M A I N   N E W S

Vijay Tendulkar dies at 80
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, May 19
Noted Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar died in Pune after a long illness. Tendulkar (80) is survived by two daughters. He had shifted to Pune some time ago, had been admitted to a local hospital after being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a muscular disorder. He was in semi-critical state for much of his stay in hospital. He died at 8 am and was cremated in Pune later in the day. Born on January 6, 1928, in the erstwhile princely state of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Tendulkar wore many hats, including that of a political analyst, journalist and scriptwriter for television and cinema.

However, as a playwright, Tendulkar hit the national limelight. His creations, Ghashiram Kotwal, Sakharam Binder, Shantata Court Chalu Aahe and Gidhade, which critically examined the caste system and man-woman relationships, shook the conservative society.

In the 1980s, Tendulkar ruled the Hindi cinema with successful films like ‘Ardh Satya’ and ‘Shyam Benegal’s ‘Manthan’. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1984.

Tendulkar’s dramas like ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’ and ‘Sakharam Binder’ roused the ire of Maharashtra’s conservative Brahmin society.

The Shiv Sena, during its acrimonious peak during the 1970s and 1980s, repeatedly disrupted the staging of these plays. Tendulkar, however, persevered in the face of even physical attacks against him and took journalism to take on the Shiv Sena.

Tendulkar’s ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’ that examined the character of Nana Phadanvis, the last of the Peshwa rulers, who joined hands with Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and the 1857 mutineers, provoked the Brahmins of Pune.

In a number of places, the government refused permission to stage the play citing a threat to public order.

In Sakharam Binder, Tendulkar protagonist is Sakharam — book binder, who is the anti-thesis of the noble savage. Sakharam rescues women in distress only to use them for his own carnal ends. The play provoked the moral brigade, which forced the government to charge Tendulkar under the anti-obscenity laws.

However, the play was acclaimed internationally. Condoling the death of Tendulkar, film maker Shyam Benegal called him one of the greatest playwright in Indian theatre.

“Tendulkar was one of the greatest playwright of Indian theatre in the past 50 years. Tendulkar wrote screenplay of my films ‘Nishant’ and ‘Manthan’. I respected his creativity and admired him as a human being,” Benegal said.

Govind Nihalani and other art film makers paid tribute to Tendulkar.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |