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Shree Narayana Gurudev

Play on life and work of Shree Narayana Gurudev, a social reformer from Kerala

To be staged in February 2024 at Sarat Sadan

Subhajoy Roy | Published 04.09.23, 06:13 AM
The launch of the script and title of the Malayalam play Chempazhanthiyile Njana Tejas at the premises of Shree Narayana Seva Sangham on Sunday evening

The launch of the script and title of the Malayalam play Chempazhanthiyile Njana Tejas at the premises of Shree Narayana Seva Sangham on Sunday evening

Picture by Gautam Bose

A play on the life and work of Shree Narayana Gurudev, a social reformer from Kerala much of whose life was dedicated to fighting caste inequalities, will be staged in the city early next year.

The title of the play — Chempazhanthiyile Njana Tejas (The Luminous Wisdom of Chempazhanthy) — and its script were released on Sunday.

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Shree Narayana Gurudev was born in Chempazhanthy in Trivandrum district of Kerala.

The idea to have a play on the saint, philosopher and social reformer emerged among a group of Malayalees in the city who found that there were many books on Narayana Gurudev, but hardly any play.

“Since there is almost no drama about his life and work, we decided to stage a play,” said R.K. Prasannan, the president of Shree Narayana Seva Sangham, a charitable organisation.

“The society at that time was caste-ridden and dominated by upper castes, especially the Brahmins. Lower caste people were not allowed into temples. Shree Narayana Gurudev fought for the rights of temple entry for lower caste people,” said Prasannan.

Narayana Gurudev built temples where everyone was allowed. But at a later part of his life, he called upon people to stop building temples and build schools instead, said Prasannan.

The play will also include a meeting that Shree Narayana Gurudev had with Rabindranath Tagore in Travancore’s Sivagiri when the bard visited Kerala in the 1920s, said Suthan Bhaskaran, the vice-president of Shree Narayana Seva Sangam.

The play will have 120 characters played by 50 actors from among the Malayalees living in Kolkata.

It will be staged in February 2024 at Sarat Sadan in Behala.

Nikhil Nirmal, an IAS officer serving in Bengal but with roots in Kerala, released the title and the script on Sunday at the Sangham’s office on Ramesh Mitter Road in Lansdowne.

Ravi Thaikkat from Kerala is the writer and director of the play.

Last updated on 04.09.23, 06:13 AM
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