Jinnah, Gandhi blame ‘gaps’ in stances for Partition

Trailers for Anwar Maqsood's upcoming stage play

Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and India’s founder Mahathama Mohandas Gandhi could never come close due to the hardline stance adopted by each as they strived for independent states.**

This is a little of what audiences can expect when they go to see Anwar Maqsood’s last leg of his satirical trilogy, Saadhay 14 August. The play has been directed by Dawar Mehmood and produced by Kopykats Production, the play will premier on Independence Day, August 14 at the Arts Council in Karachi.

Anticipation for the show, which is the latest in a nearly decade-long series of theatrical shows penned by Anwar Maqsood as part of his long-running satirical commentary on the creation of Pakistan and the challenges it has faced after its creation, has been building steadily.

With the curtain for the show about to be raised, the production company has released a teaser trailer.

The trailer sports the main leads of the show, Jinnah and Gandhi and the show’s writer, Anwer Maqsood.

The trailer starts with a photographer hiding behind an early version of the camera, the ones where the photographer would disappear behind a dark shroud to keep the light from damaging the film and an accordion-shaped lens protruding from the front.

He invites Jinnah and Gandhi to share a bench so that he can take the picture.

While Jinnah and Gandhi oblige, they each only choose to sit on either corner of the bench, leaving a yawning gap in the middle.

This irks the photographer who asks them to “close the gap”.

Jinnah and Gandhi give each other displeasing looks and dismiss the idea, stating that this is the closest they have ever been, a comment harking to the philosophical differences between the two.

Gandhi accosts Jinnah, blaming his arrogance for the gap between the two leaders.

“I was a mahatma,” Gandhi says.

Jinnah, though scoffs it off, stating that he was a Mahatama only for the Hindus and for leaving out the Muslims of India in the cold, signaling the root cause of the divide between the two barristers.

Frustrated, the photographer motions to a passerby to come and sit on the bench and fill the gap left between the two South Asian leaders.

That passerby happens to be playwright Anwar Maqsood.

After uneasily taking a seat, Anwar Maqsood repeats the name of the play Saadhay 14 August, before repeating the date for the play, August 14.

Recent promo

The most recent promo of the play featured audio from British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten delivering a message from King George V. It is followed by audio from what sounds like Jinnah saying that “We want the divison of India into Hindustan and Pakistan because that is the only practical solution.”

It is followed by audio from Gandhi saying “I regard my self as a soldier, though a soldier of peace… it is complete independence that we want.”

Later in the promo, Jinnah can be heard saying Hindu India and Muslim India must be separated.

The caption for the promo reads:

“Those who were left behind are in misery. Those who were uprooted are in misery”

If you are interested in watching the play, you can purchase tickets for the play here.

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