Tathagat: A Play by Jana Natya Manch

Title: Tathagat

Performer: Jana Natya Manch

Written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar

Music by M.D. Pallavi

(Hindi, approx. 35 mins)

Date: Friday, October 26, 2018 |  Time: 7.30 pm | Venue: Pixel A Cafeteria


Synopsis of the Play

Set in an imaginary Buddhist kingdom in ancient India, Tathagat explores the ideas of caste and gender, rebellion and nationalism, freedom and courage.

Haridas, a shudra sculptor, has carved a statue of Buddha out of black stone with three missing fingers. He is sentenced to death as a traitor. On the insistence of the queen, the king agrees to listen to Haridas’s plea in the court.

Expanding on the idea of tark (reason) in Buddhist philosophy, this play through the story of a vain king, a defiant queen, the rebellious sculptor, a courageous daasi, and a conniving courtier, examines the difference between a ‘traitorous’ and a ‘rebellious’ act.

About Jana Natya Manch

Jana Natya Manch (JANAM), established in 1973 by a group of Delhi’s young theatre radicals including Safdar Hashmi, is India’s best-known political street theatre group. The group has to its credit over 100 street, proscenium, and other performances, totalling over 8,000 performances. Its productions have been written and/or directed by a number of leading theatre artists, including Habib Tanvir, Safdar Hashmi, Govind Deshpande, Anuradha Kapur, M.K. Raina, Kavita Nagpal, Abhishek Majumdar, Sudhanva Deshpande and Brijesh. Janam has performed in over 250 villages, towns and cities all over India, as well as performed, lectured and offered workshops in Palestine, South Africa, the UK and USA. Janam has neither sought nor accepted funding from the governments, corporates, NGOs or political parties. It is funded by its audiences, and Janam members volunteer their time gratis.

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