HISTORICAL ROLE OF EUROPEANS IN REVIVING DRAMA IN SOUTH ASIA

Authors

  • DR. SYED SHABIHUL HASNAIN KAZMI Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi

Abstract

Drama as a performing art in India had its origin in the Sanskrit Drama which saw its apogee in the Gupta period. After the Muslim conquests the drama suffered a decline because drama as such was not part of the ‘Arabic or Persian repertoire. Subsidiary forms of drama appeared after the formative phase such as Ibn Daniyal of the 13th century Hijri. Drama could see a revival in South Asia only due to European seafarers, mainly the Portuguese and the British. The Portuguese at least, were initially as anxious to spread Christianity as they were for trade and conquest. For the purpose of proselytization, the Portuguese staged religious plays in Urdu, in the early Deccan idiom which as entertainment proved popular. After British rule was firmly established, theatres were built and plays performed, first in Bengal and then in Bombay. The earlier theatre drew upon the English classics because the audience was exclusively European. Later their success gave an impetus to local patrons, writers and performers, especially in Bengali and the more modern Urdu. During the colonial period itself, vernacular drama had established its foothold and a fusion of themes occurred due to translations. The evolution of drama proved to be a significant social index as one could see which class chose to perform in public and which class did not. It left a lasting impact on Urdu literature

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Published

2023-09-30

How to Cite

DR. SYED SHABIHUL HASNAIN KAZMI. (2023). HISTORICAL ROLE OF EUROPEANS IN REVIVING DRAMA IN SOUTH ASIA. Quarterly Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, 71(3). Retrieved from http://phs.com.pk/index.php/phs/article/view/311

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Articles