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The Cultural Relation Between Iran And India History Essay


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A review study on cultural relation between Iran and India can show more exchanged cultural elements between two countries during centuries. It can be a wide area from before history, when Aryan became two parts and immigrated to different places in Iranian plateau and Indus Valley. The relation could trace until, when India falls into colonization period. At that time the official language in India was Persian which, is today Iranian national language. The common points led business and cultural trade between two nations. 'For instance the first Persian printing machine established in Calcutta by Charles Wilkins (1749-1836) in 1781 that designed type for publications of books in Persian and was appointed as translator of Persian and Bengali to the Commissioner of Revenue and as superintendent of the Company's press.' [1] Newspapers opened a new window to this relevancy. Later was published more Persian papers in India, which led Iranian into Constitutional Revelation by the newspaper Habl Al-Matin which, published in Calcutta from 19 December 1893 until 9 December 1930, by Sayyed Jalal al Din Moʾayyed al Eslam Kasani (1863-1930).

The daily Habl Al-Matin was a liberal, reformist, and patriotic newspaper, publishing news and political commentaries. ..The freedom of the press enjoyed in Persia following the establishment of the Constitutional government prompted Habl Al-Matin's management in Calcutta to launch a daily newspaper in Tehran. [2] 

The Iranian communities in India were close to court and some them known as different Identify in these countries, for instance; Mirza Abu Taleb Khan (1752-1806) is one of the travelers to Asia, Africa, and Europe. 'Following his European sojourn, Abu Taleb's remarkable Shi'ite pilgrimage through present day Turkey and Iraq further enhances his meditation on the encounter between Islam and European modernity' [3] . He published his itinerary in Persian Safarnameh E Talebi (Travels of Talebi) in London, 1814, and reprinted by Sona Publications, New Delhi, 1972. This book was a remarkable rescue to familiar Iranian to European life's picture. In Iranian literature he introduces an Iranian who has ken speckle by origin of his father, Isfahan. Iranian called him Mirza Abu Taleb Isfahani which his family name refers him to be from Isfahan a large city locates in center of Iran. [4] In other hand he introduced as an Indian Travelers who 'followed his father into the service of the Muslim rulers of that region, the Nawabs of Awadh. The political vicissitudes of eighteenth century India, however, caused the family to decamp to Bengal, where Abu Taleb encountered the administration of the British East India Company, then beginning to establish its rule in that province.' [5] It indicates at the same time a person known as two different nationalities. There could be more examples of these kinds of similarities which could examine close relations of two nations.

The similarities could be seen also in modern theatre stream, because of origin of New Theatre was from the Europe which put away traditional theatre and made a new form on inexperienced platform. However the study could make clear similarities when examine from a wide view point to modern theatrical courses in both countries, but by examine details of evolution of modern theatre and recognize the differences, then can draw a clear picture of evolution quality of modern theatre in two countries. The picture indicates the new theatre how could forward in seam stream but different situation and cultural platforms. The progressive of both countries gloated to such words; freedom, nationalism, criticism, etc. and reflected of such of those crucial identification in Modern theatre, however the different background of traditional theatre and social understanding, led them to approach different point for theatre at end. This chapter has effort to examine and describe those points.


Examine of traditional theater's place in front of folkway, helps to better understanding of the backgrounds texture of performing arts in this research. Before preceded to the development of modern theatre in Iran and Bengal, a glance study will made a clear picture, because the traditional theatre in Iran and India has a long history but different background and stood up on different belief systems. Origins of traditional theatres are not clear but in continue, it seems religion was the major factor of driving traditional theatre in content and directions. According to evidences, religion ceremonies and rituals were based on performing activities. Richard Schechner indicates the theatre could have a ritual origin;

'Rituals are performative , They are acts done and performances are ritualized , they are codified, repeatable actions... Rituals emphasize efficacy: healing the sick, initiating neophytes, burying the dead, teaching the ignorant, forming and cementing social relations, maintaining (or over throwing) the status quo, remembering the past, propitiating the gods, exorcising the demonic, maintaining cosmic order. Theatre emphasizes entertainment; it is opportunistic, occurring wherever and whenever a crowd can be gathered and money collected, or goods or services bartered. Rituals are performed on schedule, at specific locations, regardless of weather or attendance.' [6] 

At Beginning in Iran, religion was rose on worship of one god, Ahoora Mazda. Zoroaster was the prophet and brings the Ahoora Mazda's messages through the holy book Avesta. Some part of the book performed caroled as dialogue.

'As such the dialogues of the Avesta (ca. 1000 BeE) may be considered as a source for, if not a form of, this ritual religious drama as may 'Taziyeh-Khvani' or Shi'ite religious tragedy.' [7] 

In following Zoroastrian glorified the god with more vocal rituals and less performing. Religion did not try accepting and allowing propagating ritual performance which latter reduced performing activity from religious rituals.

'Over time some of these contextual ritual enactments became divorced from their religious meaning and they were performed throughout the year.' [8] 

The Music accepted by Zoroastrian, as a soul purifying, but religion had no idea about theatre, which was performed in court as entertainment for king.

