Celebrating Hindi Diwas-2019
Written By Bhishma Sahni
Including Doha, Kavita, Gayan....
The play is based on the life of Sant Kabir. How a simple man’s thoughts and intellect, by witnessing years of injustice, prejudice and blind faith turned him into a mystical poet. Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein traces various issues the prodigy came across in his life including caste discrimination, religion and numerous social stigmas which bind and divide people in the society. Kabir not only recites his quintessential poems but is also unafraid of voicing his opinion in front of others; be it the elite or the pauper. Based in the background of the then Kashi, the play holds much relevance in the modern era as well. The play starts with Kabir’s father complaining about his son’s erratic behavior and outspoken attitude to his wife. This is when Kabir overhears the ongoing arguments and learns how he was abandoned by a woman belonging to upper-caste and got adopted by the family of Muslim weavers. Befuddled upon realizing his true identity, he decides to abandon his religion and embrace the existence of a higher entity who can be loved and worshiped by all. Kabir’s verse highlighted the divide among Hindu-Muslims, the tyranny of the rich and powerful and the ongoing political conservatism practiced in the society. This not only irked Hindus and Turks but also the local Kotwal (local police officer) who would punish those who supported Kabir.
All in all, one can say that the play recounts anecdotes from Kabir’s life in the straight narrative form, employed as a means to express revulsion against untouchability and religious exclusivity which continue to exist till date. The circumstances which Kabir wrote about more than 600 years ago continue to plague us even now as casteism and religious intolerance dominate the minds of fanatic people.