ALTER VIEW Vinay Verma's attempt to dwell into the psyche of the infamous assassin through a monologue fails miserably. CYRIL SAM
Why did Nathuram Godse kill Gandhi? That's one question that has captured the imagination of many. We'd perhaps never know. It has been over 60 years since Gandhi was assassinated and even today there is an ambiguity surrounding his death. Pradip Dalvi was the first to explore the darkness surrounding the assassination. In his Me, Nathuram Godse Boltoy, Nathuram is glorified as a nationalist who becomes a martyr for the sake of his country by bringing an end to a self-conceited saint called Gandhi, the man who divided the nation.
For all the flak it drew and for all the facts it got wrong, it was nonetheless a piece of creative work, a play with strong dialogues and equally good character development. Dalvi wanted to portray Nathuram in a certain way and he did a good job of the same. Vinay Verma's “Nathuram Godse Speaking: A Mono Act”, on the other hand, is a waste of one's evening.
Varma's rendition of Nathuram's psyche is pathetically weak. Nathuram, played by Vinay, comes across as a confused freak who has managed to get his hands on a Beretta and decides to kill Gandhi because the latter was responsible for India's Partition.
Presenting an alter-view requires one to present his arguments in a convincing manner, if not aesthetically. Vinay fails on both the frontsNathuram, in his defence, perhaps, gives an insight into the assassin's psyche. In his trial defence — the least that one could have read before enacting him — Nathuram comes across as a forceful and fiery individual who is convinced of the reason why he kills Gandhi. Vinay's Nathuram lacks both the conviction and the force that Nathuram represented.
The play, though, does a good job of glorifying Godse; not because of Vinay's fumbling on stage but because of powerful dialogue here and there that sounded like condemning Gandhi. Vinay's Nathuram struggles to portray himself as a nationalist. Praise is showered on him for all the wrong reasons. Muslims are responsible for everything and Gandhi was betraying the nation because he supported them; that is how Vinay's Nathuram convinces himself of his actions.
In the process of creative expression, Vinay alters history in the flimsiest of manners and tops that up with a boring never-ending ramble on stage. So much so that you are clueless about when the play ends. While you are expecting another angry ramble there he is, bowing with folded hands. The ramble has ended, ladies and gentlemen, and thanks for dropping by. Have a coffee at a fancy coffee joint. Vinay's Nathuram is not worth the money or the effort.
Cyril is a student of Asian College of Journalism.
Photo: K. RAMESH BABU
Vinay's Nathuram struggles to portray himself as a nationalist. The glory is showered on him for all the wrong reasons.