Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance
Theater and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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1. Introduction: The Theoretical-Historical Context
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These remarks by the lieutenant-governor of Bengal regarding the regulation of drama in India are indicative of at least two trends. First, they reveal that imperial authorities in India perceived theater and drama as potentially threatening modes of anticolonial expression...
2. Censorship and the Politics of Nationalist Drama
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The Censorship Act of 1876 empowered local government authorities to “prohibit dramatic performances which [were] seditious or obscene, or otherwise prejudicial to the public interests.” Extending to the whole of British India, the act authorized local governments to prohibit any performance...
3. Multiple Mediations of "Shakespeare"
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Baroda, India, 1880. Tara, a Marathi adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline, was performed on the occasion of the marriages of “His Highness the Gaekwar,” ruler of Baroda, to a Tanjore princess, and his sister, Tara Bai, to the prince of Savantwari. Translated from English into Marathi by Vishnu...
4. Performance and Protest in the Indian People's Theatre Association
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In 1942, a group of progressive writers who recognized the potential of popular theater as an effective weapon in the fight for national liberation from British imperialism and from fascism and in the struggles of peasants, workers, and other oppressed classes formed a group called the Indian People’s...
5. Colonial History and Postcolonial Interventions: Staging the 1857 Mutiny as "The Great Rebellion" in Utpal Dutt's Mahavidroha
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The subject of “history” constituted a crucial element of anticolonial theatrical movements in India under the British Raj, as is evident in the historical dramas of Girish Chandra Ghosh for the Great National Theatre in the nineteenth century, the Tilak Festivals at the turn of the century, and the...
Epilogue: Bringing Women's Struggles to the Streets in Postcolonial India
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From Dinabandhu Mitra’s Nil Darpan to Harishchandra’s Durlabh Bandhu and the plays presented by the IPTA, the exploitation of women under colonialism and their participation in nationalist struggles were compelling themes. Nonetheless, such themes remained centered primarily around the...
Appendix: A Bill to Empower the Government to Prohibit Certain Dramatic Performances
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Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2004