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Posted on January 30, in Controversial News , India , Politics Disclaimer: Articles on this website are fake and a work of fiction and not to be taken as genuine or true. Most people know the name of Nathuram Godse as a killer of Mahatma Gandhi. This is how the whole world remembers him every year on death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January. Most of these reasons haven indeed been talked about in the past as well but not so openly. That is to only to make Nathuram Godse always look like a accused and Mahatma Gandhi as a mere victim. However, when the whole story and underlying reasons are seen with a different perspective, then it ofcourse leads to unearthing of newer facts and analysis.
He thought that such non-violent ideology would lead to Hindus losing the will to fight against other religions, which he saw as a matter of self-defense, and thereby becoming permanently enslaved. This has been said to be one of the major reasons behind his decision to kill Gandhi. Gandhi died almost immediately. After shooting, Godse did not try to run or threaten anyone else.
He was attacked and pinned to the ground by the crowd around him and was subsequently arrested when a small group of police officers arrived on the scene a few minutes later.
On November 8 , Godse delivered his statements in court enunciating the reasons and motives for the assassination. Below are the excerpts from different but main sections of his answers to the charge sheet. As I grew up I developed a tendency to free thinking unfettered by any superstitious allegiance to any isms, political or religious.
That is why I worked actively for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system based on birth alone. I openly joined anti-caste movements and maintained that all Hindus are of equal status as to rights, social and religious, and should be considered high or low on merit alone and not through the accident of birth in a particular caste or profession.
I used publicly to take part in organized anti-caste dinners which thousands of Hindus, Brahmins, Vaishyas, Kshatriyas, Chamars and Bhangis participated. We broke the caste rules and dined in the company of each other. Below is the para 28 of his answer to the charge sheet; All this reading and thinking brought me to believe that above all it was my first duty to serve the Hindudom and the Hindu people, as a patriot and even as a humanitarian.
For, is it not true that to secure the freedom and to safeguard the just interests of some thirty crores of Hindus constituted the freedom and the well-being of one fifth of human race? This conviction led me naturally to devote myself to the new Hindu Sanghatanist ideology and programme which alone I came to believe, could win and preserve the national independence of Hindusthan, my Motherland and enable her to render true service to humanity as well.
He defended the use of righteous violence against aggression and quoted the examples of Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind Singh. However, Gandhi had referred to the issue in a completely different way. Against such an attitude there can be no halfway house. Either Congress had to surrender its will to his and had to be content with playing second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision, or it had to carry on without him. He alone was the judge of everyone and everything; he was the master brain guiding the Civil Disobedience movement; no other could know the technique of that movement.
He alone knew when to begin it and when to withdraw it. Of course he dared not read the Geeta in a mosque in the teeth of Muslim opposition. He knew what a terrible Muslim reaction would have been if he had done so. But he could safely trample over the feelings of the tolerant Hindu. To this belief I was determined to prove to Gandhiji that the Hindu too could be intolerant when his honour was insulted. To my mind it is not at all objectionable to study comparative religion.
Indeed it is a merit. Godse firmly believed in a secular State and was opposed to the supremacist demands of the Muslim League Para Godse accused Gandhi of infatuation with the Muslim League even after the massacre of Hindus by Muslims after Direct Action Day and despite their increasing disloyalty and treason to the Interim Government. This is what he answered in the charge sheet in Para 69w. Whose sacrifice? Godse Accused Mahatma Gandhi of being Father of Pakistan and not of India According to Godse, Gandhi did not impose any conditions on Muslims because Jinnah and the Muslim League were not at all perturbed or influenced by his fasts and attached no value to his voice.
He claimed Gandhi failed in his duty and proved to be the father of Pakistan. Hindus should never be angry against the Muslims even if the latter might make up their minds to undo even their existence. If they put all of us to the sword, we should court death bravely, may they, even rule the world, we, shall inhabit the world. At least we should never fear death. We are destined to be born and die; then why need we feel gloomy over it? If all of us die with a smile on our lips, we shall enter a new life.
