Popular play ‘Ek Aur Birbal’ staged in Jammu, draws accolades

Popular play ‘Ek Aur Birbal’ staged in Jammu, draws accolades
The play was specially staged on tremendous demand from the Kashmiri Pandits to spread awareness among KPs about the sacrifices given by Pt Birbal Dhar to save them from the treacherous rule of Afghan ruler Azim Khan.Special arrangement

Jammu: Popular play “Ek Aur Birbal” was staged at Abhinav Theatre Jammu. Written by Rakesh Roshan Bhat and directed by Rohit Bhat, the play which has already carved a niche for itself was staged once again on popular demand by the Vomedh at Abhinav Theatre Jammu in association TRN and Radio Sharda. The play drew accolades and standing ovation from the jam-packed audience.

The play is a mega hit among Kashmiri Pandits as it brilliantly depicts the plight of Kashmiri Pandits during the Afghan Durrani Rule in 1812 AD and the bravery displayed by Pt Birbal Dhar by bringing in Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s rule to end Afghan domination of Kashmir.

The play was specially staged on tremendous demand from the Kashmiri Pandits to spread awareness among KPs about the sacrifices given by Pt Birbal Dhar to save them from the treacherous rule of Afghan ruler Azim Khan.

Written by Rakesh Roshan Bhat and directed by Rohit Bhat, the play salutes the vision and valour of visionary Pandit Birbal Dhar, a tax collector in the royal court of Afghan Governor Azim Khan in 1812 AD. The play chronicled the sequence of events, such as Birbal being forced by tyrant Azim Khan to recover unethical heavy tax amount from the Kashmiri Pandits, but Birbal’s conscience prevailed and he revolted to take on the governor at the cost of losing his wife and daughter-in-law.

Pandit Birbal Dhar approached and convinced Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore to save Kashmiri Pundits and general public of Kashmir. The benevolent Maharaja attacked the Mughal Army and forced Azim Khan to run to Afghanistan. The play relied largely on the narratives with background music and costumes suggestive of the Mughal splendor of the 18th century.

Rakesh Roshan Bhat has brilliantly brought out all the aspects of the era hitherto unknown to the modern generation and the excellent direction of Rohit Bhat coupled with superb acting skills displayed by the artists makes the play more memorable for the younger generation and the old people alike.

“Ek Aur Birbal” got a standing ovation by the audience and more invitations poured in from different parts of the country for staging the play which is a lesson in Kashmir Pandit history and their struggle for the Kashmiri Pandits and others as well.

Pandit Birbal Dhar finds a passing reference in the history but when analysed his sheer wisdom, character and courage assumes gigantic proportions for his heroic effort in bringing Sikhs to Kashmir and integrating Kashmir into India.

The play delves depicts the miseries of Kashmiri Pandits after Kota Rani lost the battle and the six forced migrations of Kashmiri Pandits that took place since then.

Rakesh Roshan the playwright says that the play was a tribute to the legend of Birbal Dhar and how he got Maharaja Ranjeet Singh to end reign of terror of Afghan Durani rule thus becoming the real hero of Kashmiri Pandits.

The actors who performed on stage did a brilliant job which include Arvin Tickoo as Mirza Kak, Rahul Kilam as Pt Birbal Dhar, Puneet J Bali as Azim Khan, Rajni Bhatti as Birbal’s wife, Sachin Sharma as Anwar Khan, King C Bharati as Bassa Ram, Amit Gupta as Raja Kak, Shazi Khan as Sukhram, Irfana Bano Mir as Phool Singh, Kamakshya Dogra as Mirza Son, Anil Bhat as Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and Himagini Moza as Raja Kak’s wife.

Narration was given by Dr Sudhir Mahajan, Lyrics by Rakesh Roshan Bhat, Singer and composer Arvind Ji, Set Virji Sumbli, Makeup -Shammi Dhamir, Video Heeramani Singh, Stills, Kamal Ganjoo & Ishu Bharati Pandit, Lights Ravinder Sharma and Sandeep Manhas, Costumes Bharti Kaul, Assistant Costume Designer Irfana Bano Mir, Music Arranged by Dr Abhishek Bharti, Recording studio Kongposh (Rajesh Kher), Host Bindiya Tickoo, Properties Suman Bhat and Priya Kher.

The backstage was managed by Drishti Rajput and Ritik Singh Jamwal. Fight Scene were choreographed by White Angels Crew. Prominent social activist and DDC member Taranjit Singh Tony was the Chief Guest on the occasion while Ramesh Hangloo, Director Radio Sharda was the guest of Honour. Prominent social activists MK Yogi and Anita Chandpuri were the special guests.

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