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Chanakya Vishnugupta

G.P. Deshpande (Author) Maya Pandit (Translator)
Synopsis Veteran Marathi playwright and Marxist intellectual G. P. Deshpande turns to India’s ancient past to pinpoint the historical moment of empire in the context of the history of the subcontinent. The central character of the play, Acharya Chanakya Vishnugupta, theoretician and strategist of state, is perceived to be the force behind the rise of young Chandragupta Maurya from a mere rebel to the status of Emperor of Magadha. What drives Chanakya is a historical vision. He sees in Chandragupta the ideal vessel to carry out his theories of state, and ruthlessly manipulates his young disciple to fulfil his grand vision of an all-powerful empire, the first centralized state. As with all Deshpande’s plays, this is a fierce theatre of ideas, in which the debate over concepts of state rages back and forth between the characters. The questions raised in the process result in an investigation of history rarely undertaken in dramatic form. This is political theatre in the true sense of the term. The playwright’s detailed introduction explores the ideas that went into the play, his approach to the main characters and what they mean to him.
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About the authors

G.P. Deshpande

G.P. Deshpande is Professor of Chinese Studies at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is also a playwright and critic in Marathi. His best-known plays include Uddhwasta Dharmashala (A Man in Dark Times), Andharyatra (Passage to Darkness), Chanakya Vishnugupta, Raaste (Roads), and Satyashodhak, a play on Jotirao Phule’s life.

Maya Pandit

Maya Pandit is an activist who is involved with the women's and teachers' movements in Maharashtra for the last two decades.  She has published research papers on issues in the women's movement as well as education.  She has also been associated with the alternative Marathi theatre and has translated Marathi plays into English.  She now works as a professor and teacher educator at English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

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Bibliographic information

Title Chanakya Vishnugupta
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.1996
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170461332
length 64p.
Subjects History