Character Analysis Of Ghashiram Kotwal And The Marathi Folk Form

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Ghashiram Kotwal and the Marathi Folk Form
The use of folk forms for providing commentary on the current social and political situation has often been a popular device for playwrights. Vijay Tendulkar in his plays like “Ghashiram Kotwal”, “Silence! The Court is in Session” etc has used the “Tamasha” form to expose the social and political ills in the contemporary society (Sharma, p.14). By Developing the flexible as well as carefully crafted form, models of recitation and storytelling specific to his region, he has managed to bridge the gulf between traditional and modern theater by creating a vibrant new theatrical form, an example of which is the play “Ghashiram Kotwal” (Sharma, p.15). The play is a blend of historical fact and dramatic fiction
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However, the historical element has little importance as Tendulkar himself explains, “Although based on historical legend, I have no intention of commenting on the morals, or lack of them, of the Peshwa, Nana Phadnavis or Ghashiram. The moral of this story, if there is any may be looked for elsewhere” (Intro; Ghashram Kotwal, p. iv). Tendulkar further affirms in the writer’s note to Vasant Deo’s Hindi translation: “in my view Ghashiram Kotwal indicate a particular situation which is neither old nor new. It is beyond time and space. Therefore Ghashiram and Nana Phadnavis are also beyond space and time”. The historical background serves him well because it frees him from any obligation to render his social analysis in naturalistic terms. The historical events are sufficiently remote to allow for a symbolic heightening, especially since this segment of history has fascinated Maratha mind, often taking a larger than life dimensions. Hence, Tendulkar’s choice of the “Tamasha” framework is particularly appropriate because it offers possibilities and sanctions for a non realistic treatment of time and place, plot and character. The historical plot and the folk conventions do not dampen the contemporary appeal of the play or its theme; how society corrupts, uses, and then discards individuals will certainly engage an interest in the modern theatre goers (Dass, p.65). The significance of the play does not lie in its …show more content…
It proves that the additional form need not be treated as precious artifacts but can be adopted to treat modern theme suitable for the urban Indian audience. Indian theatre is changing as the old and new forms mingle and renew themselves. The new cross-fertilization between the realistic westernized urban theatre and folk theatre seems here to stay. The reshaping which has results from absorption of folk theatre into the mainstream of urban theatre has rise to a new theatre movement (Dass, p.70). Tendulkar wanted to make a serious political statement in Ghashiram Kotwal. That was why he wrote the play, not to vent his spleen against Brahmans, as many Brahmans thought, nor to desecrate the sanctity of the stage with lurid depiction of lasciviousness, nor rake in money by entertaining audiences with songs and dances and scandalous legend about a historical figure. Its reception by many as a brilliantly mounted, entertaining spectacle, upset the liberal social moralist. This more than anything else, links Tendulkar with the most significant of his predecessors on the Marathi stage-playwrights who wanted to force their society to look at and judge itself in all its aspects, social, political, moral and personal. Forms of presentation for these playwrights have been only as important as their potential to ‘carry the message’ (Gokhale,

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