Published by Primus Books
During his lifetime Dwijendralal Roy (1863-1913) was one of Bengal’s best known poet-musician-dramatists, and his lyrical songs and comic poetry which captured the imagination of the people, were used in historical and social dramas and satires of the period. His songs (called Dwijendra-geeti) combined Western music styles with sophisticated lyrics in Bengali and in doing so marked a breakthrough in the Indian music tradition. Dwijendralal skilfully used historical memory in his plays to highlight values that he considered crucial for the creation of an ideal India nation, based on compassion and integrity. His groundbreaking use of humour and satire to highlight the injustices that bedevilled society in late nineteenth-early twentieth century India won him innumerable admirers. His immense contribution to music and literature notwithstanding, his rich oeuvre has suffered monumental neglect, and there is an appalling lack of awareness about the man and his work. This volume attempts to put that right by documenting as well as undertaking a serious study of the creative genius of this artist.
Sarvani Gooptu is Professor of Asian Literary and Cultural Studies at the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata