Mohan Se Mahatma: A play highlighting Gandhi and Champaran movement

The play portrays the Champaran Satyagraha not only as a political movement, but a larger one that included social, educational and economic reforms of far-reaching consequence into its ambit

NH Photo by Rana Siddiqui Zaman
NH Photo by Rana Siddiqui Zaman
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Rana Siddiqui Zaman

On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday today, a play on Champaran Satyagraha marking its 101th year, was staged at Noida Canvas Club on October 2. It was also staged at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, and is running successful repeat shows for its unique content.

Titled Mohan Se Mahatma is the performance that recreates the Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 – a turning point in Mahatma Gandhi’s life and in the Indian freedom movement.

The one-hour-15 minutes show begins with 55-year-old Gandhi taking notes of his memoirs about the Champaran Satyagraha for his autobiography My Experiments With Truth. This leads to the depiction of all the epoch making events related to the movement --from the arrival of 47 year old MK Gandhi sporting Kathiawadi attire in Patna on April 10, 1917 to his onward journey to Champaran to the successful culmination of the movement.

In the process, the drama portrays the Champaran Satyagraha not only as a political movement, but a larger one that included social, educational and economic reforms of far reaching consequence into its ambit.

NH Photo by Rana Siddiqui Zaman
NH Photo by Rana Siddiqui Zaman
A scene from the play ‘Mohan Se Mahatma’
NH Photo by Rana Siddqui Zaman
NH Photo by Rana Siddqui Zaman
A scene from the play ‘Mohan Se Mahatma’
On the political front, the play signifies the central role played by Gandhi in re-defining the mood and mode of India’s struggle for freedom.  It also highlights the transformation of Gandhi from ‘one of the political leaders of national importance’ to India’s principal political campaigner. It also discovers that the movement went on to establish Gandhi as a spiritually revered personality as the very terms “Bapu” and “Mahatma” were coined and became a fashion during the time of Champaran Satyagraha.

At the same time, it highlights the contributions of the poor people and the peasants of Bihar to Indian freedom movement. The play equally focuses on the trusted lieutenants of Gandhi ji --- the intelligentsia of Bihar, particularly Dr Rajendra Prasad who went on to become of the first President of independent India.

Produced by Pierrot’s Troupe, the play features some of the prominent actors of the country: The first and foremost being Ravi Raj Sagar who plays 55-year-old Gandhi Ji in this production. It also stars M Jaskiran Chopra, Ayman Ansari, M Sayeed Alam etc.

Notably, the play is scripted and directed by Dr Sayeed Alam, known for his theatrical experience of three decades, over 100 plays, each spanning over 1500 shows across the globe. Another of his play on Mahatma Gandhi is interestingly titled-- ‘To Gandhi Ji With Spelling Mistakes’.

Alam is majorly reputed for his penchant for Historical and Humorous plays with original, creative and entertaining productions in Hindi, Urdu and English; Ghalib In New Delhi, Sons of Babur, Ghalib Ke Khat, Krishna, Sir Iqbal, Pakistan Aur Alzheimer’s, Tumko Chahoon, Raja Nahar Singh are some of his popular plays.

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