi tunes.
Actors played their parts passionately. Manohar who played the eunuch contract killer Nazer, Naveen Nanjappa who played Aurangazeb, Prabhu Deva who played Dara Shikoh remained in the minds of the audience even after they had left the theatre. Even actors with minor roles made their presence felt.
Monologues by Nazer and Dara Shikoh echoed the sentiments of the time and were interrupted by long applauses by spectators.
The discussion between Aurangzeb and his childhood teacher about indoctrination and the need to expose children to multi-culturalism threw light on the present day education system.
The play tried to keep as close to history as possible, though it tried to turn narratives into visuals by adding a few extra characters in a few scenes. Some controversial issues like the killing of Saint Sarmad were left out.
Ranga Torana, a Ballari-based theatre group had invited the troupe to perform as part of Kalyana Ranga Torana, the five-day theatre fest being held at the zilla rang mandir. The play written by Rajappa Dalwai was directed by K. Ramakrishnaiah, professor of drama in the University. Prabhudev Kapagal, secretary of Ranga Torana were present.
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