Nil Durpan or The Mirror of Indigo; translated as Nil Darpan; or, The Indigo Planting Mirror is one of the famous Bengali plays
written by one of the admired theatre personalities of West Bengal
named Dinabandhu Mitra
in 1858-1859. The play was essential to Nil bidroho, or Indigo revolt of February-March 1859 in Bengal, when farmers declined to sow indigo in their fields as a protest against unequal farming under the British rule in India. It was also vital to the development of Bengali theatre
and influenced Girish Ghosh
, who, in 1872, would set up The National Theatre Kolkata
where the first ever play commercially staged was Nildarpan
Critical Summary of Nil Darpan
This play was a popular, well-known and admired by the people, and received tremendous reactions from people around the world. The translation of the play, into English language, was done by Mitra himself.
This play was written to help raise a voice among the elite class people in Kolkata, against the British rule. Nilbidraha, unlike the Sepoy Munity 1857
, is effectively a revolt integrating entire Bengali population with no distance kept between the different classes of society, which can be attributed to the endeavour by Mitra and Rev. James Long and Michael Madhusudan Dutt.
has rich tradition of writing drama. Almost for a millennium the only form of literature other than odes was drama. The division of the genre of Sanskrit theatre by the stalwarts like Kalidasa
were sturdy enough to keep the millions of theatre enthusiasts absorbed for years to come. But it was coming at a dawn by the mid 1800 in Bengal where the Bengal Renaissance
say the rise in western education and ideas, and therefore the styles of new forms of literature were seeping in. For example Ram Narayan Tarkaratna (1823-1885) had already left the Sanskrit tradition and started writing about realisms of social. The drama or theatre is starkly diverse from the former dramas or plays of that era, notably the first modern drama written in Bengali by Ram Narayan still had the sadhu bhasa, the artificial Sanskrit dialect of modern Bengali as the writing medium.
The characters in the drama are the villagers and the indigo planters who got the money and the law in their hand.
Characters of Nil Darpan
* Goluk Chunder Basu: a rich man
* Nobin Madhab: son of Goluk Chunder Basu
* Bindu Madhab: son of Goluk Chunder Basu
* Sadhu Churn: a neighbouring Ryot
* Ray Churn: Sadhu`a brother
* Gopi Nath: The Dewan
* Torap: A heroic figure
* Indigo Planters
* J. J. Wood
* P. P. Rose J
* The Ajviin or Land Measurer
* Amin khalasi: a tent-pitcher.
* Taidgir Native: Superintendent of Indigo Cultivation.
* Magistrate, Amla, Attorney, Deputy Inspector, Pundit, Keeper of the Gaol, Doctor, a Cow-keeper, a Native Doctor, Four Boys, a Latyal or Club-man, and a Herdsman.
Women in Nil Darpan
* Sabitri: Wife of Goluk Chunder.
* Soirindri: Wife of Nobin.
* Saralota: Wife of Bindu Madhab.
* Reboti: Wife of Sadhu Churn.
* Khetromani: Daughter of Sadhu and Reboti.
* Aduri: Maid-servant in Goluk Chunder`s house
* Podi Moyrani: A Sweetmeat Maker
Legacy of Nil Darpan
The rich legacy of dark humour in plays is very well shared by the then dramatists like Madhusudan Dutt
and Girish Chandra Ghosh. It was also essential in development of the Bengali colloquial dialect that is free from any influence from Sanskrit language