Rights of Man


Seagull Books, Kolkata, 2009

Language: English

250 pages

5.5" x 8.5"

Price INR 425.00
Book Club Price INR 340.00
INR 425.00
In stock

Utpal Dutt (1929–93), playwright, director and actor, an inspiration and role model for the activist theatre person. Whether through the proscenium theatre, street performance, the traditional strolling theatre-in-the-round, or cinema, Dutt tried to take revolutionary theatre to the widest mass of people, with political messages for every turning point in a highly sensitive and rapidly changing political scenario, redefining his relationship with the political leadership again and again, getting into violent confrontations with various forces, being driven underground, and getting jailed in the process. His legacy of plays and other writing remain a valuable chapter in Indian theatre history.

Rights of Man is the first English-language translation of Maanusher Adhikaré, Dutt’s landmark play dramatizing the infamous Scottsboro Trials of African-American boys in the American South of the 1930s. A critical introduction explores the historical context, problems of dramatic translation, and postcolonial aspects of the play. Includes an extensive bibliography and three crucial appendices: other American Scottsboro plays such as Langston Hughes’ Scottsboro Limited(1931) and Edgar Nkosi White’s Ghosts: Live from Galilee (1993) and Judge James Horton’s historic trial opinions published in 1931.

Utpal Dutt

Utpal Dutta (29 March 1929 – 19 August 1993) was an Indian actor, director, and writer-playwright. He was primarily an actor in Bengali theatre, where he became a pioneering figure in Modern Indian theatre, when he founded. the 'Little Theater Group' in 1947, which enacted many English, Shakespearean and Brecht plays, in a period now known as the 'Epic theater' period, before immersing itself completely in highly political and radical theatre. His plays became apt vehicle of the expression for his Marxist ideologies, visible in socio-political plays like, Kallol (1965), Manusher Adhikar, Louha Manob (1964), Tiner Toloar and Maha-Bidroha. He also acted over 100 Bengali and Hindi films in his career spanning 40 years, and remains most known for his roles in films like Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome (1969), Satyajit Ray’s Agantuk (1991), Gautam Ghose’s Padma Nadir Majhi (1993) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's breezy comedies such as Gol Maal (1979) and Rang Birangi (1983). He received National Film Award for Best Actor in 1970 and three Filmfare Best Comedian Awards. In 1990, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre, awarded him its highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre.