Society and Disillusionment in Vijay Tendulkar’s Plays
Keywords:Social issues, Reality, Disillusionment, Lust, Self-interest
Tendulkar’s works revolved around various themes like revenge, hypocrisy, patriarchy and violence. His works are timeless and, though around fifty years old, they are still as relevant today as they were then. Tendulkar plays were aimed at the middle class, and he always managed to unknowingly shock the middle class. He showed them, through his plays, that ugly side of them which they preferred to hide. He realistically portrayed the complex relation between the common man and society. He did not take a moral stand in his plays. He attempted to find realistic solutions to the violence and hypocrisy without being too naive and simplistic. The central theme of his plays was ‘situations make men behave like animals towards other men’, and he effectively brought this out through his works. Some of his masterpieces like Silence! The Court is in Session (1967), The Vulture (1971), Sakharam Binder (1972), Ghashiram Kotwal (1972), Encounter in Umbugland (1974), Kamala (1981), Kanyadaan and The Cyclist and many more have brought a revolution on the Marathi stage as well as in contemporary Indian Theatre. A distinguishing feature of Tendulkar’s plays is his preoccupation with the portrayal of the dark side of life. He forces us to accept the unpleasant realities of human existence by giving a gloomy picture of the unsuccessful human efforts to get happiness. An atmosphere of violence and cruelty characterizes Tendulkar’s plays. He believes in the permanent presence of animal in man along with all the basic animal instincts. He shows that human beings behave just like animals under the impact of lust, greed and self-interest. His plays bring out man’s wolfish cruelty to man and his malicious and revengeful attitude towards provoking, almost disturbing. Tendulkar reminds us that man is unable to conquer the beast inside himself in spite of having progressed from barbarism to civilization. Thus the playwright gives a new way of looking at the self and society. Tendulkar’s themes of plays, especially those translated into English, portray in unpretentious manner, violence as a part of human life. Through various themes taken from real life experiences, he fights for social justice and it is a never ending fight. It is this touch of reality that makes his plays lively.
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