Crooked Kala(a)m: Premchand, Manto, Chughtai

Pandies’ latest play performs the contemporaneity of three iconic writers: Prem Chand, Manto and Chughtai. Prem Chand’s espousal of the rights of the low caste farmer poses a question mark on the spate of farmer-suicides in contemporary times. Manto’s powerful voice opposing all forms of communalism and bigotry provides an ironic critique of our inabilities to take a position on our religions. And Chughtai’s feminist formulations challenge not only patriarchal constructions but also expose the limitations of the liberal masculine. The play captures the mercurial relationship between Chughtai and Manto, their agreements and differences not only regarding the emerging nation and society, but also about women who love and men who betray.

Works and events of the lives of the three, Prem Chand, Manto and Chughtai have been interpreted and brought together as a dramatic script by Anand Prakash, Sanjay Kumar and Anuradha Marwah respectively.

The play was  premiered at the Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House on the 2nd and 3rd of January 2016. and was followed by series of performances in Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

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