'The official in charge of the artists at Sassanid court was the Khoram-bakhsh (the joy-giver), who responsible for all entertainment, including minstrels, storytellers, musicians, and acrobats…It may be inferred from these Chinese descriptions that similar performances also must have taken place at the Sassanid court, where allegedly 12,000 maidens served at the court of Parviz as singers, dancers.' [9] 

Latter after Islamization of Iran, new religion had not 'especially' good idea about performance. In Islam, whatever leads the man towards God and goodness is lawful, whatever leads them towards the devil, and badness is unlawful. Thus cannot say that the theatre is lawful or unlawful in Islam. In fact, this opinion is depends on the theatre's message, function and content. In addition, the effect of those ideas is visible clear during Constitutional Revolution, which will discuss about in next discussion. In this period unlawful music and theatre were legal for kings who nobody could claim against him.

'Like the Sassanid kings the new Islamic rulers of and in Iran also amused themselves with the performances of minstrels, singers and musicians, as well as acrobats, magicians and animal trainers. The Arab caliphate and the courts of its provincial governors drew heavily on Iranian models of amusements, culture and court protocol.' [10] 

However, society was a suitable bench which clergies could expand the power of religion against unlawful' entertainment. The commentary on the holy book, Quran, caused to make the strong distance between theatre and religion. Thus the secular performance falls to cheap value and may prohibited in front of religion, but merely theatre as tragedy like Taziyeh, became lawful for spread religious massages across the country.

'Religious epic storytelling received an enormous boost with the establishment of Shiism as the state religion of Iran in 1501. At that time, most of the population of Iran was not Shiite, although there was general veneration for the Shiite Imams. However, the Shiite message needed to be out there to win souls as a necessary complement. .. What Shiism needed was a ritual built on existing beliefs that would be attractive and had the potential to mobilize the masses, for Sunnis still had the numbers in the early 1500s.' [11] 

Nonetheless, secular and happiness entertainments were ignore in front of 'Sharia', which leads performers and spectators to hell at end. Although the Taziyeh had a polytheistic value for some fanatical Shiite leaders and they did not accept any kind of performance.

'In the mid-twelfth century an Islamic 'Book of Mirrors' point out that singing should not be done by women and children, not be accompanied by the harp, lute and Iraqi flute, and not contain any obscenities.' [12] 

Based on those beliefs, traditional theatre especially secular kinds continued in the narrow road. Scholars were strange in touch of traditional theatre as well as in such manners there is no theory effort for understand of theatre aspects by scholars. [13] 

In the opposite side, India presents a different picture, because Architect of Theatre is religion itself. Drama descended from heaven, then developed and protected by Gods which society accepted all kinds of theatre forms with showing admirer and passion. It does not need much effort to prove the traditional theatre is so close to religious direction in India. Bharata in his book Natyashastra describe a myth story, what was the main purpose of creating of drama by Gods, and then why they sent it to earth for humankind.

'Indra, delegated by the other gods, approached the throne of the Godhead, and said: "O Brahma, we wish to feast our eyes and ears on a dramatic spectacle; deign to create the merry play for our enjoyment." And the Creator nodded graciously, and fell into a profound meditation. And out of the Divine Thought sprang the Natya Veda, that is, the Veda of the Theatre.' [14] 

In fact, the story is not far from real beliefs, because Hindu religion did a perfect effort to support of theatre at whole dimensions. In next centuries, theatre in India gained the powerful effect in all society levels, which had religion signification. It is a point that shows a major different between outlook of traditional theatre in Iran and India. In addition it notice in India exist a complex theories, methods and classifications ideas around theatre in the Natya shastra which is the holy book of performers. Bharata in the book clearly disclosed the secret, that theatre brings massage of mercy from Gods to humankind. This idea caused the writing of Natua Shastra, which contents powerful Theory behind theatrical elements.

'These are 'include diverse topics like dramatic premise, characters, auditorium, poetics, acting, language, dance, song, instruments, costumes, the religious ceremony to be performed before opening of the act, different types of drama, poetics, style and abilities required of different characters like the stage manager, comedian, courtesan, lead actor and actress.' [15] 

In India, Traditional performance had a good fortune than in its neighborhood country, Iran. Experts in India drive theatre in contemplated ways that drawn by previous scholars. They believed happiness is the main platform of performance and evils should be away on stage.

'Bharat Muni desired that drama should also become instrumental in leading to intellectual and spiritual development of spectators apart from providing them entertainment.' [16] 

In opposite way in Iran the theatre itself had a diabolic sprite, for instance; Justin Perkins (1805-1869) who was the first American missionary during his activities at the Iranian city Orumiyeh, reported on April 11, 1835:

The Persians are not very fond of such [i.e., theatrical] entertainments. A German ventriloquist was here, not long ago, and the people ascribed his performance to the direct agency of the devil and treated him with corresponding abhorrence. [17] 

In Iran tragedy form of theatre had endured by religion, but Bharata ignored presentation of tragedy content on 'holy' stage. Playwrights should choose dramatic theme, from historical or mythical stories with some modifications and love be, the major theme of mostly all the plays. Drama also supported and respect religious-societal manners, so mention in Natya Shastra: The hero, the king and Brahmins speak in Sanskrit while women and lowly people speak in Prakrit language.

