Exploring Bapu’s internal tussle

Mahatma Gandhi met RSS founder KB Hedgewar in 1934 and expressed his admiration for the RSS, says a biography of the Sangh founder readied by the Publications Division of the information and broadcasting ministry. (Central Press/Getty Images)

He was an apostle of peace, truth, compassion and non-violence. But India’s iconic figure, Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu as he was fondly called, was a lonely man in his last days. Veteran theatre director Bhanu Bharti explores these emotions in his one-actor play titled, Bapu.

Theatre actor and media personality Sunit Tandon, who plays the title role, confesses to being jittery about essaying Gandhi. “It was a tremendous challenge to play Mahatma Gandhi because firstly, he’s an icon of the country, and secondly he’s been essayed by so many people before.” He adds, “Since it’s a one-actor play, the drama is internal, in Gandhi’s mind. I tried to get under his skin and understand what he was going through in his last days.”

Talking about the theme of the play, Tandon says, “The play deals with Bapu’s last days. It deals with his complete sense of loss and utter loneliness, after witnessing violence in the country post  partition.”

Tandon, who worked with Bharti for the first time in this play, says, “I’ve known him for 30 years but never worked with him! In fact, I was startled when he asked me to act in the play. It was wonderful working with him.”

WHAT: Bapu, English play
WHEN: November 19 - 21, 6.30pm onwards
WHERE: Sriram Centre Auditorium, Mandi House
NEAREST METRO STATION: Mandi House on the Blue Line


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