Director: M. S. Sathyu
Writer & Adapter: Habib Tanveer & Safdar Hashmi
Assistant Director & Production-in-charge: Vikas Yadav
Music: Kuldeep Singh
Cast: Avinash Kumar, Paritosh Tiwari, Hempushpak Arora, Priya Sahdev, Anupam Kumar, Nishant Srivastava, Saumya Srivastav, Noman Khan, Vikas Yadav, Ishika Bachhan, Vaishnavi Fendor, Abhishek Srivastava, Kaamna Pathak, Rohit Chaudhary, Shankar Purohit, Sunraj Dev, Suresh Kumar, Ramesh Rajhans, Ravi Kumar, Aanjjan Srivastav, Nivedita Baunthiyal, Shakir Ali, Satyendra, Sunny Dixit et al.
The latest Hindi play ‘Moteram Ka Satyagrah’ is based on a story “Satyagraha” penned by Munshi Premchand, written & adapted by Habib Tanveer & Safdar Hashmi & above all directed by none other than extremely versatile director M. S. Sathyu.
This time around IPTA has offered tribute to Munshi Prem Chand one of the finest writers of Indian Subcontinent on his death anniversary by performing a play ‘Moteram Ka Satyagraha’ inspired from his own story on 8th & 9th Oct, 2015 at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu.
The play ‘Moteram Ka Satyagrah’ is a musical comic satire on governance directed by M. S. Sathyu, a National Award-winning director best known for his film ‘Garam Hawa or ‘Scorching Winds’.
Set in Benaras during the British rule the play ‘Moteram Ka Satyagrah’ highlighted the larger issues of relationship between Religion & Politics which are still relevant today.
The story is about a Brahmin from Benaras called Moteram who falls a prey to his greed. The story begins when the magistrate Sir William Parkinson got the news of a Viceroy visiting the town of Benaras that made him tense. He wishes to portray Benaras as a very smart & beautiful city and seek help from his 7 unintelligent Officers. The magistrate accepted all their suggestions which lead to a chaos in the city of Benaras. Angry by his decisions the people of Benaras decided to boycott the Viceroy’s visit and planned to declare Hartal. When the magistrate came to know about this he bribed Pandit Moteram to go on a hunger strike to control all the revolutionaries. Moteram blackmailed the people of Benaras on religious lines and tried convincing that the Bristish empire is for their good.
The play deals with whether or not Panditji succeeds in controlling his hunger? And to what extent the magistrate will go to save his position even at the cost of the people of Benaras.
The protagonist Pandit Moteram Shastri, a role enacted by Aanjjan Srivastav was undoubtedly the soul of the play. The audience was completely mesmerized by his performance. His dialogue delivery, facial expression, gestures and his looks set the stage on fire. On the other hand Nivedita Baunthiyal who played his wife supported the protagonist amazingly. She was completely into her character as a devoting wife. While Abhishek Srivastava who played Lord William Parkinson did complete justice to his character. He was stupendous and took the audience on a hilarious trip with his Hindi accent. Besides him all the characters of the play comprising of Avinash Kumar, Paritosh Tiwari, Hempushpak Arora, Priya Sahdev, Anupam Kumar, Nishant Srivastava, Saumya Srivastav, Noman Khan, Vikas Yadav, Ishika Bachhan, Vaishnavi Fendor, Kaamna Pathak, Rohit Chaudhary, Shankar Purohit, Sunraj Dev, Suresh Kumar, Ramesh Rajhans, Ravi Kumar, Shakir Ali, Satyendra, Sunny Dixit. et al complimented each other very well.
The team filled with enthusiasm & energy also lighted the stage. Costumes were done by director M. S. Sathyu himself. The costumes played an important part in the play and were selected very cautiously for reflecting the Benaras of the British rule. The costumes completed the look of every character helping the audience to understand the nature of each one’s role. They communicated the message accurately & realistically. Music Director Kuldeep Singh succeeded in expressing the characters emotions through live music and established a mood for the audiences watching the play. Lighting Department was also able to pull all the aspects on the stage and enhanced the beauty of each character & scenes. The stage was beautifully illuminated creating the right mood for the play. Assistant Director Vikas Yadav did a commendable job of bringing out the best both from debutantes & talented artists. Actually speaking the USP of the play was its huge cast and their coordination which was superb.
Director M. S. Sathyu’s vision was seen throughout the play. Truly M. S. Sathyu was the Captain of the Ship, a great director, art director & stage manager. Despite being a comical play it gave a very serious message of separating religion from politics.
The play ‘Moteram Ka Satyagraha’ beautifully portrays that religion & politics are 2 different worlds and when mixed together people’s rights are trampled upon leading to aggressive opposition amongst the masses. Though it is an old play but the problem of religion & politics still exists in our country and is hampering the growth of the people & the country. The play was not only entertaining but there was a message to take back home that is relevant even after so many years when Munshi Premchand wrote the story.