"Tughlaq" (2018)

Devised, designed and directed by: Ajay Manchanda

Written by: Girish Karnad

Translated by: B.V. Karanth

Date: January 31, February 1 & 2, 2018

The play explores the life and ideology of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi. From his accession to the throne in 1325 until his death in 1351, Muhammad contended with 22 rebellions, pursuing his policies, consistently and ruthlessly. Tughlaq’s ideas of secularism, equality and unity in a country like India were very ahead of the times because at that time the people were led by saints and religious heads. Tughlaq, initially an idealist who wanted to give his people peace, freedom, justice and progress, turned into a shrewd politician, a callous and heartless murderer who employed religion for his political motives and hurled the country into turmoil and troubles. He had been a man of controversies and crisis and faced dissent within his own support group and rebellions for a very large and diverse population. The play does not merely present a picture of the past, but highlights its implications in the present. Even after years of its first publication, the play continues to be perceived as being contemporary. The play makes us introspect and think about the heights we're willing to go through to ruthlessly achieve our aims, abandoning humanity on the way.