Vijay Tendulkr's 'Ghasiram Kotwal' (1972), a musical historical, set in the Maharashtra of the late eighteenth in century, is a land-mark in Indian drama. The play is a portrayal of overlapping orbits of power, struggle, lust, treachery, violence and immorality that characterizes the contemporary politics. The play is named after its central protagonist, Ghashiram, a simple Brahmin from Kanauj, who comes to Pune to try his luck. He is hurt, humiliated and victimised in Pune. To take revenge, he uses his daughter Gauri and secure the powerful position of kotwal. At the end, he is stoned to death by an irate mob. The play is a political satire, created as a musical drama. It combined traditional marathi folk forms with contemporary theatrical technique, creating a new paradigm of Indian theatre.
First performed on 16th December 1972 at the Bharat Natya Mandir, Pune by Progressive Dramatic Association of Pune, the play came-up against resistance soon after it had turned into a stage success. After nineteen performances the play was banned for showing Nana Phadnavis, a cult hero, in an unsavoury light and also for defaming Pune Brahmins. Most of the actors resigned from the Association and formed Theatre Academy on 27th March 1973. The Theatre Academy has performed the play in France, Germany, UK, the Netherlands and Italy. Thus the play had a paradoxical fate, on one hand there was the fierce opposition from the local marathi audience and on the other there was the international recognition which it received later.
Cite this article:
Sonal Mishra. Folk Music in Vijay Tendulkar's Ghasiram Kotwal. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 4(3): July-September, 2013, 397-398