'It is thought that when Brahma created the Veda of drama, he gave this gift to the sage, his hundred sons the task of putting this form into practice. Drama was to represent people from all walks of life and be accessible to all. Its aim was to educate and teach by dramatizing stories that could hold people attention through their depiction of the experiences of life in all its diversity, from war to sexual sensuality. It was to otter "good counsel" and "guidance to people' [18] 

Following of Gods' mercy, Bharata Muni describes 15 types of drama ranging from one to ten acts. The principles for stage design are laid down in some detail. Individual chapters deal with aspects such as makeup, costume, acting, directing, etc. 'Rasa's (emotional responses) gives wide-range expression ability to actors , so dimensions of a perfect life can be performing on stage according those methods, which considered in Natya Shasta. Actors could touch spiritually of behind reality of theatre and get close to hero's life with following orders. In opposite of India, in Iran newer existed the classification theory to drive theatre in a certain way. The Taziye which grew under religious consider, developed by audience passion and of religion-government support and it forwarded to next generations. Actors were not professional and had not theatrical knowledge that joined just for religious passion.

In India Gods and Goddesses are present on stage, through those stories that perform on stage. Visibility of holy' incarnations of Goddesses creates a powerful connection between spectators and actors as medium, which seems entirely of stage as temple. Hence, the stage became a worship place and Gods mercy became present at the time in that particular place.

'The Gods and the Goddesses, being dancers themselves, have been passing the art of the heavenly dance through many other human channels, whose aptitude, understanding, and personal idiosyncrasies naturally varied from person to person. [19] 

In the Taziye actors called Shabih,(Imitation) that mean who pretend to show Imitation of somebody else.

'The word Shabih, which is the formalist definition, is more comprehensive than the word Taziyeh, but both have approximately the same connotation (Religious Tragedy and Mourning). Thus, the players in Taziyeh are called Shabih as imitation is an element of their performance.'

Actor (Shabih) does not make close internal feeling with the character, so make the distance between itself and character during whole the time of performance. Stage is battlefield between holiness and evil, thus Shabih cannot approach one of those extreme. He is just a man on the earthy ground. The Play cannot help him to get close to sky' but let him to see suffered of the holy man and his family then crying. Hence may God forgiveness him for his sins after this earthy life. Thus, actors and audience are just spectators who see a story of battlefield between extreme of holy and evil. They stay on ground and there is not mercy at the time of performance but merely its hesitation situation about the sadness story.

Those points show the different approach and definition of traditional theatre in both countries. These basic and feature of traditional theatre in both countries indicate different level of consider in confrontation of performing arts to social beliefs. Traditional theatre in Iran understood as the earthy universe art. Theatre cannot help to gain any spiritual level in the earthy life which may also spoil the incorporeal gathered. However, in India performance came down from heaven as gift of Gods for humankind and performing or observation of the theatre can flaming the religious passion as spiritual experiment.


One of the important different points between two researches areas is Political-Social situation before penetrated of western theatre in consider areas. When new theatre imported to Iran, Qajar dynasty ruled across the country. Naser al Din Shah was the fourth king of Qajar dynasty (1848-1896), also two more Qajar kings ruled under political hurricane until next dynasty, the Pahlavi (192-1979). Naser Al Din Shah and his first prime minister, Amir Kabir had a major role in establishment of western modernization.

He [Naser al Din Shah] curbed the secular power of the clergy, introduced telegraph and postal services, built roads, opened the first school offering education along Western lines, and launched Iran's first newspaper. He was the first Iranian to be photographed and was a patron of photography who had himself photographed hundreds of times. [20] 

Before Naser Al Din Shah, his progenitor Fath Ali Shah (1797-1834) sent a diplomat and few students to Europe. Mirza Abu'l Ḥasan Khan Ilchi, was first diplomatic envoy to England in 1809 since the 1600s. When he entered at England could not believe that much of advanced methods of technology and liberal activities. In that time he observed the huge different between both countries such as industries, culture and arts. He wrote a diary under the title of Ḥayrat-name-ye sofara (The Book of wonder), in 'which he marveled at the amenities of modern western life' [21] . It was not only his consider but also Naser Al Din Shah fell in the same stream during traveled to Europe.

In England Mirza Abu'l-Ḥasan began to learn English and became able to converse in it. His progress is shown by two letters written to an anonymous English lord which were published in The Morning Star of 29 May 1810. The letters give an interesting insight into the mind of Mirza Abu'l-Ḥasan and his ideas on English society… Apart from a number of official letters, Ḥayrat-name-ye sofara is the only work written by Mirza Abu'l-Ḥasan … The book is written in the usual florid style of the period and illustrates many of the incidents ... Five portraits of Mirza Abu'l-Ḥasan were painted during his European journey. [22] 

Although by such as contact with west, exist the political idea between intellectuals and elite in critic of the king's power which was defined before as shadow of God on the earth. Freedom, parliament and election were new words; which slowly spread its definition behind the modernization process by the Shah.

