YGM revives his play ‘Idhu Nyayama Sir’


Overhauling the legal system alone will not ensure fairness

A young man Rahul (Hari Ramakrishnan) is sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case, because of overwhelming evidence against him. But he is innocent. Wanting to clear his name, he escapes from prison, and lines up all those responsible for his wrongful imprisonment. He wants an informal retrial, and the place he chooses for this is the house of the judge who handed down the sentence. Conveniently for him, the house is in a desolate area, and the judge has no neighbours. How Rahul proves his innocence through this retrial is the story of UAA’s ‘Idhu Nyayama Sir’ (story and dialogue - Venkat; direction Y.Gee. Mahendra).

The legal system leaves people drained emotionally and financially, and even if eventually justice is done, one is in no mood to celebrate. And, for all you know, justice might not be done, as happened in the case of Rahul. The substratum of the play was about the angst of those who are caught in the coils of the law, through no fault of theirs.

The play tended to sag at times (more editing needed?), but was saved from tedium by the comedy element. Y.Gee. Mahendra as Peking Pichumani sparkled and the comic exchanges between him and the rest of the cast, especially Suppini as the short-tempered Public Prosecutor Sankaran, shored up the play. Partha Balaji as the church father soliciting donations, brought the house down with his sing song way of speaking and untuneful singing.

Logic missing

While, on the whole, the play was appealing, logic went missing at times. There is a discrepancy in the time of murder recorded in the first information report (FIR) and the post-mortem report.

Every defendant is entitled to a copy of the FIR and Rahul also is aware of the mismatch in time. His explanation that the FIR copy was cleverly kept out of the evidence presented in court was not convincing. Rahul’s claim that his escape from prison would remain undiscovered stretched the viewer’s credulity! A posse of policemen turns up in response to an anonymous warning that the judge is in danger. But they leave when the judge says that there is nothing amiss. It seemed unbelievable that the policemen would just go away, without a thorough search, notwithstanding what the judge said.

In Rahul’s case, the nonchalance of the Public Prosecutor and oversight of the judge were not the only causes for his incarceration. Witnesses were willing to be bought off. The play shows us that overhauling the legal system alone will not help.

We have a larger problem on our hands, when we let selfishness overwhelm our scruples. In a society, where moral turpitude is shrugged off as unavoidable, there are no easy fixes to the problem of justice delivery. ‘Idhu Nyayama Sir’ is a question addressed to every citizen, who is ready with a list of complaints, but never ponders his role in the breakdown of the system.

(‘Idhu Nyayama Sir?’ will be staged on Sunday, 6.30 p.m., at Sriram Hall, Thillai Ganga Nagar, Nanganallur)

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 5:57:07 AM |

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