B adal Sircar was one of the leading and most influential playwrights and directors in modern Indian theatre movement. With the advent of industrialisation leading to modernity, the working class became an essential element of metropolis populace. With rising popularity of Marxist aesthetics, artistes soon started to see themselves as labourers and their work as labour. The conventional notions were broken, including rejection of institutions set up by status quo.
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People from diverse fields claim to have been influenced by his theatre discourse. During the early stage of his career, Sircar was very successful with the repertoire of his proscenium plays; some of which brought him fame and recognition nationally.
But except for a few, which were related, primarily, to his anxiety about nuclear warfare, none of these was concerned with the Indian political situation as such. Few of these were either romantic comedies - full of humour and fun, focusing on relationship between man and woman, and others were adaptations of foreign plays. In a number of plays of this period, the issue of nuclear attack was repeated again and again.
Having said these, India had so many other exigencies to attend that, nuclear war, though a very important issue, was not actually a matter of concern to the millions of starved individuals. It was only after his meetings with the Western theatre legends that he developed an understanding of Indian traditions.
Except in a recondite interview in Amritalok, a Bengali journal, where he actually admitted of his superficial knowledge of the field, Sircar claimed otherwise almost everywhere else. It was at his suggestion that Sircar started village tours. But Sircar has never explicitly clarified this conceptual debt to Chakraborty anywhere. Throughout his career, Sircar claimed that his Third Theatre plays were the results of contributions by the group members of Satabdi.
Consequently, we do not know who contributed to those path-breaking plays, and in what manner. Egalitarianism was, therefore, sacrificed to cater to common, prevalent norms of the market. This kind of unacknowledged borrowing is obvious in his treatises as well. These are not only misleading, but also deeply disturbing, particularly because it comes from a theatre personality who have reiterated social change and personal honesty all his life.
But why then a piece of cloth was spread out at the end of a performance. The playwright said, he did not require money and would not take grants or any other forms of assistance from either public or private institutions. But Sircar said in his book, Theatre-er Bhasha that money might come as a spontaneous contribution by the audience. How can a staunch Marxist, like Badal Sircar, saw any kind of monetary contribution as spontaneous donation is not understandable at all. Moreover, on the other hand, Sircar kept receiving several government accolades, awards and fellowships.
He even accepted the lifetime achievement award from the Mahindra group. Besides, one cannot ignore the presence of money when performances took place in a hall or enclosed private area. The presence of money can be seen throughout the history of the Third Theatre; it was not a free theatre in the strictest sense of the term. Money was absolutely necessary, however, small the amount. Sircar said that his plays were well received by the educated urban and illiterate rural audience alike.
But during my interview, his old comrades-in-arms divulged that the rural performances were in many cases adapted to suit their taste; in many cases the viewers did not understand the plays at all or understood only partially. According to him, the performances were received well everywhere, almost in a same manner, be it a gathering of 20 people or thousands. For a better understanding of the nature and the course of the Third Theatre, it is very important to understand these contradictions along with developing an appreciation for the genre.
After all, according to Sircar, he had been doing theatre for social change, and not merely to achieve artistic feat. His plays, treatise, and interviews are so well-knit, that the fabric of the Third Theatre becomes almost impenetrable, and one can hardly escape the possibility of going round and round the same old reading.
For a fuller treatment, please read his book on the topic. His research interest is in history of politics and economics within literary traditions.
New Delhi: Oxford University Press, Adopting both a wide-lens perspective and a microscopic approach, Kundu weaves together a complex gamut of works through textual analyses, interviews with Badal Sircar himself and [End Page ] members of his group Satabdi, and meticulous archival work. Through detailed textual and historical analyses of the plays, Kundu notes that, despite major Indian political upheavals during the s and s, specifically in Bengal, Sircar focused on the individual middle-class family drama, therefore not engaging "politically. While Bara Pisima is an example of metatheatre dealing with the politics of female participation in theatre, Sanibar brings to the surface concerns about unemployment and its consequential ramifications, all of which are committed to real-life political issues.
Disentangling contradictions: Playwright Badal Sircar and the Third Theatre
By Manujendra Kundu. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, By investigating the emergence of the proscenium stage, the author introduces the readers to the power of colonial imperialism, and its persistent impact on Bengali culture. He contrasts the traditional folk theatre jatra, with elitist entertainment in colonial Bengal. By detailing the social cynicism of upper class regarding jatra performance, Kundu, addresses the emerging progressive cultural activities in the period. Sircar explored theatre as an actor, director, and a playwright and, while attending University College In London , Sircar was exposed to different styles of dramatic [End Page ] performances, including theatre-in-the-round, which played a significant part in his theatre career in Calcutta. His first plays dealt with the complexities of suppressed human emotions and were inspired by western films, and novels, but asserted his own artistic expression.
Badal Sircar : Ebong Indrajit thekey Third Theatre
People from diverse fields claim to have been influenced by his theatre discourse. During the early stage of his career, Sircar was very successful with the repertoire of his proscenium plays; some of which brought him fame and recognition nationally. But except for a few, which were related, primarily, to his anxiety about nuclear warfare, none of these was concerned with the Indian political situation as such. Few of these were either romantic comedies - full of humour and fun, focusing on relationship between man and woman, and others were adaptations of foreign plays. In a number of plays of this period, the issue of nuclear attack was repeated again and again. Having said these, India had so many other exigencies to attend that, nuclear war, though a very important issue, was not actually a matter of concern to the millions of starved individuals.
Badal Sarkar's Third Theatre
Google Scholar Nirupam Hazra hazra. The author is grateful to Arijit Dalal arijitdalal1 gmail. His attempt was to bridge the city-country divide through an art form that had the potential to be transformative and subversive. Theatre, from its inception, has not only given expression to the creative endeavour of human faculties but also served as a medium of socialisation, communication and criticism. The social impact and importance of theatre was discussed and debated from the time of Plato and Aristotle.