'In the later years of his rule, however, he [Naser al Din Shah] steadfastly refused to deal with the growing pressures for reforms. He also granted a series of concessionary rights to foreigners in return for large payments that went into his own pockets. In 1872, popular pressure forced him to withdraw one concession involving permission to construct such complexes as railways and irrigation works throughout Iran. In 1890 he made an even greater error in granting a 50-year concession on the purchase, sale, and processing of all tobacco in the country, which led to a national boycott of tobacco and the withdrawal of the concession.' [23] 

Apart the observing progressive style life in Europe also Iranian traveler, consider on theatrical subject. Mirza Abul Hassan's book offer remarkable observations on the contemporary performance cultures of London. He presents complex discussions of opera and ballet at the King's Theatre and a performance of King Lear at Covent Garden.

'During his stay in England, Mirza Abu'l-Ḥasan was invited to many plays and operas. After attending the opera of Sidagero al the King's Theatre in December 1809, he remarked: Dancers and sweet-voiced singers appeared one after the other to entertain us, acting and dancing like Greeks and Russians and Turks.' He found pleasing the well-disciplined crowed at the theater. 'It is amazing that although 5000 people may gather in the theater, they do not make a loud noise. On that night a historical ballet entitled Pietro II Grand by Signor Rossi was performed.' [24] 

Before Mirza Abu'l-Ḥasan also the traveler Mirza Abu Taleb Khan Isfahani who mentioned before, during 4 years in 1799-1803 traveled to Europe and Asia. He considers on theatre subject in his book 'Safar Name Talebi';

'Mirza Abu Talib viewed the visit to playhouses as "sensual employment" (Mashghalte-Nafs) and wrote a detailed description of a playhouse in Dublin, explaining the arrangement of the stage, seats, spectacles, and spectator. He even drew a detailed blueprint of the playhouse. He was often accompanied to play- houses by Miss Garden, whom he described as a "fanatic in religion and used to the habits of old London,' [25] 

In addition Students who sent to Europe by Iranian kings, in return expanded the western idea in own country. Most of them charmed at new culture so they tried to change Iran's face as development country.

'Mirza Saleh Shirazi, was one of the first students to be sent to London, wrote admiringly of his host country, showing the ways and means of new developments occurring in England. Like many after him, he returned to Persia to play a pioneering role in introducing western ideas and establishing modern institutions such as a newspaper in Persia. [26] 

This kind of contact with western countries, made passions elite, and educate people imitating of western method in all kind of society and culture levels. The radicals' idea also rose during that time. Akhond zadeh the first playwright in western style had radical progressive ideas in numerous cases. He wrote the proposal in 1863, which defend, of changing Persian alphabet into Latin alphabet. He claimed this helps to forget superstitions and traditional background then as soon as possible approach the modernity. His idea never accepted by rulers but he invited a new alphabet to persist on his way. Those documents indicate, those Iranian who travelled to Europe were passion in theatre as progressive aspect. However, it was not possible to expand them passion of theatre into public. Thus new theatre had limited perform for court and aristocrats families. The Shah was the major supporter of this theater style. He describe his observation the theatre in England in his diary;

After eating dinner, the sun was still up, and we went to the theater. There were many people in the streets. When we arrived at the theater, we ascended many steps, passed through the lobby, and sat in the box in front of the space where they performed plays. It is a large theater, one of the structures of the Emperor Nicholas. It has six levels, and in each level, there were women and men. There was a large chandelier hanging from the middle of the theater. . . . The curtain went up and a strange world appeared. [27] 

When Naser Al Din shah return from Europe, decided to change, so import western techniques and Ideas. He was charming of western arts, especially photograph and theatre. As discussed in Iran's chapter then he ordered a European style theatrical hall in 1852 but until 1873 not used. New theatre imported to Iran through of court for king's entertainment. Armenians also tried imitation of western theatre but it could not affect the Muslim society, which was the major community, and ignore such as activities.

There was not only court sponsored Modem Theater in Tehran, for the Armenian community also continued with its theatrical activities. In the evening of February 21, 1887, a number of Iranian officials, most of them attached to foreign embassies as well as a number of Armenian merchants and craftsmen and other people attended a theatrical performance at the Armenian school. [28] 

In Iran, new theatre from entrance, the first performance in Dar al Fonun it took more than 30 years until become an active broadcast in public. In following during Mashrooteh the point had turn and new theatre fall down into society and tried to gain approaches among public activities.

In other hand, India had different situation during time of appearance of western theatre. England expanded his colony across the country by established government followed of business purpose. Western technologies such as newspapers and print machines imported by Englishman. Western system education that established became the chance to get familiar with western for Indian who lived in upper casts.

British, introduced the British legal and justice system, organized a formidable civil service, provided modern military training and organization to a largely medieval army, re-organized the antiquated tax system which had continued since Emperor Akbar (circa 1600), set-up an export and import system largely for their own benefit but never the less as a basis for future trade, built one of the world's greatest water irrigation system in Pakistani Punjab, created a rail and road network to facilitate transportation but also to feed the growing import/export trade, extended the old education system to include universities and colleges of higher learning and introduced the western dress code in India. [29] 

India experimented the whole modernization changes under power of colonization. They have no choice to accept or refuse of that kind of development. These development drove under force of foreigners who has no idea but only thought themselves benefits. England prepares those developments for its benefit because without developed India, they could not exploit more of the colony treasures. Englishmen became symbol of western and expansionist thus whatever was belonged to them could not accept as Indian quality. It is easy to imagination Indian people of that time how much passion for freedom' what was the same in Iran. However here is big different between definition of the word 'freedom' in Iran and India. The ‌Bengali's desire to be free reflected behind the modern theater which could trace from beginning until indolence.

