Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Stage, Society and Stricture: Bengali Theatre, 1800-1876
Authors: Chattopadhyay, Subhayu
Keywords: Theatre
Bengali Stage
Neel Darpan
Dramatic Performance Act
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Vidyasagar University , Midnapore , West Bengal , India
Series/Report no.: Vidyasagar University Journal of History;2013-2014
Abstract: consecutive occurrence of Sepoy Mutiny and Indigo Rebellion immediately after it pushed the reformist zeal of a self-confident Victorian liberalism of the British to a back seat, as many of them in the administration started to believe that the Indians were beyond reform. A new mood of ‘conservative brand of liberalism’ was initiated into the British administration. This conservative reaction evidently made the empire more autocratic and denied the socio-politico-cultural aspirations of the educated Indians for sharing equal space. The offshoot was the rise of a feeling of frustration among the educated middle-class, which finally led to the formation of different political associations in different parts of the country to voice their grievances. In Bengal, during this time, parallel to the formation of political associations, one of the dominant cultural expressions, apart from literature, the theatre activity, initially started in the region under the European influence, was also undergoing through some fundamental changes, be it in the form of content, or technology and most importantly in the approach, much more concerned and reflective of the contemporary time. The playwrights of the region felt the need to address to their time; and gradually the performances on the stages of Calcutta started to show more maturity by addressing to the contemporary social evils. The middle class intelligentsia of Bengal as well as the moneyed members of Bengal intelligentsia, the babus, who were also sometimes linked with the rise of political associations, were also largely connected, directly or indirectly, with the theatre activities. It was either under their influence or under the influence of British legitimization of India’s rich heritage, a trend of patriotism, through glorious portrayal of heroes of the country, also started to feature in the themes of contemporary plays. However, Dinabandhu Mitra’s play Neel Darpan (Neeldarpanang Natakam), which was published in 1860, dared to alter the scenario, hinting at a potential where plays and theatres reflect the mirror image of contemporary social condition and practices. The play exposed the rampant atrocities of the Indigo planters in the countryside of Bengal and thereby making a charge directly against the British authority, the allies of the planters. Neel Darpan set up a trend and many plays with strong social and political message were started to be penned or staged. This made the British apprehensive of consolidation of an alternative front, through which the colonised mind could have sought to assert their voice.
ISSN: 2321-0834
Appears in Collections:Vidyasagar University Journal of History Vol 2 [2013-2014]

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
11. Subhayu Chattopadhyay.pdf225.3 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.