The Last Durbar: A Dramatic Presentation of the Division of British India
The existing histories of the Partition have very little chance of capturing the moods and mindsets, the helplessness and frustrations, the anguish and final despair of those that steered the course. The histories written thus far have either focused on political narratives or ideological analysis. More recently, the spotlight has turned towards the madness and pathology of mass murders and hates. This play tells it as it was--without the epic dimensions of conventional writing filled with the rhetoric of freedom and greatness, and also without the legalese and constitution-making vocabulary of the "Transfer of Power". The personal and political meet and separate as the Last Durbar with Louis Mountbatten on the throne and the modern, constitutional Durbaris proclaim a republic and bid farewell to each other. The play is based on the private papers of Mountbatten, including verbatim records and testimonies, discussions and suggestions of the leading Indian actors. It is a nuanced and multi-layered account of the months and days that led to the partition of British India. It exposes the palpable relationships of the leading actors in this drama, the moves and the counter moves, interactions and maneuverings between a range of characters, against the backdrop of momentous events and developments.
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Abell accept agree agreement appeal army Baldev become Bengal British cabinet Campbell-Johnson Christie civil coming committee Commonwealth communal completely Congress consider constitutional course decision Delhi Dickie difficult discuss dominion Edwina enters Excellency fact feel forces Frontier Gandhi give given going Governor hand Hindu hope Hyderabad idea independent India Ismay Jinnah join Kashmir Krishna Menon Lady leaders leave letter Liaquat London look Lord Mountbatten majority matter meeting Mieville Muslim League Nehru never officers Pakistan partition Patel position possible prepared present Prime Minister Princes problem proposal provinces Punjab question remain representative responsible Ronnie Sardar SCENE Secretary side Sikhs Singh sits staff stand stay suggest talk tell Thank things told transfer trying V.P. Menon Viceroy Viceroy's whole wish