Kasturba Versus Gandhi - Sukhmanch Theatre Festival 2018
Shilpi Marwaha, Zeeshan Khan, Reyan Singh, Deepant Kandoi, Nidhi Sehgal
The play is a deep feminist text where Kasturba is revealed as a woman ahead of her times. She cared deeply for women's rights as well as her own rights as a woman. The play targets to also address this question: Why do great leaders of national stature fail as fathers, and even as spouses? In seeing the broad picture, why and how do they neglect their own families? And how does Kasturba rise to define her own identity in the midst of such sad failure? This play is an honest and pointed look at the inside of greatness. And who better to choose than a bastion of peace to show that even such great men are not immune to the fallacies of human nature. Gandhi was a great man, but as a result of his greatness, he did not understand how to allow his ideas to coexist with his duties as a father and husband. His imposition of his ideas on his wife and children resulted in some form of rebellion in both of them. Running parallel to this theme is the feminist commentary through Kasturba, as she attempts to reconcile her duties as loving wife and her personal conviction for self-determination.
Playwright NISHI CHAWLA uses painstaking research and a creative gift for dramatic characterisation to bring to life her portrait of Kasturba Gandhi. She is not re-writing history; rather, she takes a closer look from a different perspective. The audience is awakened to a new perspective, and prompted to think more critically and deeply about social undercurrents that existed during the independence movement (and continue to exist in some form today).