“Inquilab” is one of the most effective realistic play by Asif Currimbhoy regarding the social issue. Asif Currimbhoy (1928-1975) has his unique recognition to produce the crucial realistic play for contemporary India through his own transparent and impartial vision. He used to construct the plot of his play inter winded with social, political, moral, and religious issues along with pathos, sentiment, irony, and social criticism. Asif Currimbhoy is considered India’s first authentic voice in theatre writing plays of dissent. All his social issues through local in color are of universal appeal drawing attention to problems of man everywhere such as denial of human rights, justice, and freedom. He had explored universal human predicament through his social, moral, religious and political concerns in the play. And for this excellence, he achieved appreciation from every corner of the world.
Inquilab has been set in the background of the Naxalite revolt that haunted West Bengal. The play is an assessment of the Naxal movement grew powerful in Calcutta in the 1970 duration. Charu Majumdar who established the communist (Marxist-Leninist) of India and organized several armed risings of landless agriculture laborers, especially in eastern India in 1967. It comes to be known as “Naxalite – Movement” named after the village of “Naxalbari” in West Bengal where it first began. Eventually, it developed into an urban guerrilla movement, especially in Calcutta.
In this play, Currimbhoy takes us through three main scenes – a classroom, a prayer room, and a Bengali countryside. The play opens with the scene where Dutta, a professor of law, in his 50s with a conservative old worldish British approach lecturing to his alert, intelligent, and restless student. His son Amar is also among them in that lecturing period of the classroom. He suggests all those students introspect on the socio-political situations in the ‘dying city’ Calcutta besieged by social melodies. Perhaps, it was the exclusive time for reflection over the past – impatient. At that time Calcutta’s people were facing a lot of uncertainty due to the continual growth of “Naxal’s” activities. Law and Order were looking helpless. The slogan of Gandhi was being ignored due to spread illusion of Mao’s Naxal messages.
Even responsible and wise people of the contemporary societies were being diverted due to dilemmatic blow of Naxalism in West Bengal and out of Bengal. It was impossible to recognize the completion of a Naxal without the complexion of a Naxal without confirming his own naxaly action. Dutta’s elder son ‘Mihir’ also died in Burman Naxaly action and younger son was also in the same track. It proves that the dilemmatic magic of Naxalism had diverted even the people from pure humanistic Gandhian society.
Provoked by his lecture, some students, resort to banging the desk with fists. A frenzied crowd keeps shouting slogans “class enemies Murdabad”, Jotedar Murdabad”, police Murdabad, Inquilab Zindabad.” The distraught professor Dutta sits alone, looking at the portrait of Gandhi with a wish from this truth God to provide a humanistic sense to those diverted youth.
His heart always aches in pain because he had lost his eldest son in Naxalist involvement and youngest Amar was totally against him due to his diversion with Naxalist involvement. His father Dutta wanted him back in Gandhian Civilian Society but Amar did not look agree with any argument of his father. Dutta Sir used to say his wife to convince Amar to leave the dilemmatic path of Naxalism. Amar who had gone on the wrong track believing in Naxalist ideology. This is a painful predicament professor Dutta and his wife undergoes.
Ahmed, Shomik, Sarkar, and Amar all were special core power of Bengali Naxalism. Except for Amar, other activities had a rude corner for Naxal ideology. Although Amar belonged to Naxalism by its theoretical effect yet there was a dogmatic difference between Amar and other Naxalists. Supriya, the daughter of Zamindar Jain loved Amar and Amar too loved her. In spite of this intimate relation, Amar was more intimated devoted and loyal to the stream of Naxalism than her. Supriya used to try to draw his attention on her flirting but Amar always looked awaiting for every next order of core commander. Unfortunately, Supriya’s father Jain was in the hit list of local Naxalist Ahmed. The core commander knows it that Amar had a soft corner for Supriya’s father, so he called a meeting to take a decision of execution for Supriya’s father Mr.Jain.
Next scene shifts to the classroom where some Naxalisties gather in the night. In that meeting, although Amar agrees to stop the execution of Zamindar Jain, but he couldn’t get success in stopping the cruel decision of core commander of Naxalists. Ultimately, the action shifts to the village for land and to peasants home where a young Naxalite, the student of Ahmed was ready to execute Mr. Jain. Ahmed had nominated Shomic for the critical decision so that Amar could not show any soft corner for Jain. Finally, Jain was executed and Amar could not do any effort for his safety.
Supriya asked why he could not stop his cruelty but Amar did not want this cruelty against Zamindar yet Police made an including charge even for him. Hateration in heart of Supriya was natural. But this Hateration changes when Supriya realizes that some close of Amar’s Naxal friends killed the innocent father of Amar.
At last Amar comes to the realization that his father was right in upholding the Gandhian Principles. The play ends symbolically with Ahmed confirming his stand of pursuing his Marxist Revolution, while Pro. Dutta was still loving those Naxalist with the hope they follow the right path. Amar was looking like a lost and defeated person who had supported Naxalism without considering its side effect. The Naxalist voice with the “slogan” of “Inquilab” was waiting for its justification, socialistic “Inquilab” was being misminded in the diverting dogma of Naxalism, communism and their narrow slogan “Inquilab” for in humanistic revolution against Zamindar’s other democratic followers. Amar’s humanistic sense finally arose toward father’s processed socialistic dogma but this humanistic and sense came when he lost his loving emotion for Supriya, her father’s death and the death of his own father.
Also, Read Theme of Inquilab by Asif Currimbhoy