We shall originate a new Hindustan. But circumstances were beyond my control. So strong was the impulse of my mind that I felt that this man should not be allowed to meet a natural death so that the world may know that he had to pay the penalty of his life for his unjust, anti-national and dangerous favouritism towards a fanatical section of the country. I decided to put an end to this matter and to the further massacre of lacs of Hindus for no fault of theirs. May God now pardon him for his egoistic nature which proved to be too disastrous for the beloved sons of this Holy Land.
He then confessed that he fired the shots at Gandhi on January 30 , on the prayer-grounds in Birla House. I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus. One can see connections to religion and the supernatural in countries as far apart as Iran and the Philippines and one can see its nonmimetic and often avant-garde instincts in experiments from Japan to Indonesia.
Between these extremes one finds traditional sung forms and European spoken forms, masked theatre and puppet theatre, danced theatre and shadow theatre, each with its own energy and each with its own committed following.
In many cases, the communities overlap. In some, they barely speak to or acknowledge one another. This region has its political theatres and its street theatres and traditional artists at the root of it all continuing to revitalize their art even as the millennium approaches.
The aesthetic patterns are identifiable and visible to all. Sung and danced forms emerged early in this part of the world, some connected to religion and others supported by feudal courts. Growing from India with perhaps the oldest and most complicated theatrical history of any country and from China, theatre of this region spread across Asia and the Pacific utilizing, in later incarnations, not only tales from Mahabharata and Ramayana for inspiration but also more local stories and legends.
Where western forms were not rejected for political or religious reasons, new theatrical communities emerged and by the beginning of the twentieth century two clear styles of theatre could be differentiated in many countries in the region: the traditional ones rooted in the musical and movement skills of the actor and the modern one involving texts that were spoken rather than sung, texts more often than not mimetically interpreted rather than symbolically danced.
The traditional theatre was dominated by great actors who handed their skills down generation by generation in direct and often familial lines while the spoken theatre privileged text and textual interpreters who often had social or political agendas.
In some Asian countries, the twentieth century was a period of dialectical debate between these forms. The intensity of such debate—both on-stage and off—deeply affected the respective theatre communities. Traditional forms changed, some modestly, some significantly and spoken forms adapted. Perhaps most ironic to the dispassionate viewer is how many theatre artists in the last two or three decades of the twentieth century sought to bridge the gap between the two forms, ultimately easternizing western The blooming of a thousand flowers 15 aesthetics with Artaud and Brecht as the avant-garde in this movement while allowing strong western elements into the often ancient arts of Asia.
Indeed, a thousand or more theatrical flowers are blooming in Asia and the Pacific in the s. The number attests to a vibrant theatrical culture, one clearly connected now to both east and west, past and future. It is complicated and it is pluralistic.
But for anyone willing to make even a modest effort, the journey will prove a rich one, and one that will make it impossible for anyone to say blithely that theatre is a western growth or that it developed fully only from Greek roots. For the record, this volume would never have come together without the hard work of our regional editorial board: the indefatigable and always accurate Katharine Brisbane in Sydney, our deeply committed Central Asian editor Ravi Chaturvedi in Jaipur, our ubiquitous Southeast Asian dance and theatre scholar Chua Soo Pong in Singapore, Tanokura Minoru in Tokyo and Ramendu Majumdar in Dhaka.
I would also like to acknowledge the work done during the early stages of this project by the far-sighted Indian director and designer Ebrahim Alkazi. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the financial support of two international agencies without whose very real financial help this volume would never have been completed: the Rockefeller Foundation in New York and the Japan Foundation in Tokyo.
The former has been behind this project almost from the beginning and its many officers have never been less than supportive in what must have seemed at times to be a crazy vision. The latter through its visionary Asia Centre helped WECT to organize planning meetings in Bangkok and Tokyo, bringing together many of our writers and members of our Asian editorial team. To both these agencies, WECT offers a deep bow and its sincerest thanks.
