Abstract: A revamped portrayal of ‘Refugee crisis’ is garnered in IndianEnglish Theatre with the publication of “The Refugee” by Asif Currimbhoy. Thispaper analyses the situation of refugees through the two characters (refugees)mainly Yasin and Ramul and underpins today’s one of the most important issues,the migrants/refugees, thus identifies the status of the refugees then and now.
It depicts the acceptance and inclusionof refugees and tackles humanitarian concerns so far exclusively denounced byrealist narratives. This article attempts to discuss the historicist’s perceptionof analyzing and author’s realist view is used to bring out the inhumantreatment of refugees Yasin and Ramul in the so called civilized World. And thus,tries to highlight Indian English playwrights for their contribution to theIndian Theatre. Key Words: Refugee, Indian EnglishDrama, Literature and History, Realism, Refugees’ socio- economic development. Background study about the text:Ifwe see the history of any country, it may be a venture from the Layman’sviewpoint that can possibly step on some toes and offend sensibilities to boot,the political conception of, or methodical approach to history isblinkered. History is too superficiallydefined. Or rather, it is too lopsided in its thematic drift.
History in any mannershould not be limited merely to text books. After 71 years of Indian independence,we need to provide answers to a few questions: Where are we? Why our generationis not termed as the ‘happiest generation ever lived’?In spite of the exquisite investigation on the identification ofthe implications of Indian history, the majority tried to comprehend itlikewise. Following a distinctive prospect, the current intension is tocorrelate History to literature. In view of the fact that “Literature” issomehow accountable for repositioning the Nation’s factual ‘history’, we takeinto account the instance of the literary contrivance of “Theatre”. Thedisregard of the past by the Youth of India triggered an imminent deficiency toindoctrinate ‘the (past) pride of the country’ by discerning their perspectiveand motivating their involvement in the reformation of the Nation.
IndianEnglish Theatre is the most influential and evocative ‘literary’ implementationas it nurtures erudition amid natives and is continually associated andreminiscent of the community’s ‘socio-cultural experiences’.Purging certain social iniquities has become obligatory from the fictitioushistory. A paradigm would be the Bangladesh liberation war (1971) whosepolitical and religious insinuations constituted the backdrop of Indian EnglishWriter Asif Currimbhoy’s creation “TheRefugee”. On laconic terms, subsequent to the departure of the British, August1947 witnessed the official birth of the two states of Pakistan and India (The Sydney Morning Herald 1947) witheach state apparently supposed to provide stable homes for Muslims and Hindus. The Dominion ofPakistan constituted of two geographically and culturally disconnectedregions to the east and the west having India in between (Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971). Thewestern precinct was termed as West Pakistan whereas the eastern zone (currentlyBangladesh) was originally called East Bengal and afterwards,East Pakistan. While population of the two zones was almost equivalent still itresulted in opinionated remarks of economically exploiting East Pakistan andindictment on grounds that political power was mostly concentrated in WestPakistan.
Administration of two disjointed territories was also seen as achallenge. On 25 March 1971, after an election won by an East Pakistanipolitical party (the Awami League)was ignored by the ruling (West Pakistani) establishment, political discontentand culturalnationalism rose indefinitely in East Pakistan. So this play is veryimportant in each and every context of India viz., its history,Bangladesh-refugee and Pakistan-refugee. Theatre is an effectual tool toaddress the issues of societal importance.
Asif Currimbhoy uses this tool to interwaevesboth history and literary text together and makes the theme and techniquesquite appealing.Cogitating on theatre, the magazine India Today issued afascinating article on Jan 26, 2004 entitled ‘Dramatic Revival’ written by Nirmala Ravindran. She talks of thisgeneration moving away from malls and Play Stations towards theatre, seeking ‘the archaic thrill of the stage’ which ‘the culture watchers are calling the secondcoming of theatre’. Undoubtedly, Theatre is often acknowledged as livinghistory predominantly in India as it ratifies great epics, true stories anddramatic literature of the highest category.
Interlacing the Indian history andits rich literature is the correct approach of acquainting the rest of theworld with our magnificent past linked with bright future. Greenblatt, (2005),one of the founder-proponent of new historicism, considers that literaryhistories require concentrating more on ‘accidental judgments’ and other upsettingforces rather than untreated description and intellectual authenticity that ‘shape the history of languages’. Weshould never forget that a language slip often crosses borders and is mostly unpredictableand uncontrollable. Doubtlessly theatre is the most attractive and effectivetool to attain indispensable social and political changes in undemocratic,politically and culturally unstable countries (Eugene Van Erven, 1922). Historyand its relevance to “The Refugee”Based on the history of the Bangladesh war,Pakistan refugees’ status in the year 1970, as given by Greenblatt (2005) laysdown four ‘enabling presumptions’ ofnew historicism in the genre which have acquired the force of law. As said byhim “Literature has a historical base and literary works are not the productsof a single consciousness but many social and cultural forces”.
In the play ‘The Refugee”, we see the culturalcontradictions between the host country people and refugees who came forshelter as well as a lack of humanitarianism while treating the refugees.