Jagdeep Dubey’s Dogri play critiques female infanticide

A scene from Jagdeep Dubey's Dogri play Amma, staged at Abhinav Theatre on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
A scene from Jagdeep Dubey's Dogri play Amma, staged at Abhinav Theatre on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Lalit Gupta

JAMMU, Mar 22: Jagdeep Dubey’s Dogri play ‘Amma’, came as a warning to all those with patriarchal mindset, that female infanticide was an act contrary to the laws of nature and if this social malice is not stopped then the women as mothers may take extreme step of refusing to bear children at all.
Directed by Sapna Soni, the play was staged as the sixth performance of the ongoing Dogri Theater festival, being organized by North Zone Cultural Center and J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages, at the Abhinav Theater, here today.
The play’s plot revolved around Rashmi, the daughter-in-law in a middle class family who after continuous pressure to give birth to a male child gets greatly disturbed. She feels that she may also be subjected to torture and ill treatment which her own mother had faced after gaving birth to three daughters. The imaginary meetings with her dead mother, her stories of torture, lead her to resolve that the male-dominated society which does not respect the females-the very vessels of progeny, have no right to continue as a specie and best punishment would that women refuse to become mothers at all.
Notwithstanding playwright’s novel treatment of topical issue of the female-infanticide, today’s performance was conspicuous for its languid pace which led to a feeling of drag. With the result the good done work by actors was lost. The cast comprised of Sapna Soni as Rashmi, veteran actor Tilottama Jamwal, making appearance on stage after a log gap, Savita Khajuria as Amma, Jadeep Dubey as father, Tarun Sharma as Aman, and Aarna as Guddi.
The non-stop playing of back ground instrumental music, delay in changeover of scenes, low pitch of dialogues, which came as damper to the production-pointed towards that the fact that despite their enthusiasm and dedication Jammu’s amateur theatre artistes, there is a dire need to hold training workshops by professionals theatre experts, as was being done regularly by J&K Cultural Academy in the past.
Music and singing was by Arun Slan, make-up by Rahul Kumar, costumes by Navneet Verma, sets Rajeshwar Aman and Navneet Verma. Next play of the festival, Saas Puran, will be staged on Sunday, March 24, 2019.