Question 6: Explain with examples how Andhayug is relevant to our times.
Ans: Dharamvir Bharati wrote the drama Andha Yug (The Age of Blindness). Andha Yug is a literary work based on The Mahabharata that was first written in Hindi and released in 1954. Andha Yug has gotten a lot of attention for making a unique and strong protest against the current circumstances by referencing Mahabharata characters. Andha Yug is essentially a morality drama that asks if we are responsible for our moral decisions, whether the quality of our acts may transcend time, location, and situation, and whether we can be more than passive agents of fate.
The Second World War, as well as the devastation that preceded India’s independence in 1947, greatly affected Dharamvir Bharati. He was particularly concerned about the lack of a moral-ethical centre that might hold people together and prevent them from plunging into the unfathomable depths of cruelty that typified human behaviour during those turbulent times. As a result of the chaos that ensued, the nation’s divisions amongst wickedness and virtuous, as well as good and bad, were muddled. The Age of Darkness, or Kal Yug, was one of the last of the four aeons in Indian philosophy, the others being Krita Yug (popularly known as Sat Yug), Treta Yug, and Dvapara Yug. The Mahabharata’s whole plot takes place in the Dvapara Yug, which ends with Lord Krishna’s death and transitions into the Kal Yug. The Kauravas’ and Pandavas’ action during and after the eighteen-day both parties in a dispute are affected in the Kurukshetra War, which terminated the Kauravas’ reign, gives enough evidence of the society’s slide into the Kal Yug.
The creative recounting of the eighteenth day of the epochal Kurukshetra War by Dharamvir Bharati is split into five acts, a Prologue, an Interlude, and an Epilogue, and the play lays naked before us the completely disastrous nature of warfare. The dramatist deviates from the original Mahabharata, which is said to have been written by Ved Vyasa. Despite the fact that the play’s primary episodes and characters all come from the Mahabharata, the play instantly draws a parallel between the legendary era of darkness (Kal Yug) and the modern age of darkness that engulfed India at the time of independence. Thus, by incorporating mythological aspects, the author allows us to have a deeper understanding of our current situation.
The drama Andha Yug opens on the evening of the eighteenth day of the battle, with sixteen individuals, only four of whom are not members of the royal family; the remaining twelve characters are all members of the royal family of the high class. This demonstrates that the play’s whole action revolves around the conflicting interests within the family of renowned warriors and rulers. The remaining four characters, on the other hand, are members of the common class who witness and are touched by this epic drama. In a nutshell, these individuals are representative. They reflect the behavioural characteristics and inclinations that are at the heart of each cultural institution. The Mahabharata epic incorporates aspects of Indian culture.
Andha Yug’s relevancy to our times does have a variety of ways to communicate a moral message to the public. Keeping one’s soul free of cravings, temptations, and bad ideas is one example. If one fails to do so, he will have to bear the consequences. This is an issue that almost all of the characters in the play have. Their spirits have been tainted. Every character’s spirits have been so profoundly damaged by the evil within that they have been blinded, inactive, or misled. Figures like Duryodhana, Ashwatthama, and Yuyutsu are powerful but misguided, Sanjaya and Vidura are wise but quiet, and Yudhishthira or Krishna are correct but powerless in the face of reality. In Andha Yugis, the turmoil outside contrasted with the darkness within each character’s psyche. If a person’s soul has been tainted, their fate is unavoidable. After the massacre, Dhritarashtra realises his soul’s sorrow. (”Today I realised there is a reality outside the bounds of selfhood” As a result, everyone suffers, whether they are winners or losers, kings or mendicants, men or women, powerful or humble, man or god. Andha Yug isn’t just a storey about people; it’s about the ones whose souls are the most tormented. As a result, the soul’s purity is determined by one’s acts, also known as Karma.
In many ways, Andha Yugis is a contemporary interpretation. It essentially raises concerns about established methods of thinking, particularly in times of crisis. The contemporary and postmodern spirit are defined by their willingness to question the current system. The adaptation employs a mythical setting to pose a number of concerns about truth, dharma, power dynamics, the feasibility of war, and bravery. The mythological characters and happenings in Andha Yugare demonstrate that this is not a heroic Mahabharata storey in any manner. After the exhilaration of the fight has died down, it is a contemplative view of existential themes. It is indeed a serious point of view on human existence that is expressed via mythical storytelling. As they are representational, the figures from antiquity enable for reflection on the current situation. Each character in the story has a symbolic meaning, representing the monster in humanity. Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, who refuse to adapt to the needs of the moment, represent the evil side of retribution and imprudence. Sanjay and Vidura are a reference for intelligent individuals who are completely lost in the Kali Yug’s strange wilderness. Ashwatthama represents the underlying beastlike inclinations that might emerge at any time in the human heart. The Pandavas represent the descent from good to evil. The aged mendicant symbolises the collective consciousness, which suffers but perseveres to the end. He is just like Tiresias, who sees the terrible devastation throughout this “waste land.” The soldiers represent the plight of the ordinary man, who is forced to suffer unnecessarily as a result of power politics. The occurrences have a metaphoric meaning to them. Vultures are constantly flying towards Kurukshetra in quest of dead flesh. A soaring vulture is a terrible omen, as it represents death and disaster. The presence of vultures denotes a changing stream of massacres, demonstrating the inhumanity of warfare. Another significant incident shown is a struggle between a crow and an owl, wherein the owl kills the crow via treachery. It represents the unthinking brutality and cunning found inside the human heart, which may easily be perpetrated by anybody without suffering any consequences. This ‘dance of war’ and ‘dance of death,’ in which no moral standards are observed, is witnessed by Ashwatthama. When it comes to murdering the sleeping crow, the owl is ruthless. The most severe consequence of this deed is that Ashwatthama is inspired to assault the Pandava camp at night, when everyone is sleeping. This occurrence brings to light human impulses that are similar to those of animals. Animals battle or murder one other for survival or bodily requirements in even more horrifying ways. Humans, on the other hand, fight or kill one another in order to exact retribution or establish control. As a result, violence is an unneeded yet frequently utilised tool by humans. Are we, therefore, the most heinous of creatures? Three diverse things are shown in the interlude: feathers, bandages, and wheels. Feathers represent what floats on the water, which is a black sea filled with’snake skins.’