In trying to subvert political theatre, the history of Bengali theatre has been distorted. Its historical context has not only been left un-discussed but also ignored, to the detriment of re-interpretation of our theatre history. We have seen historical treatise being written where Rabindranath Tagore's contributions have been directly linked to Sisir Kumar Bhaduri's and then has been traced to Shombhu Mitra and Bohurupee.

Although freedom could achieved when the British who were the main junction of west to India, abandoned the country and kept them idea for themselves only. Rich tradition was the gravity point for Indian which finally The Quite Movement could follow and led India to the indolence. The powerful of these ideas could visible in the leader of movement Gandhi's life;

He saw the villages as the core of the true India and promoted self-sufficiency; he did not support the industrialization programs of his disciple Jawaharlal Nehru. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. His political enemy Winston Churchill ridiculed him as a "half-naked fakir". [30] 

In Iran as discussed in previous discussion, freedom was an imported quality which destroyed power of king who was defined as shadow of God in throughout the history. It was passible only in following the western ideas and aspects in all levels such as politic, which reduce the king's power and establish parliament, culture, science, education, etc. Iranian elite people had no time for understood and critics of the wests progressive aspects, then adapted into Iranian social values as will discuss latter. Although there were fights between religious- traditional ideas and improvement ideas, which some time changed direction of democracy. Thus, Iranian in general accepted the freedom which could be passing merely through the western's thought. Because traditional thought had supported the king as such manners which inverse also king was the religion supporter. Thus fall into traditional thought could not solve problems and not brought freedom. The supporting of kingdom by religion is clear after Mashrooteh when Reza shah who defeated the Qajar dynasty and wanted established a republic government.

Reza Shah (Reign 1925-1941) created the foundation of a new Iran where people would participate in constructing the future of their homeland. He now called for establishment of a Republic, and his educative system started a massive campaign for a Republic. However, the idea of a Republic was fiercely opposed by the powerful clergymen and the feudal landlords. [31] 

In other hand, India under colonization felt the heavy presser of colonial rule on its shoulder. As much as development was in progress, then freedom disappeared behind those activities. Thus definition of freedom' not be following the western development but be stand on own foot and tradition. Indian enemy was not own king, they were foreigners who expropriated them land. Obviously this mentally distance, helps Indians to critic, chose and then selecting those elements from of western aspects which, is necessary for themselves.

2- Playwright

This review not happened in Iran. Dramatic literature imported in Iran along with modern theatre. This western aspect had no equal similarity in Iranian literature. Modern theatre was completely different of traditional theatre, in form and style. The piece as European defined was a new aspect in Iranian theatre. In the traditional theatre, improvisation was an important element for actors, which, they could proof them ability by understanding of atmosphere of the time of performance. Toumar , the Taziye's script was merely a collection of verse dialogs. Stage was completely separate from literature. Actors were free to perform expression as they felt. Reading of western Plays, excited Iranian writer to imitated western writers then tried on own talent. These activates caused to exist a new position for a writer, the 'playwright' which, was not defined before in Iranian theatrical terms. Playwright became an independence position of writer who was free to mix other literature aspects such as story, literature, history, verse, and then prepare the text that called the play. At the time of exist the first Iranian play in 1859, Akhundzadeh who published a series of 'Tamsilat' or comedies formed on the models of Molière and Shakespeare, concerns the play as moral education for public. This opinion was important at the manners of followers like Mirza Aqa Tabrizi who wrote the first modern secular plays in Persian in 1870. They had exchanging letter together that disclosed about, Akhundzadeh wrote:

. . . the purpose of the art of drama is the refinement of the character of the people and the edification of the readers and listeners. . . . Today, these kinds of writings are not useful for the nation [It means following the past style writing]. Today, the writings that are useful for the nation and agreeable to the taste of the readers are the drama and the novel… I hope you will devote much time to this noble art . . . and that you will make great progress and will become a guide to your compatriots, those who share your language, and your co-religionists in this art. [32] 

In this letter Akhundzadeh wants explain the benefits and manner of playwriting which was not exist before in the country. The Mirza Aqa Tabrizi's plays never staged at his time. There is no information about his contemporaries who may follow and wrote the play after him. However during the time of constitutional revolution suddenly modern theatre appeared in public with extreme passions. Playwriting was a situation which allowed writers to try them talent. They tried to exhibitive among conservatives that theatre is necessary for a society. Against of critic religious and traditional though, they give reasons for morality education that is one of the important parts of the civilization which done by theatre. Though there was no more this kind of play at that time in Persian, thus adaptation was a way to convert European texts into Persian value which was understandable for destination culture. Thus Persian playwriting could convert the western elements into Persian plays and bring until decades latter. Because of lacks of research and practice in this area playwrights could not build the contemporary issues on western style.

