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Parody on politics

Play `Shara Maamoole' staged recently was a satire on politics.



on stage The play makes an argument about the exploitation of a simple person by a corrupt system.

`Shara Maamoole'is one of early plays of N. Taraka Rama Rao. He looks at politics through a satirical angle, as a beehive of corruption and other social ills. The play argues that a plain hearted illiterate person can easily be exploited by corrupt system around and take him as a victim of this evil. The play was chosen for staging on the Telugu Theatre Day (April 15), at Ravindra Bharati in Hyderabad.

Taraka Rama Rao conceived a situation to present this satire on politics, as a kind of extempore play by those few artistes who gathered at one place. It is a kind play within play. As some artistes do not turn up to present a scheduled play, the playwright throws a challenge to those few artistes who turned up that he is ready to give a theme and create a crucial character of the subject and the artistes should imagine and present other characters, extempore. Next, the playwright creates the character of an illiterate rag picker becoming the minister by vote. The task is to illustrate how this good-hearted minister would become a victim of corrupt forces in political administration. How he will be exploited is the theme.

The rag picker is first given the vote of the playwright, symbolic of democratic election and then he becomes minister. To differentiate from other roles, the minister is given an ornate turban to wear. The minister is given a secularist name - `Sheikh Moses Sastry', played by Muralidhar .

Then come into his life his personal assistant (Venkateswara Raju), a journalist (Sivakumar), who is always found drunk, demanding a post for his friend and so on. And a land broker who promises sites to poor people to lay huts in a vacant land. He collects money and exploits minister's innocence.

Gjnana Sagar played this role. Then there is a corrupt office clerk (Nagendra Kumar). Venugopal plays brother-in-law of the minister who too starts exploiting his relationship with the minister, for gain.

All these characters are prototype of real life politicians. Srinivasa Rao played office peon who holds a stamp pad and helps the minister to post his thumb impression on files. When the minister is asleep, the peon himself quietly takes his thumb into his hand and stamps it impression on files that he wants the minister to sanction.

With all these characters around him, the minister too gets influenced. Thus runs the drama, ending with the message that power corrupts everybody.

Director K.S.N.Murthy handled the production well, but he appeared to have not taken care of the diction and spacing of dialogue well. This lack of clarity weakened the impact of dialogue humour. All the artistes offered a well-coordinated performance, with good planning of movements.

Mythological theatre veteran Pisapati Narasimha Murthy was presented with `Jagruthi-Kalaniketan (2004) Award' on the occasion.

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

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