(Last Updated on : 24/09/2012)
Bhuvanesvar Prasad Srivastav was one of the imminent theatre personalities of Indian theatre
. Bhuvanesvar wrote one act plays in which he explored the difficult relationship between man and woman. He was, during his theatre career, dealt with issues like which were a taboo in the olden days. He made plays with stories where a female character falls in love with a man who is a friend of her fathers.
Apart from this Bhuvanesvar Prasad Srivastav has also dealt with issues of motherhood and widowhood. In the context of Indian literature
, motherhood is considered bliss to woman. Being a mother is considered important to womanhood. Most Hindi playwrights, for example Mathur in Konark (The Temple of Konark), 1951, and Mohan Rakesh
in Asarh Ka Ek Din (One Day in the Month Asdrh), 1958, see motherhood as the only way out for a woman in a difficult and unhappy love relationship. It is regarded as the only possibility for her self-realization in society.
Interpretation of Bhuvanesvar Prasad Srivastav, however, should not be understood as a defence of widowhood. It is rather that he is interested in his female characters not as mothers, but as women, who are in an antagonistic relationship with men. The understanding of Bhuvanesvar Prasad Srivastav of man and woman as engaged in a constant battle with each other is very similar to Strindberg's views on this matter, as reflected in the dramas
Portrayal of female characters by Bhuvanesvar and their freedom to choose or change a partner is unprecedented in modern Hindi drama, where it is normally men who are depicted as enjoying moral sexual freedom. By contrast, women are presented as waiting for them at home, in chastity and with devotion. This portrayal of women does not reflect the objective reality of Indian society of the 1930s and 1940s, but is rather an expression of the author's artistic quest.
Bhuvanesvar does not depict woman only as a vile creature and a menace to men, as some of his contemporaries did. He shows much sympathy and understanding for his female characters. Bhuvanesvar's use of everyday Hindi language
develops further endeavours to emancipate modern Hindi theatre
, and thereby create an understandable, natural and accessible dramatic language in Hindi. His plays and the employed dramatic language are innovative for modern Hindi drama. Bhuvanesvar can be seen as the first mature recipient of the influence of Western dramatic tradition and intellectual thought on modern Hindi theatre
. Therefore, his work is one of the indigenous dramatic sources that have inspired and contributed to the formation of many potential playwrights.