(Last Updated on : 28/01/2009)
Gurdial Singh Khosla was an unrelenting dramatist-producer. This person established Punjabi theatre in Delhi. He began his dramatic career before Independence in Lahore, with a translation of john Galsworthy's The Silver Box published as Chandi da dabba in 1935. He received enthusiastically by his Lahorean predecessor I. C. Nanda who had taken to playwriting in a similar way.
His first original play, Buhe baithi dhi i.e. 'Unmarried Daughter' in 1943, scrutinized the emergent phenomenon of love marriages for its pros and cons. Written as a social comedy, it upholds sobriety as an antidote to passion. Mar mittne wale i.e. 'Those Who Died' in 1958. This was a tragedy composed in the realistic mode, glorifies the people who, irrespective of cast or creed, sacrificed their all for the country's freedom. Ironically, their heroic struggle met immediately with its anticlimax. India's partition changed their dreams into nightmares. Parlo onpah U i.e. 'Before the Deluge' in 1966 extends the theme of Independence to contend that without family planning it will not have any positive effect upon people's lives. Any policy implemented to control population will retain futile unless women shed their docile submission. In addition to these full-length works of social gency, Khosla brought out two collections of one-act drama. Be-ghare te hor ikangi i.e. 'The Homeless' and the Other One-act Plays' in 1950 and 'Satarwanpatite r ikangi i.e. 'Seventeenth Husband and Other One-Plays' in 1966 contain three plays each, tackling crucial problems. Khosla was a discriminating writer, realizing aptitude, who stuck to realism. His long association in theatre in Delhi, as founder of the amateur Punjabi theatre in 1949 and discoverer of many of its performers, particularly actresses, made his plays eminently stageable. Several years, he was the Indian correspondent of World Theatre, the organ of UNESCO's International Theatre Institute.