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Social Reform, Lawmaking, and the Origins of the Parsi Theatre

Reformists

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Part of the Transnational Theatre Histories book series (TTH)

Abstract

‘Law’ traces the Parsi theatre’s beginnings against the backdrop of the Parsi social reform movement. Reformist attempts to legitimize the Parsi theatre in the public sphere animated several interconnected transformations in the conception of vernacular entertainment. The theatre was conceived as: (1) an internal, intellectual pursuit predicated on morality and a sign of colonial loyalty (2) a tool for the modernization and emancipation of Indian women (3) a marker of prestige and self-representation. By delineating the Parsi theatre’s response to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the colonial promotion of Shakespeare, processes of lawmaking, and Parsi merchants’ use of charity as publicity, the chapter shows how the vernacular public sphere functioned as a site for communal representation, self-discipline, and the organization of intra-communal power as public drama.

Keywords

  • Parsi theatre
  • Social reform
  • Persian myth
  • Shakespeare
  • Panchayat

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-65836-6_3
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Fig. 3.1

(Source Paṭel, PNTT, 49. Courtesy: The Trustees, The K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai)

Fig. 3.2

(Source Paṭel, PNTT, 7. Courtesy: The Trustees, The K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai)

Fig. 3.3

(Source Paṭel, PNTT, 9. Courtesy: The Trustees, The K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai)

Fig. 3.4

(Source Paṭel, PNTT, 36. Courtesy: The Trustees, The K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai)

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Correspondence to Rashna Darius Nicholson .

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Nicholson, R.D. (2021). Social Reform, Lawmaking, and the Origins of the Parsi Theatre. In: The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage. Transnational Theatre Histories. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65836-6_3

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