Jha tried to hard to squeeze Mahabharata in ‘Raajneeti’: Karnad

Chennai: Noted theatre and film personality Girish Karnad feels that director Prakash Jha tried to hard to squeeze the `Mahabharata` in his film `Raajneeti`.

"Jha tried too much. It (Mahabharata) is the longest epic and there is injustice to many things when you try to squeeze it within two and half hours," Karnad said while delivering the annual Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Lecture on Mythology on Celluloid`.

Jha drew parallel from the epic for his modern-day multi-starrer about a warring political family. Karnad said that his script for Shyam Benegal`s ‘Kalyug,`, the story of two warring industial families, was also loosely based on the Mahabharata.

Talking about Mani Ratnam directed `Raavan`, Karnad said that the fate of the protaganist could be faced by anyone.

The Jnanpith-award-winning author feels that Indian mythology has relevance to its people and Indian cinema, which had plots based on them.

Karnad, who has written plays like `Tughlaq`, `Hayavadana` and `Nagamandala`, recalled the days when Ramayana aired on state-run Doordarshan and how people cutting across different faiths watched it with great interest.

"I knew this Catholic woman who used to finish her Sunday mass early morning and sit before the TV to watch Ramayana. As the episode progressed, she would slowly rise, kneeling and by the end of it, remained glued to the TV set," he said.

"This is where mythology makes the relevance. And cinema is ideal mythology. The Indian attitude to reality is different from that of the Western viewpoint and this allows for a certain amount of mythology to be included," Karnad, 72, said.

The individualism was not on equal terms to that of the Western world and therefore `people are still seen as part of a family, and in relational terms. Therefore, it was understandable why mythology was seen the way it is being seen, he said.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link