‘An inspiring lesson’: Kejriwal opens play on Ambedkar’s life

Published on Feb 26, 2022 06:48 AM IST

With a stellar cast featuring Rohit Bose Roy in the lead and Tisca Chopra and Teekam Joshi as narrators, the maiden show at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday was a stupendous success.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (ANI file photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (ANI file photo)
By, New Delhi

Inaugurating his government’s grand musical on the architect of the Indian Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar, aptly titled “Babasaheb”, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the best way to bring the inspiring life of Babasaheb to the masses was through a creative representation. Ambedkar’s life, the chief minister said, is proof that nothing in this world is impossible if you have the conviction to achieve it.

With a stellar cast featuring Rohit Bose Roy in the lead and Tisca Chopra and Teekam Joshi as narrators, the maiden show at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday was a stupendous success. The audience reverberated with roars of “Jai Bhim” at every depiction of an emotional or inspirational moment from Ambedkar’s life. The standing ovation and deafening applause as the curtains fell were only to be expected.

“I am delighted that such a grand show on Babasaheb’s life is being organised by the Delhi government. We realised that no matter how much we teach about his life in schools, the best way to bring Ambedkar to the masses is through a creative representation. Babasaheb’s life is an inspiring lesson and I am blessed to be a devotee of Dr Ambedkar,” Kejriwal told a packed JLN Stadium.

“Talking about Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein once said that “generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”. The more I read about Dr Ambedkar, the more I believe that this quote applies to him as well,” he said.

Besides Kejriwal, the musical extravaganza was also attended by all Delhi cabinet ministers. Multiple LED screens were placed around the stadium for a better viewing experience, apart from a revolving 40-foot wide set, and a 100-foot long stage. The play itself was replete with aerial stunts and energetic dance performances.

The play will also be shown to principals, students and teachers of Delhi government schools on subsequent days, the CM said.

There will be two shows daily – one at 4pm and another at 7pm. The entry is free to the public and the show will go on till March 12. However, there are only a limited number of seats at the stadium. Those interested in watching the show must reserve their seats in advance. You can reserve your seat by calling on 8800009938. Aside from that, you can also book seats on www.babasahebmusical.in.

Going beyond conventional storytelling, the musical touched on every aspect of Ambedkar’s life. Issues such as reservation, the importance of raising questions, caste discrimination, untouchability, Babasaheb’s equations with his father and professors, and the polity of India were depicted in a touching manner.

“In 1914-1915, he took admission in Columbia University. There was no internet, no mode of gathering information. I often wonder how he’d have managed to get hold of the university’s admission forms. It just amazes me that with all the difficulties that he faced, how did he get to know of Columbia, and how he got himself admitted there. After getting a PhD from Columbia, he went to London School of Economics to get a PhD from there as well. Despite all the facilities and riches that we have been blessed with, if our children today want to get admitted to the London School of Economics, it is still no easy task. He did all of that without a penny in his pocket. It was when he was at LSE that he exhausted his funds and had to come back to India to arrange money so that he could continue studying there. He got his second PhD, came back to India and became the architect of our Constitution,” Kejriwal said.

“What a brilliant personality he was. The more we learn about Babasaheb, the more we realise that there was no one like him. What Babasaheb achieved in his life and how he struggled for the rights of the Dalits and the poor are just miraculous. Babasaheb’s life proves that nothing in this world is impossible if you have the conviction to achieve it,” the chief minister said.

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