Scintillating play, musical evening mark Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahotsav     

Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj National Memorial Committee has been organising such cultural festival for the last few years

A scene from the play ‘Jaag Utha Hai Raigad’ performed by Swatantra Kala Group 
A scene from the play ‘Jaag Utha Hai Raigad’ performed by Swatantra Kala Group

Pragati Saxena

Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial National Committee along with some major Marathi organisations of Delhi has organised Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahotsav from February 14 to February 21. Various cultural programmes are being organised focusing on the life and times of Shivaji and his glorious personality.

A debate competition was organised on February 17 in Shivaji College, Delhi where the Committee’s president Motilal Vora, Rajya Sabha MP, distributed prizes to the winners of the competition. The lecture of Delhi University’s faculty member Anirudh Deshpande and an evening adorned with new and old songs based on the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji was also the highlight of the festival.

What stood out particularly was the staging of a very popular Marathi play ‘Jaag Utha Hai Raigad’ in Hindi. ‘Raigadala Jevha Jaag Yete’ is a popular Marathi play written by the well-known Marathi playwright Vasant Kanetkar. Vasant Kanetkar was awarded Padma Shri in 1992 for his contribution to Marathi literature.

The play is perhaps his most popular and revered work. It has been translated in Hindi by Vasan Deo and the Hindi play was directed by Abhijeet Choudhary. The play was staged by Swatantra Kala Group’ of Pune. The remarkable thing about this play is that it presents the humane and sensitive aspect of Chhatrapati Shivaji in a very touching manner.

With the 17th century Maratha empire as its backdrop, ‘Jaag Utha Hai Raigad’ presents the tumultuous political situation of the period when Shivaji was busy in consolidating and expanding his empire and wanted to keep the empire united with a strong leader at its helm. On one hand is Shivaji, the great Maratha leader who has established a huge empire and who is almost worshipped by everyone; on the other is Shivaji, the affectionate father, who wants to mould his son into a strong and able leader. The play very deftly portrays the intense and tense moments between a father and a son.

The play is centred around those difficult circumstances with which Shivaji grapples. The character of Shivaji’s son Samba ji has been specially crafted very beautifully. While Shivaji is busy in the establishment and organization of a vast empire, Sambaji has the responsibility to nurture and keep this empire intact as his glorious father has tirelessly and successfully done.

An intense tension rising out of the conflict between the old and new ideas along with a strong bond of love between the father and the son creates a complex situation between the two. Depicting such a complex relationship with emotion and that too in a popular style was a remarkable achievement of this play.

During the Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahotsav, tributes were paid to Shivaji with garlands and flowers at the statue of Shivaji, in Shivaji Park, Delhi on February 19. A musical evening ‘Shiv Gaurav Gatha’ was also organised on February 21 in which well-known singers and musicians like Kamlesh Bhadkamkar, Ajit Parab, Shalmali Sukhtankar, Ketki Bhave Joshi and Mayur Sukale performed. Some old and new songs based on the life and times of the great Maratha leader Shivaji mesmerised the audience.

Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj National Memorial Committee has been organising cultural festival for the last few years, primarily aiming to make the younger generation aware of Shivaji’s ideals, respect women and encourage patriotism.

The committee is also actively undertaking welfare activities, which include imparting education to underprivileged children, make underprivileged women financially independent and to inculcate a healthy nationalism in youth. Shivaji Maharaj Committee is also working towards establishing a huge museum on Shivaji.

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