Don Rubin York University, Toronto The Pacific The geographical and historical legacy of the South Pacific is not only rich, wide and varied but much of it inaccessible both in time and space. This enormous area of the globe, spreading laterally from Western Australia to Easter Island, comprises volumes of ocean surrounding a myriad of tiny islands and atolls—Tonga has , Tahiti-Polynesia , Papua New Guinea —and a few land masses with modern met-ropolitan centres of substantial population.
Each inhabited island has its own ancient culture and language, to which has been added the hybrid cultures that travel and colonization have brought. Within each, theatre, dance and music have been as much part of community life as in any culture, though visitors may see little of them and continue to retain in their imagination the legend of the South Seas gained from western literature and films. The world encyclopedia of contemporary theatre 16 The largest land mass is Australia, whose indigenous culture is ancient but whose modern nationhood is barely a century old.
It is now the most heterogeneous of all the nations in the region. To the north is Papua New Guinea, with a population of 4 million deeply divided into island communities and separated by the steep highlands in the centre. Dutch, British and German colonization was replaced after World War I by Australian trusteeship until independence was declared in To the southeast of Australia is New Zealand, colonized in by the British and with a similar history to Australia, but differing significantly in geographical dimension and the resistance of its Polynesian Maori people.
Archaeological evidence has shown that Papua New Guinea and Australia were colonized from Southeast Asia over 50, years ago by what became the Melanesian people. Polynesians, intrepid seafarers, came from the north from BC to settle much of the rest of the Pacific, reaching New Zealand about AD The two races are distinct in appearance and cultural practices: the Melanesians, who make up the great majority of the population, are dark, their skin sometimes blueblack and their hair densely curly; the Polynesians have golden skin and a taller build.
The Melanesians have hundreds of local languages: New Guinea alone has ; Polynesians have one homogenous language, Tagalog, with local variations. The British took control of Fiji in This haphazard exploration and settlement, initially by lawless commercial interests, created territorial divisions which were often alien to the natural divisions of race and culture and compounded the cultural complexities created by the haphazard nature of the original settlements.
The consequence has been a history of warring neighbours and civil strife. In the twentieth century, the Pacific War, following the fall of Singapore in , disrupted the pattern still further as the Japanese colonized Micronesia in the north and the United States became the major force in the Pacific.
The Solomon Islands were a major theatre of war.
The peace brought further damage to the region as isolated atolls became sites for the explosion of nuclear bombs, a practice stopped by treaty in France detonated its last bomb in The s and s saw most Pacific nations achieve independence. Only French Polynesia continues to be governed by metropolitan France.
Cultural independence and revival in the face of material advancement remains a struggle to be fought and won. Distances between these Pacific settlements are so vast that it is only since the s The blooming of a thousand flowers 17 that the touring of theatre and other cultural ventures has become viable. This is for the main part limited to the four-yearly Pan-Pacific Arts Festival and specific occasions of cultural diplomacy.
Public funding in the more populous areas has enabled small troupes to travel extensively. Between the existing companies in Australia and New Zealand there is still surprisingly little traffic despite their relative proximity, common ancestry and substantial cross-migration. In the s, government export incentives have encouraged Australian performers—mainly in the non-lingual fields of dance, puppetry and acrobatics—to expand their horizons and tour abroad.
Asia and the Pacific have become major destinations. Despite this regional diversity, the process by which contemporary theatre has developed has been remarkably similar among the nations of the region.
Three factors have in sequence been responsible for this: the diversity of languages which encouraged the use of music, dance and mime in traditional forms of storytelling; the importation of European forms of theatre which provided a model for change; and since the s the conscious re-examination of past practices, led by the academies, in the search for a new means of expressing and reflecting a national identity. Until the development of Melanesian Pidgin Tok Pisin as a common language from Papua New Guinea to Fiji, performance was a local affair derived from ritual: strictly traditional in form and content but introducing parody of local authorities and political allusions.
