Taking inspiration from the life and times of Ismat Chugtai | punjab$amritsar | Hindustan Times
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Taking inspiration from the life and times of Ismat Chugtai

A first of its kind, a Hindustani Urdu play ‘Roshni’ showcased the life and controversial work of eminent Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai. Amita Sharma, a graduate of the National School of Drama, along with her team staged a theatrical production based on Chugtai’s vision of life.

punjab Updated: Jul 07, 2016 15:22 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Dastak Amritsar in collaboration with National School of Drama staged Hindustani Urdu play Roshni at Punjab Naatshala, Amritsar, on Wednesday.
Dastak Amritsar in collaboration with National School of Drama staged Hindustani Urdu play Roshni at Punjab Naatshala, Amritsar, on Wednesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT Photo)

A first of its kind, a Hindustani Urdu play ‘Roshni’ showcased the life and controversial work of eminent Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai. Amita Sharma, a graduate of the National School of Drama, along with her team staged a theatrical production based on Chugtai’s vision of life.

The writer, known for exploring female sexuality, was a fierce feminist. The performance was a spellbinding depiction of Ismat’s ideology, and left the audience audience awestruck at Punjab Naatshala.

Director Amita said, “I started working on this project a year back. This production basically started as my NSD fellowship project under Tripurari Sharma where I was asked to give a culmination performance and I dared to stage her fearless ideology through which we can sensitise people about position of a woman in society and her rights. Ismat inspired me as she was ahead of her time.”

Roshni stressed on gender equality, right to education for girls, and gender discrimination, issues that are deep-rooted social ills of society.

The play was autobiographical in nature and included Ismat’s writings such as ‘Angarey’ and ‘Lihaaf’, that were banned in a few countries because of the strong feminist content.

“Staging her work was a challenge because only such powerful ideas towards social ills can bring a change,” she says.

Ismat was a pathbreaker for woman writers. She was levelled with charges of obscenity for her work Lihaaf, which deals with homosexuality in Aligarh.