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Silence! The Court Is In Session by Vijay Tendulkar is an English narration of a play originally written by the same author in Marathi in 1967 called ‘Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe’.
Summary Of The Book
The storyline of Silence! The Court Is In Session was inspired by a short story by a Swiss author entitled Die Panne. The backdrop for this story is India in the 1950s. It focuses on highlighting several situations that people underwent whilst adjusting to the recent independence of India, which included getting acclimatized to newer, contemporary ideas that conflicted with their age-old beliefs and virtues.
One of the best known works of Vijay Tendulkar in the drama genre, this book starts with the recital of a play by The Sonar Moti Tenement (Bombay) Progressive Association (SMTPA). This group of like minded people conduct plays to facilitate and spread awareness amongst the general public. The play is based on a mock-trial wherein a woman is being persecuted for apparently unscrupulous behavior and adultery.
The actor, Leela Benare, who agrees to play this role, is thrown into a nightmarish scenario which turns out to be the harsh reality. Apart from being accused of birthing and killing an illegitimate child, she is also accused of harbouring liaisons with numerous men. The entire, primarily male dominated cast of the play suddenly turn into a jury, and she is left alone facing them, having to answer judgemental questions about her modern lifestyle and her personal choices.
Silence! The Court Is In Session has been translated into over sixteen languages, and was adapted into a Marathi movie in 1971 by Satyadev Dubey. The screenplay for the movie was written by Vijay Tendulkar himself.
About Vijay Tendulkar
Vijay Tendulkar was a renowned writer, theatre personality, playwright and journalist born in Kolhapur.
He has written K?dambari: Ek, Dwandwa, Thief! Police!, Kutte and His Fifth Woman.
Tendulkar is known for penning down human emotions in difficult situations, and often wrote about controversial topics like women’s rights, poverty and corruption.
Tendulkar was born in 1928. A recipient of several prestigious awards like Sangeet N?tak Akademi Award in 1970, Padma Bhushan in 1984, and Kalidas Samman in 1999, Tendulkar has composed 25 one-act plays and 27 full-length plays, which were mainly social satires and stories based on real-life events like social disturbances, corruption, feminism and poverty. He died in May 2008 at the age of 80.