Tendulkar's Power: The Foucauldian Concept Of Power

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The Foucauldian concept of power-relation runs through a large number of Tendulkar’s plays. In Ghasiram Kotwal ‘Power’ seems to be functioning as a leit motif in the formation of human relationship, showing a sort of master-slave dialectics. But no such criticism has hitherto been done so penetratingly as to explore the underlying power structure in his theatre among his men and women. While judging these two plays from this perspective we may reasonably refer to the connection of Foucault in tracing the origin and direction of power: No one, strictly speaking, has an official right to power; and yet it is always exerted in a particular direction with some people on one side and some on the other. (qtd. in Barry Smart 73) Ghasiram Kotwal dramatises the greed and avarice of two power-seekers----Ghasiram and Nana Phadnavis. Placed in the historical perspective, the play shows how these two are also ‘sexual politicians’ in their own ways. Ghasiram the father ‘sells’ his daughter Gauri to the despotic ruler Nana who buys her as a commodity. He sexually exploits her till death. The theme of sexual exploitation showing an obnoxious power relation is presented through the help of visual stage props, rather than dialogues. The play is more visual than verbal. The visual is created out of such devices as music, song, kirtan, tamasha, and so on. The human wall on the stage has a tremendous visual impact upon the audience. It is used as a convenient screen for hiding human crime. All

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