They were highly elaborate productions, the mask-making occupying the time and skill of the whole village, some in great secrecy.
The coming of European work practices put an end to the more time-consuming celebrations, but the spread of variations of Pidgin enabled the formation of travelling troupes. It was adopted also by the church.
On some islands and on Australian missions, performance of traditional rituals and parodies was discouraged. In others the missionaries adapted their moral messages to these existing forms, particularly through the intervention of women villagers. In consequence the major political theatre in the South Pacific has come from the Melanesians.
They have been of vital importance in disseminating The world encyclopedia of contemporary theatre 18 information about hygiene, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases and developing debate on domestic violence, deforestation and other social issues. Performers with these companies have formed new groups in other parts of the region. From the s writers for the theatre have begun to deal in more complex ways with national character and the quest for cultural identity.
At first their models were the epic and the social realist play.
With growing experience they have begun to explore their familiar forms of language and action and to look for inspiration to the rituals of the past. The universities and training institutions have taken a lead in these developments and many of the pioneering writers and directors have been and still are academics. Australia and New Zealand have followed this pattern and undergone equally radical social change but without the enforcements of colonialism that still prevail in some parts of the region.
In the nineteenth century Australia and New Zealand, like Africa, India, Hawaii and Fiji, were on a circuit travelled by performers from all over the world. In the s an amateur theatre had evolved, middle class in its aspirations for cultural expression.
Out of this in time came a concern with creating a wholly Australian theatre and writers began to seek subjects that dealt with the great issues of bush survival, isolation, political injustice and change. The movement made only occasional impact upon the fabric of society until the student revolution of the late s introduced an iconoclastic new group of writers and actors who, in fact, succeeded in changing their worlds in great measure because of government subsidy.
The pattern was similar in New Zealand, even more deferential to its British origins than Australia, and burdened with a sober-living Scottish heritage which in Australia was loudly outsung by a larrikin Irish voice. In both countries the injection of government funding into the arts transformed forever the level and variety of performance.
Found spaces used for performance were by degrees converted into major venues. More importantly, the indigenous cultures and minority groups also found their voices in this period of social change and began to use the theatre as a platform. New plays, polemical at first and gradually more substantial, began to shed light on the diversity of Australian life.
In Australia the most important new voice in the s is that of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander; particularly in dance and music they are drawing young artists from the South Pacific to join them.
Similar patterns can be seen in the larger population centres of Papua New Guinea and Fiji, for example.
It provided funds for training schools and travelling theatre troupes and set about addressing social issues, researching the past and affirming a cultural identity. In Suva since the University of the South Pacific has undertaken that role and introduced several culturally important playwrights through the Fiji Arts Club.
Lacking organized government support, the movement of necessity The blooming of a thousand flowers 19 remains an amateur one. Both countries, however, have provided training facilities for the South Pacific region, as has the National Institute of Dramatic Art and other institutions in Australia.
An area of professionalism ideally designed to overcome the vast distances, isolation and small population is radio, a major influence in the dissemination of new work, traditional storytelling and cultural theory and practice. It remains the best opportunity for writers and actors in many parts of the region. Plays and stories were being written for radio in New Zealand and Australia from the s and from the s in the rest of the South Pacific.
Serials became popular, sometimes carrying social and political messages. In Australia, where radio drama had lost status with the coming of television, Koori Radio, the Aboriginal broadcasting service, serves to reinforce traditional values and spiritual and political awareness.
To achieve this, they have invested nearly half a century of funding, both government and, increasingly, sponsorship from major corporations. This in itself is a new form of colonialism for which countries with small populations and large distances have no solution.
