Islamabad: The Ajoka Theatre Productions in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) will stage the premiere of the play ‘Dara’ here from June 17 to 19.
Based on the life and times of Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh, Ajoka’s new play is about the less-known but extremely dramatic and moving story of Dara Shikoh, eldest son of Emperor Shahjahan, who was imprisoned and executed by his younger brother Aurangzeb.
Dara was not only a crown prince, but also a poet, a painter and a Sufi. He wanted to build on the vision of Akbar the Great and bring the ruling Muslim elite closer to the local religions.
His search for the truth and shared teachings of all major religions is reflected in his scholarly works such as ‘Sakeena-tul-Aulia’, ‘Safina-tul-Aulia’ and ‘Majma-ul-Bahrain.’
The play also explores the existential conflict between Dara the crown prince, the Sufi and the poet.
The violent and devastating struggle between brothers Dara and Aurangzeb, the decisive role played by their sisters Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara, the spiritual challenge posed by the Sufi Sarmad to the authority of the ‘muftis’ and ‘qazis’ of the empire and the growing discontent among the masses are elements which make ‘Dara’ a gripping and powerful play.
Like all Ajoka’s plays, ‘Dara’ has a very relevant message for our contemporary times, said the organisers.