Bangalore Little Theatre relives India’s political past on stage in Caribbean

By Paras Ramoutar, IANS,

Port-of-Spain : Whilst there appeared to have been “personality conflicts” between India’s two independence giants, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, the two shared soft hearts, mutual respect and an overflowing camaraderie. This was clearly gleaned in the play entitled “The Prophet and the Poet” and professionally executed by the Bangalore Little Theatre Group that premiered at University of Trinidad and Tobago’s auditorium Sunday evening.

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Two other shows are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

This is the fist time such a presentation hit the Caribbean stage, and everyone present saw India’s history on a stage, witness personality conflicts yet there was mutuality and respect and love for each other. It was a majestic presentation. as one was able to learn history without any reference to history books.

The play marked the 142nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Oct 2, and the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, May 7. It was organised by Malay Mishra, Indian High Commissioner, Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation, UTT, and the India Alumni Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

“The Prophet and the Poet” is based on the exchange of letters and articles between Gandhi and Tagore over 25 years of India’s freedom movement, and the exchange from actual correspondence is interspersed with imaginary dialogue, but based on historical facts.

The play explores the political debates on a philosophical plane between Tagore and Gandhi, both of whom shared a deep and abiding love for India and a common vision for the country’s independence.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Finance, Winston Dookeran, addressing Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, hailed Tagore as India’s philosopher; Gandhi as its political strategist, and prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru as the practitioner of independence.

(Paras Ramoutar can be contacted at [email protected])