Radio and television communication, together with increasing travel and the drain of populations from the villages to the metropolitan centres, are inevitably breaking up community life and destroying languages and common memory. Theatre practitioners have played, and continue to play, a part both on stage and in the political arena in addressing these problems, reassembling the cultural identities of races long ago torn apart by migration and invasion.
The articles from this region in the volume give a new and valuable insight into these issues and into the growth of the fragile cultural forms of the South Pacific.
The tension among these forces gives an experimental character to theatre, and while these confrontations with the past are now for the most part halting and tentative, they will no doubt grow surer and steadier. But the results of such encounters with tradition will depend not only on individual talent, but also on social developments within the countries and in Asians a whole. It is likely that, as happened in the west, realistic modes centring on contemporary social themes will become typical of mainstream Asian theatre.
Predictably, the major boundary follows a historical configuration, blocking off theatres between the modern and the pre-modern or traditional.
This broad division is, for the most part, chronologically justifiable since modern theatres are of fairly recent origin in most Asian countries while the pre-modern theatres claim a very old ancestry, and often an unbroken continuity. On the whole, the pre-modern theatres of Asia which range from the ritualistic and the folk to the classical appear to have monopolized scholarly research and exegesis. These theatres have elicited copious study and minute analysis, notably from western scholars and researchers who have been drawn to the field in large numbers.
This academic tilt towards premodern theatres has, to some extent, deflected interest from the modern theatres of Asia, for these have not attracted similar scrutiny either from a dramaturgical or socio-political perspective.
The promptings behind the foregrounding of the pre-modern theatres are clear. Premodern theatres exhibit distinctive and unique lineaments which set them apart. Their generic properties quite naturally intrigue and engross scholars and practitioners. The traditional theatres of Asia have become a pathway to the occasionally obscure roots of theatre and performance.
For questing minds seeking alternatives to western dramaturgy, Asia has been providing exciting models. Anthropologists and sociologists too have been drawn to the study of premodern theatres as both literal and symbolic articulations of value schemes and social formations. None the less, the impression that they project of the topography of Asian theatre does not fully accord with the actualities observed and experienced by Asians themselves.
The premodern sector of Asian theatre is not, generally speaking, in a robust or stable condition. In certain parts of Asia, in fact, pre-modern theatres find themselves in a pitiable state, ravaged by forces outside their grasp while in other territories they seem to retain some vitality and sense of purpose.
Meanwhile, the modern theatres demonstrate signs of growth by expanding in volume, reach and scope. The dynamics of any given theatre are determined principally by the performance context. In Asia in the late s, the performance context is defined by the irreducible fact of change—change on a scale unprecedented in the annals of Asian societies and national entities.
This change is neither casual nor fortuitous; often, it is methodically planned and implemented from the centre. Necessarily, the pace and the magnitude of change differ from country to country, and from culture to culture. Yet every single Asian society, irrespective of its operative social philosophy and political ideology, is in a state of mutation. This is the context in which theatre, both modern and pre-modern, has to be located.
What is the essence of this process of change? Within the Asian framework, the term modernization generally glosses the ongoing transformation. Modernization, a highly complex and overarching process, has generated a plethora of disputes, theorizations and critical terminologies.
Nevertheless, the core elements of modernization can be established without too much controversy. At its most basic level, modernization implies a critique of the past. The impulse to modernize stems from the assumption that, in order to meet the challenges of the emerging world, certain values, attitudes, social structures and other aspects of the inherited culture have to be either discarded or suitably modified, otherwise new elements have to be introduced into the existing culture.
For example, it is often stressed that people and societies in Asia should distance themselves from superstition and adopt the rational, scientific values that are essential for development.
The modern is equated with the scientific. First, modernization may negatively affect those culture formations, socioeconomic structures and value schemes that support and sustain pre-modern theatres.
Likewise, modernization creates new needs, and introduces previously unknown imperatives into the domain of theatre. Such interlinked developments have been witnessed in Asia at different times during the past years. The thesis of differentiation employed in social science helps to clarify the primary structural ways in which modernization determines the destinies of theatre. Broadly speaking, differentiation denotes a separation or compartmentalization of the constituent elements which together build up the spiritual and material universe of the human being.
