TUGHLAQ AS A PLAY: DR. HARESHWAR ROY





         Girish Karnad is one of the greatest Indo Anglican dramatists. He has basically written in Kannad. Some of his plays have been translated into English by himself. Karnad has a long and eventful career. He has only three notable plays to his credit. They gave him a prestigious place. 'Tughlaq' is considered as his most famous work.
        'Tughlaq is the second play of Karnad. It is indeed a historical play written in the backdrop of modern times, the period of J. L. Nehru. Here the dramatist describes certain events of the reign a medieval sultan named Tughlaq. It deals with his decision to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad and from Daulatabad to Delhi. In this highly entertaining play Karnad explores the paradox of idealistic Sultan whose reign is considered the most spectacular failures in Indian history.
      Tughlaq dramatises the opposites- the ideal and the real, he divine aspiration and the political intrigue. Tughlaq is the protagonist of this New Drama. He has been presented as an idealist aiming at Hindu Muslim unity, at secularism and also at building a new future for India. He is known for his knowledge of philosophy and poetry. But unfortunately he is divided within himself.


       Tughlaq was indeed an idealist and visionary king. In this play Tughlaq is respected by his people. But it was rumoured that he came to the throne by killing his father and brother. Due to his secularism Muslims criticised him. But he did not mind people's criticism. Due to his declaration of the shifting of the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, both the Hindus and Muslims became against the king. It is unfortunate because Tughlaq wished for their unity by this act.
       Tughlaq was a learned fellow and a lover of judgement. But at the same time he was a cunning fellow who committed many murders. Tughlaq's stepmother, Saikh, Azim etc. all are killed by him. Barani warned him but due to his suspicious nature he did things which all went against him.  In the end of the play Sultan is found all disappointed and dejected. In fact, his whimsical nature brought shameful situation to him.
       Thus Tughlaq is a fine play. Here the dramatist deals with the problem of search of identity and the problem of isolation and frustration. Though it is a historical play but when artistic necessity requires Karnad does not hesitate to deviate from history.  



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