This Independence Day, relive the freedom struggle through theatre

  • Etti Bali, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 10, 2016 19:06 IST
A series of plays is set to enthral audiences in the city with the stories of India’s freedom struggle and partition, this Independence Day.

This Independence Day, people in Delhi can enjoy an eclectic line-up of plays which are based on India’s fight for freedom. The stories depicted revisit India’s first rebellion of 1857, the partition and also the war against terrorism. Revel in the spirit of independence as you watch these compelling plays.

Jai Hind and Jis Lahore Nhi Dekheya O Jamiya Hi Nhi

A play on the different shades of patriotism and terrorism, Jai Hind tells the story of how the Indian military pacifies the negative forces present in the country. Presented by Shree Umapati Group, the story unfolds at Wagah Border, where the governments from India and Pakistan have come together for a peace meeting.

Read: Playing drums to the tune of love, peace and harmony

“What the Indian delegation doesn’t know is that there is terrorist pretending to be a Paksitani official. The characters in the play are inspired by real-life army personnel, leaders and terrorists,” says SP Singh Sengar, director.

A scene from Jai Hind. (Himanshu Kumar)

The second play organized by the group is Jis Lahore Nhi Dekheya O Jamiya Hi Nhi. It is the story of an old Hindu woman who is left behind in Lahore by her family who relocated to India during Partition.

“The play is an emotional journey of all the characters. At the beginning, the Muslim family that has taken over the haveli is hostile towards her, but gradually accepts her as a part of their family,” says Sengar

A scene from Jis Lahore Nhi Dekheya O Jamiya Hi Nhi. (Himanshu Kumar)

What: Jai Hind and Jis Lahore Nhi Dekheya O Jamiya Hi Nhi
Where: LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House
When: August 14
Timings: 6pm & 7.30pm
Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on Blue and Violet Line

Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan

Presented by Wings Cultural Society, Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan is a play based on the letters exchanged by poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his wife.

“Before Partition, Faiz used to live and work in Delhi, but was sent to Paksitan. His was a progressive voice and the government tried to curb it, and put him in prison. He was married to a British national, Alys, who worked as a journalist. They used to exchange letters, on which we have fashioned this play,” says Danish Iqbal, who used to play the role of Faiz.

A scene from Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan. (Vipul Rajpoot)

Salima Raza, director and female lead, says, “Faiz’s mother once said in Punjabi that if not for Alys, there would have been no Faiz. She was his companion and comrade, who not just loved him, but his ideologies, too.”

On Faiz’s 100th birth anniversary, the group presented the play in Lahore. “Some of the people being talked about in the play were actually present in the audience,” says Raza.

A scene from Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan. (Vipul Rajpoot)

The play takes place in the original language the letters were written in – Urdu. Banwari Taneja, male lead, says, “Kuch yadein hain puraani, kuch nostalgia hai. Urdu, jo ki lupt hoti jaa rahi hai, logo ko bahut pasand hai. Jo log Faiz ko padhte hain aur jaante hain, unhe yeh play kaafi pasand aata hai (There are memories attached to the play. People love Urdu, a language which is fast losing popularity. People who read Faiz and know him, appreciate the play).”

What: Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan
Where: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
When: August 14
Timings: 7.30pm
Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line and Khan Market on Violet Line

Aazadi -The Birth of a Nation

A dance-drama production on India’s struggle for Independence, Aazadi-The Birth of a Nation takes the audience on a journey that goes beyond the textbooks. Presented by Natya Ballet Centre and Sangeet Natak Akademi, the production combines theatre with Myurbhanj Chhau and contemporary dance forms.

Aazadi combines the dance form of Mayurbhanj Chhau with theatre. (Natya Ballet Centre)

“The choreography is set to voice-overs and speeches given by freedom fighters. It is important to trace your roots and understand what our leaders fought for,” says Nikita Maheshwary, creative director. The play traces the journey from 1857, till Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech at the stroke of midnight on August 14.

Read: Govt plans to celebrate patriotism, diversity ahead of Independence Day

What: Aazadi-The Birth of a Nation
Where: Meghdhoot I, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House
When: August 12
Timings: 7pm
Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on Blue and Violet Line

1857- India’a War for Independence

This play is told through the papers and eye-witness accounts of events of India’s first rebellion for Independence. Written by a young priest named Vishnu Bhatt Versaikar, the play focuses on the heroic queen, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, and master strategist Tatya Tope.

The play, presented by Akshara Theatre, is a saga of these freedom fighters surrounding this momentous period of Indian history.

A scene from 1857-India’a War for Independence.

What: 1857-India’a War for Independence
Where: Akshara Theatre, 11B, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Next to RML Hospital
When: 6pm, August 13 & 7pm, August 14
Nearest Metro Station: Patel Chowk on Yellow Line and Shivaji Stadium on Delhi Airport Express Line

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