Asia's modern theatres: encounters with tradition 23 Scott Lasch states the matter in the following terms in his sociological study of postmodernism: In primitive societies, culture and the social are as yet undifferentiated.
Indeed religion and its rituals are part and parcel of the social. The sacred is immanent in the profane. Further, nature and the spiritual realm are undifferentiated in animism and totemism. What the transition from tradition to modernity does is to eliminate these continuities and close-knit, mutually supportive relationships, replacing them with boundaries and demarcations. As it progresses, differentiation promotes the autonomization of the different spheres of cultural activity and cultural experience.
Each medium of art becomes an activity primarily subject to its own aesthetic laws. Differentiation also brings about a crucial shift from the symbolic to the representational in the arts. This summary crudely simplifies a non-linear process of transformation. However, it suggests why pre-modern theatres are waning while the modern theatres are gaining ground in tandem within the ethos of modernization.
The pace of modernization in Asian societies has of late been vastly enhanced and even radicalized by the impact of globalization.
Without any notable exception, Asian countries have accepted global transformation as the reality of the late twentieth century. This means, in empirical terms, the opening up of societies and the lowering of national barriers on trade and commerce, on manufacture and foreign investment, on communication and cultural exchange.
This liberalization is implemented on a scale that makes the world an increasingly interdependent agglomeration of national units. The issue of globalization in respect of individual Asian countries has generated a great deal of debate and discussion in such fields as economics, social science and cultural studies.
But the forces unleashed by global transformation intensify the negative impact of modern on the socioeconomic structures, lifestyles, culture formations and value schemes which legitimized and sustained the pre-modern theatres. Most if not all pre-modern theatre activities have been woven into the fabric of traditional life.
They formed an organic and necessary part of the rites, ceremonies and rituals associated with such primary concerns as worship, agriculture, healing; in sum, with the material and spiritual well-being of the community in a unified system. This close and integral bond between life and theatrical performance is either disappearing or weakening, for the obvious reason that the structures, contours and rhythms of life are themselves changing.
To be sure, the foregoing observations are among the commonplaces of cultural history. However, it would appear that they are not given adequate attention in theatre scholarship. The reality that needs to be taken into account is that the pre-modern theatres have ceased to serve the functions they once performed; they are outside the emerging The world encyclopedia of contemporary theatre 24 scenario.
Indeed, influential opinion in modern societies no longer perceives many of those previous functions as rational or meaningful. In most regions of Asia, the survival of pre-modern theatres now requires artificial sustenance through the injection of nativist fervour and nationalist self-esteem.
They are being turned into cultural icons or marks of identification. They are now being given a symbolic function. Paradoxical as it may sound, the survival of pre-modern theatres in Asia seems to depend upon their ability and willingness to accommodate themselves in the modern performance context. This requires, for instance, shortening of performance. What is now happening in most parts of Asia—indeed, what has been happening over the past years—is similar if not identical in essence to what occurred in Europe some years ago.
As Raymond Williams states: What we actually find, as we examine this period in its long and slow lines of development towards our own century, is one of the two major transformations in the whole history of drama the first was that of the Renaissance. We can identify five factors of an immensely influential kin in all subsequent drama. First, there was the radical admission of the contemporary as legitimate material for drama….
Second, there was an admission of the indigenous as part of the same movement; the widespread convention of an at least nominally exotic site for drama began to be loosened, and the ground for the now equally widespread convention of the contemporary indigenous began to be prepared. Third, there was an increasing emphasis on everyday speech forms as the basis for dramatic language…. Fourth, there was also an emphasis on social extension: a deliberate breach of the convention that at least the principal personages of drama should be of elevated social rank….
