The Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi staged Hindi play 'Namak ka Daroga' to perfection at the Tagore theatre here on Friday. Based on a popular story of the same title authored by legendary author Munshi Prem Chand, the play offered an analysis of the declining ethical values in society, especially the rampant corruption in the realm of business.
Hailed as the literary exponent of the Indian peasantry and working class, Prem Chand had depicted the struggle of an honest person Vanshi Dhar, a relentless crusader against corruption.
Munshi Prem Chand's vision found its true reflection in the play under the direction of Dr P Chandrashekhar.
Set in the century-old milieu of middle-class family environment, the play recounts the rising and fall of a modest Vanshidhar from an unemployed youth to the prestigious position of a Salt Inspector (Daroga) in the newly-created department of salt by the British rulers in UP region. Vanshidhar follows his inner
conscience and performs his duties with uprightness and honesty. He wins laurels from high-ups for his daring actions, including the arrest of a leading business man, but at the same time incurs the wrath of the corrupt contractors engaged in unethical practices.
Vanshidhar loses the legal battle against the ill designs of salt mafia lord Alopideen, gets reprimanded and suspended.He suffers the worst humiliation when he is compelled to accept a job from Alopideen, the man he hated and condemned.
The musical play, embellished with the Nautanki theatre elements, provided the audience ample humour right from the very first spell. Chinese Gill and Vinod Bharti distinguished themselves as 'Sutradhars' to link up various sequences.
The lyrics in Avadhi and Bhojpuri by Vinod Bharti lent an extra charm to the play, scripted by Dr Chandra Shekhar. All the actors including Jaswinder Sandhu, Chinese Gill, Vinod Bharti, Abhimanu, Jasvir, Sachin, Raman Jagga, Vineet and, above all, Rinku as Daroga won appluse of the audience.