By Ayush Jain (LMB)
Court Martial is a stupendous play written by Swadesh Deepak enacted by several theatre groups since its inception. The play has been appreciated by the audience nation-wide and over the period of many years. Even though the play originated over 2 decades ago, it still has relevance in today’s world. Society’s prejudices, the parity between the power-influenced justice and justice based on the verity of the situation. The stark contrast is beautifully highlighted by the play and poses thought-provoking questions to the audience.
In this instance, the play was being enacted by the Asmita Theater Group in the open-air amphitheater of the India Habitat Centre (IHC) located in New Delhi, India. Even before the play began, the amphitheater was packed to capacity and every nook and corner was occupied.
The evening had all the elements- a beautiful stage, a strong & talented cast, and a brilliant script. The play revolves around the story of Ram Chander, a recruit in the Indian Army. He is being tried for murdering a high-rank officer and injuring another. Another central character to the play is the war veteran Col. Surat Singh, who is presiding over the hearing.
What seems to be an open & shut case, is indeed an eye-opener to the prevailing system of justice. As the play unfolds, the colonel is shocked to the very core of his beliefs as he witnesses the devils of the caste system. The once sure and confident Surat Singh, who has taken down the toughest of enemies in his glorious past, is left in a dilemma. The play demonstrates poetic justice being served, even though it is not apparent.
The story which transpired had the audience engrossed, appreciative of the cast and their skills. The play had all the elements- a dramatic plot, streaks of comedy in between, display of compelling logic, impactful acting and the brilliant direction of Arvind Gaur.
The cast, members of the Asmita Theatre Group, are extremely talented and display skills which are unparalleled. Their acting was flawless and it seemed that each of them had actually embodied their character, living their emotions.
I am not someone who has a great memory, but this is one instance where I remember each & every minute detail vividly.
Court Martial is a must-watch play especially if one gets the chance to witness it being enacted by the Asmita Theatre Group.
Don’t miss it in this lifetime, search for an enactment of the play and just go!