Idealist Politician. An oxymoron, if there ever was one. An unstable equilibrium. Like a funnel standing on its narrow end. The gentlest of nudges and it falls down. But against the odds, Nath Devlalikar, the character I play, is very much an idealist politician.
Nath is a politician, albeit not a very successful one. His Socialist Party has no chance of ever coming to power in Maharashtra. But Nath is undoubtedly an idealist. Uncompromising on the democratic principles and Gandhian credo that he lives by. Until, of course, he does compromise, for the sake of his daughter. Which is the heart of the play.
An idealist politician. They don’t make them like that anymore. Perhaps that is why Tendulkar set the play in the early 70’s (even though he wrote it in 1983) and made Nath a former freedom fighter. When our freedoms are taken for granted, politics becomes less about ideals and more about gaining and holding on to power.
- Basab Pradhan
Kanyadaan is playing at Sunnyvale Theatre from April 13 to 28.