Summary Of Girish Karnad's Drama

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Girish Karnad, as Aparna Bhargava Dharwadker sets forth in her introduction to the first volume of his Collected Plays, belongs to the “formative generation” (vii) of Indian playwrights that collectively shaped the trajectory of modern Indian theatre, influenced heavily by the models of theatre available to them at the time, or lack thereof, alongside their experience of unprecedented political autonomy, idealism, and the decisive and vehement rejection of colonial theatrical practices.
Following the independence of India in 1947, modern Indian theatre found itself struggling with the disjunction between the commercialism of the Parsi model of theatre, and the radical populism of the Indian People’s Theatre Association – both of which ultimately became unsatisfactory models for the development of urban drama. According to Dharwadker, this “sense of disconnection from the immediate past led…” playwrights to construct and sustain “radical connections with an older past as well as the postcolonial present in India.” (vii, “Introduction, Volume One”) The dominant presence of mythology, and the ancient and medieval past in Karnad’s drama is a result of both personal and cultural compulsions, and his ability to contend with “the timeless and the temporal together” is perhaps most evident in this juxtaposition of myth and history in his works, in the simultaneous embrace of the historical and the ahistorical, where the mythical-folklore plays evoke a “chronologically

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