Rights of Man
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.