A commentary on current socio-political times, Asgar Wajahat’s play, Sabse Sasta Gosht, was staged by the young girls of the Kaifi Azmi School for Girls. Shabana Azmi, who is a stalwart in strengthening the conviction that art can be an instrument in bringing about social change, wants the young girls of Mijwan to make use of the art of drama and theatre to enhance their own personalities, and through their talent spread correct and socially relevant messages about various issues of social, political, and cultural importance that impact all of our lives.
Noting the contemporary relevance of the play, Sabse Sasta Gosht, Shabana Azmi wanted the young girls to realize how the ulterior motives of politicians and religious leaders leads them to sow seeds of dispute between communities in the name of religion. She wants the young generation to understand the extent of the manipulation of the general public purely for political reasons, because no religion preaches violence against other religious communities. Instead, all religions preach peaceful co-existence. This is especially relevant in India with its religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity, and where peaceful coexistence is what ensures the sustainability of India as a nation. It is an important understanding for the young generation to have, as they will be taking our country forward in the future. And what better place to find the advocates and proponents of this belief, but the young and talented girls of Mijwan!
Dharmraj Kumar, the director of the play, feels extremely privileged to have been given the opportunity to come to Mijwan and teach these girls through the medium of drama. He says, “I wanted to do this play with the girls here to help them understand issues related to sectarianism, especially those concerned with violence between communities.” He explains that, as has been succinctly portrayed in the play, Hindu and Muslim politicians and religious leaders incite the two communities against each other, resulting in violence which adversely affects the common man, while the real political and religious culprits get away scot-free!
And the message the play intends to convey has made the rightful impact on these girls. As Poonam explains, “From this play we have learned that we should never discriminate against anyone.” Poonam tells us that through this play they are trying to propagate that no one should ever discriminate between the Hindu and Muslim communities. “When we discriminate and cause communal tension, we only cause harm to the common man. We need to remember that we are primarily humans, not Hindus or Muslims. If there are any categories, those are only male and female.” Arti, who is also acting in the play, further adds, “We should not easily believe or be wrongly influenced by Hindu or Muslim politicians since, as seen in the play, they play the two communities against each other for their own benefits.”
Surendra Sharma, a member of the audience, agrees when he says that our today’s political and religious leaders are busy in dividing the nation on communal lines. “But the fault lies with us, the common people,” he states. “We have to understand and always remember that humanity is much bigger than religion. As long as humanity is practiced, our nation will be happy and will prosper.”
Kudos to our young girls of Mijwan for having instilled this conviction!
Dharmraj is full of praise for the young girls of Mijwan. He feels that these girls have immense talent and untapped potential, and he is glad to have the opportunity to help them realize that and put it to productive use. “Inke andar jo bhi hai, aapar hai, aur bahut hi achcha hai,” he says.
Let us support these girls in spreading messages of goodwill and love. They have understood the importance of fighting the wrong and misguided influence of selfish and corrupt political and religious factions, and instead maintaining peace and harmony.
So can we.
Author: Kakul Hai
Some Stills from the Play: