The members of the Moksh Dramatics Society of Delhi’s Sri Aurobindo College are on a mission to expose how the distortion of India’s history is affecting the country’s citizens even today.
Through the opening act of their annual production Atithi Bhava, the artists act as human pieces on a chessboard to dramatically depict how invaders into India were treated as guests instead of who they really were.
“In Indian History, we have been long taught to glorify all invaders. But what we are not taught is how these invaders corrupted the original culture and traditional history of India. Most of us are not aware that all our current social, economic and political problems are a result of these invaders destroying the self-esteem of the natives of our country,” says a member of Moksh.
Formed 11 years ago, Moksh uses theatre to enlighten people about how different happenings can affect the world as well their personal lives. At present, the society has 26 members.
Read our full interview with Moksh here:
Tell us more about Atithi Bhava and what motivated the group to create the play?
Imagine if we make you believe you lost your legs in an accident in the past and that you are now a cripple and need our help to walk. But in reality, you are completely fine and self-sufficient! This is what our play Atithi Bhava focuses on.
We’ve all heard that history repeats itself. But how are we going to learn from our mistakes of the past if we don’t even know about them. Atithi Bhava is our way of using lessons from history to equip us for the future.
Our discussion on various topics led our team to research and arrive at the conclusion that somewhere or the other, it is the distortion of our history that has hindered our growth and caused most of the problems that we face as a country today. This is what motivated us to create Atithi Bhava.
So, what sets Moksh apart from other theatre groups?
Moksh tries to mould every person associated with it into a global citizen and focuses on their overall personality development. We believe in chain reactions.
What is the group’s process of creating and performing a play production?
We first discuss and research a topic for two months. After that, the whole team works on the script. The direction and the sequence of the scenes as well as the writing is all done by the team together—even if it takes several nights to compose lyrics and set up the play. The energy of the play reflects the way the team is connected to the topic and that’s something we have always been appreciated for.
What are the challenges and emotional hurdles that the group faces while creating a play?
Discussions lead to debates. But like a family, we need to sort out various issues such as differences in opinions and ideologies and merge it all together. The hectic schedule of college as well as our group’s practices and research work are some of the other challenges we face.
Name some of Moksh’s greatest achievements till date?
Moksh has a lot of feathers in its cap when it comes to achievements. We are proud to say we have secured first position in theatre competitions held at Jaipuria institute of Management, IIT Roorkee, Jamia Hamdard, Jamia Milia Islamia, as well as Jaipuria Institute among other institutions. We have also secured second positions at festivals at IIT Roorkee, Pearl Academy, Dyal Singh College, and Kalindi College to name a few. Owing to the talent of our actors, we’ve also received many prizes in the best actor category.
Atithi Bhava was also one of many powerful theatre acts performed at Be.artsy’s Volunteer4Volunteerism (V4V) – Be on the Street (BOTS) festival (see pic above) held in Delhi earlier this month. V4V- BOTS is an annual event that uses street theatre to promote the use of volunteerism against various social issues in the country.
For more information on the society’s work and performances, please visit their Facebook page