(Last Updated on : 25/07/2009)
Harsaran Singh was a renowned dramatist in Punjabi theatre. He was born in the year 1929. His very first play Jigra or 'Tolerance' in 1958 symptomatically depicts a youth courageously forgiving his wife the sexual lapse she committed before marriage. In his next, Phul kumla gia i.e. 'The Flower Has Faded' in 1960 was based on the story of a discreet wife who has to accept her husband's indiscreet behaviour toward an educated woman.
Some of the Harsaran Singh's work can be discussed as all of them were very interesting. Udas lok i.e. 'Melancholy People' in 1965 portrays the privations which lower middle-class families are overwhelmingly destined to face under the new dispensation. Written in the realistic vein, it contends that illness, insecurity, and malevolence are becoming a way of life. Abuses and imprecations lend verbal naturalism to the story. Lamme same da narak i.e. 'Long-term Hell' in 1975 decodes the overall social set-up. Composed under the burden of the Emergency imposed a year earlier, it shows the political, administrative, and educational spheres rendered dysfunctional. Nizam sikka i.e. 'The Water-carrier Nizam' in 1977 looks at another side.
In Kulachhane or 'Bad Characters' in 1980, Harsaran Singh reverts to the earlier themes of sexual liberalism. In this play he justified a woman's right to impregnation by another man when her own husband is infertile. His next play, Raja in 1981 goes against the common belief that Dhian Singh Dogra, whom Maharaja Ranjit Singh made his Prime Minister, was responsible for the fall of the Sikh kingdom. His last work, Raja Rasalu in 1989 draws its material from the ancient legend to argue that sexual compatibility is the norm to measure the rationale of human behaviour. So, against his vindictive role in legend, old Rasalu here is inclined to marry his young queen to her lover who belongs to her generation. Ironically, the decision comes too late because by that time the lover has been killed and the queen has taken her own life. This famous personality died in the year 1994.
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