WBRi Drama Review: Crisis of Civilization: A journey with Tagore – A tribute to Rabindranath Tagore by Jagriti Theater

Ranjan Ghoshal as Rabindranath Tagore in Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore (Theater)
Ranjan Ghoshal as Rabindranath Tagore in Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore

February 25, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) On the 24th of February, Kolkata witnessed the performance of Crisis of Civilization: A journey with Tagore by Jagriti theatre Bangalore.  Directed by Jagadish Raja, this was a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary.

Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore (Kolkata Theater)

Instead of following the clichéd path of staging a play written by Tagore, the group made an effort to bring the ideology of the great personality in front of the audience. Normally people know Tagore for his literary contributions but the facets of this visionary as an educationist, statesman and philosopher have been thrown light upon through this event.

Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore (Kolkata Theater)

This was a theatrical representation of “Sobhyotar Sonkat”, a speech delivered by the stalwart on his 80th birthday. In this speech Tagore expressed his concerns on the several fallacies that come with the advancement of civilization.

This was a one man play in which Ranjan Ghosal very efficiently portrayed the character of Rabindranath Tagore on one hand and carried on the role of narrator on the other. The change of role was very cleverly done just with the addition and elimination of a cloak. The play leaves you with intriguing thoughts about some of Tagore’s philosophies which are equally contemporary in the present day’s scenario.

One of the major concerns brought forward by this play was the concept of patriotism as projected by Tagore. It will be shocking for some people to know that Tagore was not a huge supporter of this concept. Now, that did never mean that he was not in love with his own country. It was the narrowness of nationalism which disturbed his thoughts.

A number of poems, songs, stories and novels of this literary genius expressed the idea of freeing India from the slavery of British rule. But that was more from a humanitarian ground as he believed in the liberty of the soul of every individual. Colonization was something of which he was dead against. He also did not believe that love for your country can be expressed through hatred for some other nation.

Globalization is one of the most talked about concepts of today but Tagore thought about it years before. In this context a difference between the ideologies of Gandhi and Tagore has been very aptly drawn in this play.

Education was also one of the major concerns of Tagore as he had all his doubts about the formal educational system. Education is something that is supposed to be a bliss which can open up the inner core of the soul of a person towards the outer world.

He found to his dismay that the lessons of schools and colleges are filling the hearts of people with doubts about the things that are unknown to them. He knew, the purpose of education can be fulfilled thorough inculcating divine knowledge into them. Only this can take an individual to the plane “where the mind is without fear, where the head is held high”.

Performance of Ranjan Ghosal was absolutely wonderful. He left the audience in the ICCR auditorium enthralled with his acting. The translation of the lyrics of Tagore by Sangeeta Ghosal and Ranjan Ghosal flashed on the screen fixed on the stage as they were sung or recited by the actor which all the more set the mood of the play. Crisis of Civilization: A journey with Tagore was not just a play but an experience for all those who watched it on the 24th.


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