‘Karbal Katha’ returns Kennedy Hall to cheers and applause



Aligarh : The gallery, stage, seating area and backstage of the Kennedy Hall Auditorium which witnessed eerie silences since the pandemic outbreak returned to loud cheers and applause as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Drama Club on September 10 and 11 staged ‘Karbal Katha’, a play depicting the famed battle of Karbala.

A large number of students, faculty members and guests from various parts of the city watched the human suffering and the greedy and materialistic nature of man while recounting the historic bloodbath with special effects on the orchestra pit and a fly loft that allowed hoist scenery and lights.

The play written by Asif Naqvi and directed by Muzammil Hayat Bhavani had TV actor Shah Zeb Khan in the pivotal role with Anik, Muazzam, Manav, Piyush, Maaz, Faraz, Rishabh, Kazim and others. Zaid Khan was the Assistant Director with Rizwan, Akram, Zainab and Saima as other assistants.

“We tried creating battle-like situations on stage with digital projectors, fog machines, light and sound effects that looked real to show how Imam Husain confronted the Ummayad ruler who was using coercive means to attain and sustain power”, said the creative head, Prof F S Sherani (Coordinator, Cultural Education Centre).

Prof Asif Naqvi (Karbal Katha writer) emphasised: “It is an old story with a new setting. The play exposes the wrongs of society. It talks of migration, refugees, corruption and displacement through the ‘Dastangoi’ tradition in which a storyteller gathers people to narrate an event”.

The Chief Guests, AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Mohammad Gulrez and well-known pediatrician, Dr Hamida Tariq gave a cash reward Rs 22, 000 to the artists.

After watching the play with his wife, Prof Naima Gulrez (Principal, Women’s College); Prof Gulrez remarked: “If I had not come, a lot would have been missed. I will continue to attend such programs in future”.

“This play has a remarkable recreation of the historic scene showing how Imam Husain could neither be deterred from his mission by a formidable army nor by any incentives carried by the oath of allegiance to an unqualified ruler. He opted to be martyred to protect and promote the ideals of equality, justice and peace”, said Dr Hamida Tariq.

Prof Vibha Sharma (President, Drama Club) extended gratitude to student artists for performing the play with full dexterity and skill at such a young age.

“The amalgamation of drama and music with the energy of the student artists and the entire management team has been absolutely wonderful”, she added.

Aniza Akhtar, Nashra and Garima of the University Drama Club informed that the play with 20 actors and 10 musicians took four months of hard work to be staged at the Kennedy Hall Auditorium.



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