The illustrious heroic story of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, one of the most celebrated and contentious sultans to ascend the throne in Delhi, is being brought to life through a play directed by Bhanu Bharti. Influential performances, gripping dialogues and over-the-top ambience create a strong eternal impact on the audience, who came to witness the theatrical extravaganza. Testimony to its popularity, it has been extended by two days on public demand. It is now on view till November 6. “The immaculate performances, power-packed acting by the actors and tremendous story line is being admired by the theatrical fanatics of the capital. The large and overwhelming footfall has made it evident that Tughlaq has been accepted by open arms. The play has a strong relevance in the modern society of today as it mirrors the psyche of the political system which needs urgent modification,” says Bharti, the director of Tughlaq.
Inaugrated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the play sees performances by Bollywood actor Yashpal Sharma playing the role of Mohammad bin Tughlaq with 50 other talented actors.
Being organised by the Department of Art, Culture and Languages, the cultural wing of the Delhi Government, and Sahitya Kala Parishad, it is being performed at such a magnificent scale at the heritage monument site after a long hiatus of four decades. Last, the play was staged by theatre patriarch Ebrahim Alkazi at Purana Quila in 1970s. “As Tughlaq has been a prominent ruler, I have focused more on the philosophy, journey and the adaptation of the great emperor Tughlaq. He was a ruler, a dream and yet was hungry for power,” says Bharti.
The author skillfully portrays the reign of Tughlaq who ended his career in bloodshed and political chaos. The play showcases the slow disenchantment felt with the new politics of independent India, the gradual erosion of the ethical norms that had guided the movement for Independence and the coming to terms with cynicism and real politics.