About the BookThe term ‘Indian drama’ cannot be confined into a definition as it encompasses the entire gamut of Indian culture—the myths, the folklores, the history and the ethos of the country. Drama in India is as old as its customs, starting right from the Vedic era. Much like the English Morality and Miracle plays, Indian drama was also essentially religious in nature as it had started out with performances in the Indrasabha or the court of the gods. With the decline of Sanskrit language it slipped into oblivion. However, the folk tradition continued unhampered in its various regional forms for a long time and kept the dramatic tradition alive.
After the British came to India, a new awakening came over and the modern theatre was established by the British for their entertainment. Indian drama in English was initially hampered by the fact that English being a foreign language and limited to the elite class, found very few takers whether in the form of writers, actors or an appreciative audience.
In the pre-Independence era, playwrights like Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo and Harindranath Chattopadhyaya contributed significantly to the growth of Indian English drama. The works of these three dramatists are notable for poetical excellence, thematic variety, symbolism and morality. In the meanwhile, drama in regional languages also started to emerge as an important genre and writers like Dharamvir Bharati, Badal Sircar, Mohan Rakesh, Vijay Tendulkar and Girish Karnad began to experiment and use remarkable innovations in themes, treatment and technique. Drama today has emerged as a powerful resurgent medium to project the problematics of the social, cultural, political, traditional and historical changes that the Indian society faces besides the issues related to gender, class, caste and communities.
Present anthology contains twenty-seven scholarly papers looking at Indian English drama, including plays in translation from a variety of critical positions providing useful insights. The focus of papers included in this book is on the plays of Girish Karnad, Vijay Tendulkar, Mahesh Dattani, Badal Sircar, Satish Vyas, and the Stalwart Rabindranath Tagore, among others. The collection will certainly prove to be useful to students, research scholars, teachers and others with interest in English literature, especially Indian English drama.About the Author/sAbha Shukla Kaushik is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Arya Kanya Post Graduate College, Hapur (UP). She has been teaching postgraduate classes for more than fifteen years and is actively engaged in guiding research scholars. She has presented a good number of research papers in national and international seminars and has been published in journals of repute. Other books by her are Short Stories of Shashi Deshpande: A Feminist Interpretation and Postmodern Indian English Fiction: Some Perspectives.