Aasif Iqbal Bhat
Tughlaq (1964) as celebrated historical play or play on history, ever written by Girish Karnad is not, if seen through the spectacle of comparison, simply about history on the grounds that it is a play of a ruler psychologically challenged and broken down as far as his megalomaniac altitude is concerned that sets all things in rest letting the country sink and drown in the ocean of blood. This play highlights on one hand the witticism of a historical ruler and on the other hand his foolishness that wipes away all his wits. In it the issues like beguiling, trust and distrust, faith and doubt, kill and crush, do or die, etc. are different profiles of the theme that one happens to encounter with. Rise and fall lies always with human dignity since nothing remains in permanence or nothing withstands the vicissitudes of time. However, the goodness of a man must accept both as a test to his specially velour and resilience and failing so is unnatural and so long one is obstinate, faces decline till death. This is what happens actually in the plot of the play with the ruler to such an extent that after close destruction his wits fail to reconstruct the lost and unfortunately the restoration of social fiber proves to be a never resolved conundrum.
People are often found saying admonishingly about politics as a dirty game in which Hell swallows up all Heaven. In the play this common sense of the commons proves a reality undenied. In it one finds cozenage, dacoity, ruthlessness, scapegoating the innocents, human treachery and disloyalty at their apex, imposture and hoodwinking through masks are interesting aspects in the play for their role in hiding and exposing the ugly selves behind the humanly faces. This paper shall be an effort to highlight and explain the series of intrigues and conspiracies made in search of power and dominance. As such, this play under the title aforementioned shall be examined through cultural studies to analyse how power after all decides the structures and sub-structures of society. More prominently, this effort shall work under the impact of Marxist ideology.
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