Ishwar Chander Nanda - Makers of Indian Literature
|Charan Dass Sidhu
|SAHITYA AKADEMI, DELHI
|8.50 X 5.50 inch
Ishwar Chander Nanda (1892-1966) is the first theatre person who laid firm foundations of realistic drama in Punjabi by writing and staging three full-length and a dozen one-act plays. A playwright, director and actor- Nanda wrote original plays on contemporary social problems. He is the pioneer playwright whose characters speak a simple, racy, idiomatic language actually spoken by the Punjabis in villages and towns. His plays enact the conflict between the old orthodox people who want to stick to outmoded social and religious customs and the educated young men and women who want to discard the rotten repressive rituals. Nanda sought fresh stories, themes and characters from the life around him in preference to the imitation of other playwrights, Indian or foreign.
Charan Dass Sidhu (b.1938) specialized in theatre as a Fulbright scholar at Madison, Wisconsin. He has written and staged thirty-three full-length original plays in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. His theatre work has won him several prizes, awards and honours. He has been teaching English at University of Delhi since 1960.
This monograph on the life and works of Ishwar Chander Nanda, the first modern playwright of Punjabi, is primarily intended for the general reader who has no direct access to his writings in the original.
Realistic Punjabi theatre highlighting burning social problems starts with I.C. Nanda's one-act play Dulhan (The Bride) or Suhag (The Wedding) staged in April, 1914. This pioneering actor, director and playwright continued his theatre work till his death in 1966. By profession a teacher of English, Nanda staged his plays with the help of his students and colleagues in the various colleges of Punjab University.
Nanda's plays continue to be as relevant today as they were when they were first presented. His reformist zeal underlines the miserable plight of the girl child and the crying need for the empowerment of women. Nanda's comic muse targets shamans, godmen and other cheats who dupe. the superstitious villagers.
I have enjoyed writing this book. It made me read Nanda's works again with greater attention and appreciation. The strongest point of Nanda's playwriting, apart from the originality of his themes, is his dialogue. His rustic idioms and proverbs, his earthy wit and virile diction remain unmatched by later playwrights. I visited Nanda's native place and was struck by his sensitivity to the music of his mother-tongue. If you spend an hour in any bus going to Gurdaspur countryside and listen to the villagers, you will be delighted to discover the authenticity of his characters.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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