Independence, Partition, and New Theatrical Imaginings

Nandi Bhatia

in Performing Women/Performing Womanhood

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780198066934
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080076 | DOI:
Independence, Partition, and New Theatrical Imaginings

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This chapter examines women's interrogation, through theatre, of the relationship between gender, nationalism, and colonialism, during the 1947 Partition and in the nation-building years immediately following Independence. Available documentation shows the involvement of women such as Bhatia, Jahan, Segal, Shaukat Kaifi, and Chughtai, among others, in organizations such as the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), in Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya's Indian National Theatre, and Begum Qudsiya Zaidi's Hindustani Theatre. Their efforts not only represent examples of women's political activism through theatre; the titles of the theatre groups they were involved in — the IPTA, Indian National Theatre, and Hindustani Theatre — also indicate an emphasis on bringing the ‘national’ into the fold of theatrical activity and identifying theatre as ‘a forceful lever for helping’ during what Chattopadhyay identifies as ‘times of great upheavals and changes’.

Keywords: theatre; gender; nationalism; colonialism; Indian People's Theatre Association; Indian National Theatre; Hindustani Theatre; political activism; Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya; Begum Qudsiya Zaidi

Chapter.  8304 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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