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Raj-Rakt based on Tagore’s Visarjan and Rajarshi tells of the tussle between religious and secular authority. When the king Govind Manikya bans all sacrifice in response to a young child traumatized by the blood of a sacrificed goat, the priest Raghupati does everything he can to break his decree. Jai Singh, the priest’s adopted son, is caught in the conflict between his loyalty to his Guru and his Goddess, his deeply felt respect for the king and his love for the innocent beggar girl Aparna who wants to take him away from it all. Raj-Rakt is the story of a kingdom and it’s individuals playing out the conflict between the church and the state.

Director’s Note (Habib Tanveer) :-

Rabindranath Tagore’s play Visarjan is based on his novel Rajarshi. Tagore first wrote the novel in 1890. In 1893, he took part of the story and wrote Sacrifice, a very sketchy play in English. Later around 1897, he developed the story further and wrote Visarjan in Bengali. Visarjan too suffered from the inadequacies of all kinds. Its dramatic structure was faulty for one thing. For another, some characters were overwritten, while some other very important characters like Raja Govind Manikya’s younger brother Nakshatra Rai & Rani Gunwati, even the adopted child Dhruv, were extremely unwritten. The play Visarjan was written by Tagore in his immature period. Maturity came to him in his newly invented dramaturgy from 1920 onwards, when he appears in masterful control of his form in plays like Raktakarabi, Raja, Chitrangada, Raja Rani, Muktadhara, Char Adhyay etc. His 19th century play Visarjan saw numerous staging – his own twice and subsequently in recent times by many producers, including Shombhu Mitra but all were flop. I myself discovered it after going through the labour of producing it in January 2006. In my Chhatisgarhi Avatar of the play, I have slashed much, added much and drastically restructured the form. Raj-Rakt is a new play and I am glad to add, accepted as such by Kolkata on 6th August 2006.