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Globalization, Nationalism and the Text of ‘Kichaka-Vadha’

The First English Translation of the Marathi Anticolonial Classic, with a Historical Analysis of Theatre in British India

Translated with an Introduction by Rakesh H. Solomon


The first English translation of ‘Kichaka-Vadha’ is presented alongside the most detailed scholarly analysis based on a comprehensive range of archival documents about this anticolonial Marathi classic to date.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783082650
July 2014 | 200 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 20+ b+w illustrations
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

“An extremely well-researched and highly significant contribution to the history and politics of early modern anticolonial theatre in India accompanied by a translation of the Marathi text.” —Phillip Zarrilli, University of Exeter

“This is an important and much-needed book. Beyond making a fascinating play available in English for the first time, Rakesh H. Solomon demonstrates how social unrest acted upon and helped to shape Indian theatrical production and how that production in turn helped to focus and shape the reimagining of India itself.” —John Emigh, Brown University

“‘Globalization, Nationalism and the Text of “Kichaka-Vadha”’ offers an inscape into how modern drama became a strategic tool in the struggle for Indian independence. It provides important insights into the birth of Indian modern drama by noting its hybrid roots and response to the times.” —Kathy Foley, University of California, Santa Cruz, and editor, “Asian Theatre Journal”

“I can, wholeheartedly, recommend Solomon’s reliable translation of Kichaka-Vadha as an exemplary political prose drama, produced in the ‘golden age’ of Marathi drama. It is a great pedagogical text, and Solomon’s translation brings it to life.” —Kedar A. Kulkarni, Asian Theatre Journal

“This year in my undergraduate course Introduction to Modern Indian Drama, we are reading Globalization, Nationalism and the Text of ‘Kichaka-Vadha’ as a part of the course-work. We are enjoying the play and translation. […] My students, from diverse linguistic backgrounds, find Solomon’s text easy to read and the introduction is very helpful to understand the context and the play. I find his book (including the bibliography and ‘Key Terms’) very resourceful for my classwork.” —Ashutosh Potdar, Marathi playwright and Associate Professor of Drama and Literature, FLAME University, Pune, India

In addition to providing the first English translation of ‘Kichaka-Vadha’, this volume offers the most detailed scholarly analysis to date of the anticolonial Marathi classic, drawing on a comprehensive range of archival documents.

The documentary material comes from colonial-era police, judicial, administrative, legislative, and newspaper sources. The commentary provides a broad overview of the formation of the modern Marathi theatre as well as a close reading of ‘Kichaka-Vadha’ itself. It illuminates the major events and personalities alluded to in the play and highlights the dramaturgic strategies used to advance a radical political agenda.

The play attracted immense audiences at the height of the Independence movement in early-twentieth-century India, making it extraordinarily influential, both politically and theatrically. Numerous playwrights sought to emulate its successful nationalist strategies and produced a significant body of political theatre in colonial India, while British authorities undertook several measures to minimize their impact.

This study of how anticolonial plays operated in an Indian context encourages fruitful comparisons with the resistance strategies employed by plays in other Asian and African countries facing various colonial mechanisms of regulation and suppression of public performances.

Readership: The book will be useful to undergraduate and graduate students as well as scholars in the fields of theatre, literature, colonial history, cultural studies, and South Asian studies. It will also appeal to actors, directors, and enthusiasts of South Asian theatre.

Author Information

Rakesh H. Solomon teaches in the Department of Theatre and Drama and the India Studies Program at Indiana University Bloomington. He is the author of ‘Albee in Performance’ (Indiana University Press, 2010) and has published widely on both American theatre as well as South Asian theatre.

Table of Contents

Preface; Part I: Globalization, Nationalism and Theatre in British India: The Historical Terrain of ‘Kichaka-Vadha’; Part II: Kichaka–Vadha, or The Slaying of Kichaka; A Note on the Translation; List of Characters; Act One; Act Two; Act Three; Act Four; Act Five; Key Terms; Index