Other plays written by Iranian playwrights for modern theater were influenced by traditional Iranian theater (taqlid) in that they used drama as a medium to criticize social conditions and the spread of modern ideas. The anonymous Baqqal-bazi dar hozur, for example, contains criticism on the administrative reforms introduced by the reforming Prime Minister, Mirza Hoseyn Khan Sepahsalar (1871¬73). Apart from the title itself, the contents itself also shows how drama of the traditional ‌‌Baqqal-bazi type was used in this manner. Iranian playwrights would continue to do so even in the twentieth century. [33] 

It seems instead of concern to improve the playwriting style and coordination between content and form; they tried to focus only on the messages of plays. Thus the big parts of writing evolution were ignored by playwrights. It was that part which should approached by practice and this opportunity was happened just after coming new style theatre into public.

In other hand India have a long theatrical tradition. Sanskrit literature had educate important playwrights such as Bhasa and Kalidasa who became internationally known in last century.in opposite of Iran playwriting was not a new field in India. It was not only about drama but also for all theatrical aspects. Natya shastra by Bharata discussed and describe whatever theatre needs to forward on strong basic. Bharata describes 15 types of drama ranging from one to ten acts. The principles for stage design are laid down in some detail. Individual chapters deal with aspects such as makeup, costume, acting, directing, etc. which followed by strong and important facts about Sanskrit theatre:

• It is composed of sacred material

• A specialist should witness it

• It should be performed by members of the priestly caste, the top rank in the hierarchy of the caste system

• Its execution requires special knowledge and skill

• Training is a hereditary process coming from father to son and descending directly from God

• Special skills are necessary to execute theatre, such as dance, music, recitation and ritual knowledge

• It should be performed on consecrated ground

• Its purpose is to entertain as well as to educate [34] 

The principles followed during centuries as holy orders by all different costs in India. Theatre was an important part of culture, thus when western theatre introduced in India, this tradition lets Indian to got conservatively close to the western theatre. Thus theatre stood on social passion and slowly accepted like national arts. Indian elements transferred to western theatre by practice by privet theatres before appeared in public. The transformation could trace by following recorded in books.

European plays imported to India for British entertainment that residents provided for their own recreation. British, which were settled in India for centuries, built own clubs, entertainments, and theatre that was the important Englishman habit. They built also playhouse for western style performances. Actors from England traveled to India for while of performing;

The playhouse opened under English management, and the first plays performed there were in English. Before long however, the Grant Road Theatre was recognized as an ideal locus for Indian theatrical performances. [35] 

Those theatrical activities were especially for English people. There were no cultural connect between two nations. Englishman followed the own habits and Indian continued on own traditions. British people could not penetrate into Indian community until formation a new Indian societal class. In 1835, Thomas Babington Macaulay, articulated the goals of British colonial imperialism most succinctly;

We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellect. [36] 

The new class people were touch with British culture as well as Indian society and studied in English schools and colleges.

Since the first British schools in India - run by missionaries - had been established around 1820, the number of British-educated Indians was growing…In addition to that; Indians had set up Hindu Colleges providing English education as well, e.g. mathematics, natural sciences and Western philosophy. [37] 

In Calcutta, Hindu college had a major role to upbringing educated who were had familiar with British since and literature and drama. The opportunity let Indian educated people to touch the western contents through the safe way, which they could, examined the westerns idea with comparable to Indian traditions. Western theatre was one of those interesting which they got close to slowly. It soon showed the Bengali's talent when the young Indian, Baisnav Charan Auddy played the role of Othello in 1848.

The year 1848 saw a landmark performance at the Sans Souci. Othello was performed on 17 August. The title role was played by an Indian for the first time. His name was Baishnab Charan Auddy. The rest of the cast was European, as usual. The newspapers did not know how to react to this situation, but on the whole commented favorably on the actor's diction and training and admiringly on his courage and confidence. [38] 

May the reason why newspapers did not want discussed on this subject in public, was the huge distance which was mentally between foreigners and Indian. Both English and Indian consider the distance between each other. Finally the newspaper covered the news;

One newspaper (Bengal Harkaru, 19 August 1848) summed up rather melodramatically: "Shakespeare, exiled from the country he honors so much seeks an asylum on the Calcutta boards. [39] 

Educated, elite and Babus became familiar with new theatre. They read Shakespeare plays also other western playwrights. Dwarkanath Tagore, (1794-1846) associated with Chowringhee Theatre which found in 1813. Sans Souci theatre also was one of the famous places at the time, which founded in 1839. Dwarkanath Tagore, Motilal Sil, and Radhamadhab Banerjee were who contributed generously for built the theatre. Those activities were personal. Stage was under authority of English plays and Bengalis had not such as activity until the time of Lebedef who broken the wall. From when Lebedef performed the first Bengali theatre until the first public theatre in 'National Theatre', there were many attempts of these theatrical activities by Bengalis. 'Love is the Best Doctor' was the junction point between western theatre and Calcutta in 27th November, 1795 again on the 21st March, 1796. A pure entertainment theatre appear on Calcutta stage;

