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ISSN 2321 - 4805

  • Hrituparna Saha

    Contemporary Indian Theatre: A Journey of Resistance from Classical Roots and Colonial Influences to Dalit Empowerment

    Hrituparna Saha, M.Phil. Research Scholar, Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal


    This article presents a thorough exploration of Indian theatre, tracing its evolution from the ancient principles of the Natyashastra to contemporary practices. It delves into various aspects, including the integration of modern and traditional elements, the portrayal of women, the influence of colonial and post-colonial eras, and the emergence of Dalit theatre. The study illustrates how contemporary Indian theatre, enriched by its historical and cultural roots, serves as a potent medium for social commentary, political critique, and an expression of India's diverse socio-cultural identity. It further examines the pivotal transformations during the colonial era, where Indian theatre became a crucible of cultural confrontation and adaptation, integrating Western influences while simultaneously nurturing a form of resistance against colonial dominance.

    The pivotal role of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) in shaping a nationalistic and socially conscious theatre in the wake of independence is analyzed, highlighting the continued evolution of Indian theatre amidst political and social upheavals. Through the lens of playwrights, directors, and dramatic theories, the article examines the transformation of Indian theatre into a dynamic, multi-faceted arena, reflecting both traditional influences and modern innovations.