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Udaipur: The Udaipur chapter of the prominent international organization "Srijan the Spark," dedicated to music and arts, organized a theatrical production of the play "Jallianwala Bagh" at the Vivekananda Auditorium of Mohanlal Sukhadia University. The play was performed by a talented ensemble of 25 artists from Mumbai.
The play commenced with patriotic chants of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" and "Vande Mataram," resonating with the enthusiastic audience of over a thousand. The event vividly brought to life the events of 1919, specifically the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which played a significant role in galvanizing the Indian freedom movement. The play revolved around General Dyer's fateful decision to open fire on a gathering of Sikhs celebrating Baisakhi, leading to a tragic loss of life – 379 killed and around 2000 injured, including women and children.
The riveting performances of all 25 artists breathed life into the historical incident, capturing the audience's attention throughout the play. The enactment poignantly depicted the aftermath of the oppressive Rowlatt Act of 1919, which allowed arrests based on suspicion, imposed press censorship, and curtailed individual freedoms.
The play portrayed General Dyer compelling Indian farmers to crawl on the ground and lick his boots in exchange for their lands, a demand that went unfulfilled. This incident united Indians against British oppression, leading to protests like the Jallianwala Bagh gathering. The narrative depicted how General Dyer sealed all exits of the garden, leaving those gathered helpless and vulnerable to the firing.
The subsequent inquiry committee held General Dyer accountable for the massacre. Despite the British authorities' disapproval of his actions, General Dyer justified the firing as a pre-emptive strike against a potential uprising, thereby exacerbating the unrest. This event deeply impacted Udham Singh, who vowed to avenge the massacre.
The play, with a runtime of one hour and twenty minutes, effectively conveyed the emotions and sentiments of the pre-Baisakhi joy, which turned into a horrifying tragedy. The seamless coordination of sound and lighting, coupled with the masterful direction of Ashok Banthia, a renowned writer, novelist, and accomplished Bollywood and television actor, brought the play to life.
The cast, includin