It was a noteworthy feature about the presentation that everything was in Indian fashion the stage, the arrangements for the seats of the audience, vocal and instrumental music, though European instrumental music was not altogether excluded. Passages from Bharat Chandra's Vidyasundar were set to music for the entertainment of the public. All that we know of the plays is that they were taken up to suit the taste of the Indians who "preferred mimicry and drollery to plain grave solid sense, however purely expressed" as the Russian pioneer phrased it. The translation got the benefit of revision by many "learned Pundits," and with the help of 'Goluknat Dash,' the linguist, actors of both sexes were recruited from the Indian section of the people; it was a great innovation as this was the first time when actresses appeared in women's role on the Bengali stage. [40] 

Thus it came about that though certainly he was the pioneer of the Bengali stage; he had not that influence which might have been expected from such remarkable beginnings. Unfortunately there is no evidence to prove why the Theatre had no more than two performances, although the play was immensely popular. It seems society was ready to accept this theatre style performance but 'due to some inexplicable and mysterious reasons the play did not run for more than the two successful nights noted above, and Lebedef, strangely enough, seems to have left off the domain of the drama altogether.' [41] After Lebedef, theatre continued through of private societies which put Bengali writers to try them talent in the new way. Students, who studies under guide of British teachers, got familiar with western dramatic literature specially Shakespeare and other western playwrights' plays in original language.

In an opposite situation to Iran, India had a rich dramatic literature which helps Indian to get discreetly close to western theatre. Sanskrit literature had grate playwrights such as Sudraka, Bhasa and Kalidasa which, these backgrounds surprised audience in a Sanskrit translation into English.

There was great enthusiasm and on December 28, 1831, at the Beliaghata garden house of Prasanna Kumar, was staged Uttara Rama Charita [of Bhavabhuti,8th century] translated into English by Professor Wilson who, on concluding his translation, said he would rather call it a dramatic poem. It was staged in part along with the last act of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; this fact deserves comment. It might have been that with all the admiration that the group felt for Sanskrit theatre, they found that the knowledge of the new type had created in them a demand which the indigenous literature. [42] 

Other theses kind of theatrical activities continued in private residents of wealthiest Bengalis. Jutra the traditional theatre form of Bengal was a suitable platform for this kind. A theatre, belonging to Nabin Chandra Basu, who was wealthy resident of Shyambazar, was started as early as 1833. The Vidyasundar which is a romantic poem of Medieval Bangla literature based on the love between Vidya and Sundar dramatized and staged in the resident;

Who dramatized it, or whether it had emerged at all out of the Yatra stage in which Vidyasundar was a frequent theme, we do not know; but some innovations were attempted, and these were received with enthusiasm by the audience. More than a thousand persons, and of different nationalities, attended the performance which lasted from 12 at night to about 7 in the morning. [43] 

The opportunity of translation of Sanskrit and Bengali plays to English and perform on stage, made a sudden aware contrast between such qualities which was not before clear. The propensity of reality in western plays was what the Bengali writers want to perform on stage but Juta and Sanskrit plays had not this kind of quality. The poetic language of Jutra could not help them to review of real life on stage which was necessary to help Bengalis to understand the situation of himself in the contemporary days. As the need was presser on them shoulder then the western style theatre got more penetrate to Bengali's style performance.

The demand for new methods of entertainment must have called forth the creative activity of the writers to adapt themselves to the English form, or rather the western model. Many poems were called Natak [The Play] in those days, but they were so only in name. Prem Natak by Panchanan Banerji of Shyampukur, Prabodh-Chandroday Natak by Gangadhar Vidyaratna, and works like these were poems in fact and should never mislead even the careless reader into believing that they were prototypes of the modern drama. [44] 

Hara Chandra Ghosh was who forward one step more to continue this way although none of his plays never appeared on stage and kept just on paper. His adaptation got distance from the original English paly and 'decided to throw off the western original and took to an episode from the Mahabharata in the idea that its sublimity would not fail to appeal even to the westernized mind, the mind of those who received English education in school and colleges and were familiar with foreign literary models.' [45] The English preface of his book shows that the previous work, Bhanumati Chittavilas (1857) was popular and sold well.

In 1852, I published my vernacular drama of the Merchant of Venice which was written at the suggestion of an (sic) European friend of native education. . . . But the avidity with which the work was received by the general reader, particularly by those whose curiosity was excited to see the Merchant of Venice in an oriental dress, induced a belief that the work has been considered acceptable, and that if a similar attempt were made, it might not prove abortive. [46] 

It was a progressive work which had also looking to corroborate his Ideas by readers;

The subject upon which I have written is of great interest, and the change which has been carefully introduced in it, being altogether new, and agreeable to the approved taste of the modern literati of the country, and no pains and expense having been spared to render the work useful, and acceptable, I indulge in the hope that it will meet with the approbation of the reader. [47] 

It seems his work proved by Bengalis literati people because he continued his work by publishes another translation paly, Charumukha Chittahara, rendered into Bengali from Romeo and Juliet, and published in 1864. He attempted to introduce the western model through his own composition, though, as there is no evidence of his works having ever been staged, he could have no practical influence on the theatre of the country except in the sense of having created a taste among the readers of his books. After passed this course, Bengal was witness of Sanskrit plays which translated into Bengali and mixed with western style. Those plays perform in front of western and Indian audience at wealthy Bengali houses.

