Chanakya by Mihir Bhuta
Chanakya brings to life the great visionary and statesmen, Chanakya, but in a modern context. Realizing the threat of invasion and conquest and equally driven by the desire to improve the condition of his kingdom, Chanakya decided that it was imperative to create an authority figure who could rule the subcontinent as well as the hearts of his subjects. It was because of his brilliant manoeuvers and the integrity of his intentions that the cruel rule of the Nandas ended and was replaced by the Mauryan Empire, marking the beginning of a new era in Indian history.
The second version of Chanakya was started immediately after the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and its first show was dedicated to the memory of martyr Constable Tukaram Umbale.
Internal discord, external threat, polluted politics and the despicable corruption of public servants – Was this the scenario in the times of Chanakya? Or are these just the headlines of today’s newspaper? The fabric of our once magnificent society has corroded from within and without, and we are plagued by the decay of morality and social consciousness. Only the austerity and selfless commitment of Chanakya’s thoughts and concepts can rebuild this society and restore it to its previous glory. This play is our modest attempt to look into the past and to present an opportunity for introspection for society and its leaders.
Manoj Joshi has been an actor on stage, in television and in films for the last twenty five years. His work includes performances in television serials like Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka, Damini, Kehta Hai Dil, Yeh Meri Life Hai, and others; and films like Aan –Men At Work directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, Jaago directed by Mehul Kumar, and Devdas directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His work on stage includes Hindi plays like Chanakya, Rageela Re, Golmaal Pyar Ka, and Gujarati plays Suryavanshi, Doctor Tamhe Pann, Gandhi Virrudh Gandhi, among others.
Mihir Bhuta is a well known playwright of theatre from Gujarat. He has to his credit more than fifteen plays such as Atank, Atmas and Shapath. He has won ‘Best Writer’s’ Trophy in the full length play competition organized by the Abhiyan Magazine and the ‘Best Script of the Decade’ award for Chanakya by the Gujarat Government. He has written for Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi television serials such as Khel, Aakaashpeltana and Chauraha. He has also written for films like Tore Aanchi Ki Chaiyaa Tale and Shortkut. Mr. Bhuta is also a member of the Committee for Awards for Gujarati Films; has designed and runs the Gurjari Channel and the Sankraman Studio as Creative Director.
‘Manoj Joshi Creations’ started its production of Gujarati and Hindi plays and theatre activities in 1995. The prime objective of the group is to promote theatre artists, youth and other aspirants. Some of the group’s major productions include Rangeelo, Ghasiram Kotwal, Rangeela Re and Shobha Yatra. In 2008 it produced three one-act plays, Chhoti Si Kahani Se, with amateur actors to promote inter-collegiate theater activities; and in 2009 it revived the Hindi historical Chanakya.