Televised Theatre of 1980s: Kissa Ek Chunav Ka
The erstwhile Director of All India Radio, K.S Duggal, wrote passionately about television theatre at it’s advent. Comparing the aesthetics of adaptation of scripts from the mediums of radio and/or theatre to television, K.S Duggal notes “(TV producers’) salvation lies in building up their own scripts. They might use some of the successful radio and stage plays, but ultimately they have to fall back upon scripts written for the medium” (Sunday Standard; April 29, 1979)
The subsequent decade saw a massive increase in original plays written for the television, with socio-political and cultural commentary at the heart of their productions.
K. Bhatnagar’s “Kissa Ek Chunav Ka”, a three-act short play directed by Yog Raj, televised on Doordarshan at the cusp of the Indian general election in December 1984.
The realistic play, with elements of nautanki, is a commentary on cunning manifestos, crowd-rental businesses, and voter manipulation in elections past and contemporary.
Print reference and video courtesy: Anand Gupt Collection/ Alkazi Theatre ArchivesKissa Ek Chunav Ka