Fifth, there was the completion of a decisive secularism: not, in its early stages, necessarily a rejection of, or indifference to, religious belief, but a steady exclusion from the dramatic action of all supernatural or metaphysical agencies.
Drama was now, explicitly, to be a human action played in exclusively human terms. We can identify the same five factors within Asian theatrical cultures, but with one very significant difference.
Whereas in Europe, it was a case of modifying or transforming existing dramatic forms, in Asia it became necessary to fabricate entirely new forms. This was because the existing forms were either resistant or not amenable to change or because they were too closely enmeshed in the sacred and Asia's modern theatres: encounters with tradition 25 the ritualistic and therefore not available.
Whatever the reason, the few attempts at modernizing traditional forms in line with the factors highlighted by Williams has on the whole proved a dismal failure in Asia. In the creation of new forms, it was inevitable that Asia should have been inspired by western dramaturgical and theatrical models.
The first feature was the proscenium stage, which radically altered the traditional player-audience relationship. The audience was separated from the stage, which discouraged active participation and response. The wings and drop curtains led to an emphasis on illusionism and other stage tricks. The second innovation, far more important in its impact, was the sale of tickets which changed the relationship of the theatregoers to the theatre itself. Until then, acting groups in India had depended on patronage of temples, princes, and high officials….
Performances become pre-packaged goods sold in endless replications. The run of the play in the competitive market decides its worth and freezes it in a shape it cannot change without affecting its saleability. These modifications relate to the specific histories of separate countries, and to the activities of the numerous amateur, experimental and avantgarde theatre groups spread all over Asia. Needless to say, India and other Asian countries that once belonged to western colonial empires naturally demonstrate a variant chronology from that of countries such as Japan and China pertaining to new formations in modes of production and modes of reception.
However, the basic structural aspects of modern theatre are the same all over Asia. Enclosed auditoriums, proscenium stages, admission fees, reserved seats, specified timeframes, advertising, reviews and so forth are features evident in all urban centres. To be sure, they differ from place to place on such matters as scale, proficiency, specialization and so forth.
Nevertheless, they are practically identical in spirit and intention. All makers of modern theatre in Asia, like their counterparts in the west, offer their productions to the public at a price. There are many exceptions to this basic contract, but they prove the rule. We might recall here the valuation that Artaud gave to the use of speech in pre-modern theatres—theatres he esteemed for their ritualistic substance.
That, however, is not the issue before us. This must not be regarded as a mere act of imitating the west. It is, on the contrary, a response to a felt and palpable need. Incantation and chant did not, and probably cannot, meet the demands of a theatre which sets out to explain the world in dialectical terms rather than to portray it symbolically. This brings me to my closing argument, which is that modern theatres are more alike than different all over the world.
They share many features in conditions of production and conditions of reception. They are, almost as a rule, driven by instrumental rationality and follow a broadly realist or non-symbolic aesthetic. They address similar if not identical themes. Their audiences too are similar if not identical. Modern theatres everywhere speak, by and large, to an urban middle-class audience which is a fairly homogeneous entity.
This suggests why dramatic works of the modern repertoire travel so widely, either in their original form, or in translation and adaptation. Global transformation has fuelled the dispersal and dissemination of modern theatres across national and cultural boundaries.
What is being developed in the late s is an international language of modern theatre. To be sure, the idioms, tropes and formulae employed in modern theatre differ from country to country, as indeed they must because of cultural specificities.
Mainstream modern theatres, along with the economies, are flowing in parallel directions throughout the world. Their convergence and continuity are acquiring greater significance than their variations.
The constant cross-flows in texts, techniques, crafts and in personnel are in some ways analogous to the processes that have been occurring in the sphere of the moving image. To my mind, these are inevitable developments, given that individuals and societies are now wrestling with globally shared tensions, conflicts, contradictions and dilemmas, economic and political problems.
In Asia as previously happened in Europe theatre is separating from religion and ritual, and turning more and more into an activity predicated upon secular compulsions and experiences.