The audience was mixed, many European gentlemen were invited to witness the performances, and the band from the Fort William served the Vidyotsahini Theatre [1855] as its orchestra. The implication of these two factors should be properly understood, for, in the otherwise eastern atmosphere, they sought to impart a new tone; the novelty of the music and the need of explaining the play to the Europeans and making them interested had both their significance and must have influenced the art of those who had organized the show. [48] 

In following, Michael M.S Dutt (1824-1873) translated the Bengali version of Ratnavali to English. Next step was bigger when he published the play Sharmishtha (1859) in Bengali as well as English version. Immediately the play became popular. He wrote more plays by successfully demonstrating the techniques of European dramaturgy and finally found the important point; he observed on the nature of the Indian drama and decided to cast his work in a different mold. its recorded in one of the letters written while engaged in discussing Krshna Kumari(1861) which has been declared to be the first historical and tragic drama ;

We Asiatics are of a more romantic turn of mind than our European neighbours. . . . In the great European drama, you have the stern realities of life, lofty passion and heroism of sentiment. With us, it is all softness, all romance. We forget the World of reality and dream of Fairy-lands. The genius of the drama has not yet received even a moderate degree of development in this country. Ours are dramatic poems; and even Wilson, the great foreign admirer of our ancient language, has been compelled to admit this. In the Sharmishtha, I often stepped out of the path of the Dramatist, for that of the mere Poet. I often forgot the real in search of the poetical. In the present play I mean to establish a vigilant guard over myself .... I shall endeavour to create characters who speak as nature suggests and not mouth mere poetry. [49] 

His contemporary playwright Dinabandhu Mitra (1830-1873) wrote Nildarpan (1860), a real story of oppression by indigo- planters [which effectively deals with the ruthless exploitation of Bengal peasants by the powerful English indigo planters in rural Bengal.] This play was resulted of attempted from Lebedef time until that time. Bengali dramatic literature finally found its way to create the Bengali play based on reflects of reality issues of contemporary time. This was a continuously efforts by writers to approach the native dramatic form. Nildarpan later performed on public stage and became an uproarious play.

In Iran enlightened who were passions in modern theatre had never thought of capacity of traditional theatre which can use as platform for western theatre. Although at beginning Iranian playwright conceder of use capacity of traditional theatre and write plays as broadcast them messages, but the point is they had no other choose. Because they didn't try to understand structure of western plays then convort it to Persian values. It is not clear those theatrical activities between the first performances in Dar al Fonoun until the appeared modern theatre among public. Although some record show the wealthy aristocracies build own theatre and perform the translated plays but it was rare and also ticket price for people was high. Other point is, they followed entertainment idea in theatre passion, and thus there was not incitation to effort for playwriting.

Aziz al-Soltan even built his own theater in 1889 and he staged a performance there on April 17, 1890. Everybody had to buy a ticket at a price of 4-6 Tumans per seat. The money he gave to 'Ali Akbar Khan Mozayyen al-Dowleh, the royal painter (Naqqash-Bashiy, who previously had staged theater performances for the shah. Mozayyen al-Dowleh also taught marching music to 'Aziz al-Soltan's musicians. In all the actors did 3-4 plays and also performed gymnastics for the public. What is of further of interest is that Moslems now also started to act in the modem Western plays. [50] 

After Mirza agha Tabizi who wrote the first Persian play the next effected person was, Morteza Gholi Khan Fekri Ershad )1868-1917).Three of Tabrizi's four plays, written in the 1870s, were initially published erroneously under the name of Mirza Malkom Khan (1833-1908) who was a prominent Iranian modernist, in Berlin in 1922. It not clears why Tabizi didn't disclose his name at the preface of plays. His identify was detection when scholars latter acceded to the Akhoondzadeh's archive then found Tabrizi's plays which was attached to his letters.

Although Fekri Ershad's plays are technically superior to those of Tabrizi, they are focused on similar themes. In his initial plays characters are described like story rather than dramatic and active. The Language has not enough solidarity and motion which could express characters acts and thoughts. Although he focused on details of social issues rather than Tabrizi, thus writer knows very well his plays characters and they are believable characters in the play.

In compare to Bengal, in Iran the playwriting had not examined by Iranian writers during time of imported western theatre until decades latter when modern theatre became popular among public. There is no continuously writing experience between Tabrizi and Ershad by other writers. Ershad starts the writing according technical points from where that Tabrizi starts before. It seems there is a huge gap between these two progressive writers which, proofs nobody didn't tried to develop technical writing . Influence of traditional theatre which is clear in Tabrizi works has visible also in Ershad plays. It means there was no research to understand structure of western play and then adapted to Iranian values. Ershad like other theatrical people in that time got closed to theatre for use it as a critical weapon in front of traditional ideas in politics and social levels. Indeed, Persian drama has remained primarily a vehicle of social criticism since these early attempts, although later playwrights created more sophisticated and experimental works. The study on this part shows lacks of theoretical and practice research to understand western theatre capacities. It indicate western theatre entered to Iranian public stage so hurriedly by progressive writer which this situation deprived a patient research of adaptableness points of western theatre into Iranian culture. Now is time to examine the time of public theatre in Iran and Bengal.

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