Transformation explores the atrocities inflicted on Dalits by the rigid hierarchy of caste system, their growing consciousness for emancipation and how their reform movements for liberation and full rehabilitation were met with brutal oppression. The play also delineates how Dalits who faced social oppression over the ages followed Ambedkar’s philosophy to educate, agitate, and organize, to free themselves from the shackles of casteism.
The play is grounded in music and explores the Dalit songs of revolutionary singers like Gaddar and Shethal Sate. The play ends on a positive note with aesthetic and artistic Buddhist fusion music.
The play showcases the social oppression faced by the Dalits; how they were denied the right to education, how common pathways were made inaccessible to them and how unwritten caste rules prevented the burial procession, saying it was a ‘bad omen’. The play ends on an optimistic note… they learn to smile through their tears and keep moving forward triumphantly in every sphere of life.
“In the contemporary Indian scenario institutionalized discrimination, caste distinction and racial demarcation on Dalits persist even after 67 years of Independence. Being born a Dalit and though a cosmopolitan I have been exposed to Caste discrimination myself and is fully aware of the atrocities happening in my society even today. The recent incidents of cruel discriminations in the news prompted me to do a play of this kind.
The play Transformation is a creative attempt to depict how public space can be utilized as a performance space. The play weaves together several relevant political issues. The play also reflects the shifting spaces, symbols, and representations of power from feudal lords to corporate bodies, universities, and government institutions. To stimulate the aesthetic and cultural sensitivity different folk art forms, folk songs, classical Indian dance form is invisibly integrated into the play. Audience participation is also invited at the end of the play.”