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Tughlaq A Play In Thirteen Scenes

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  388 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Tughlaq written by Girish Karnad in 1964, is his best loved play, about an idealist 14th-century Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq, and allegory on the Nehruvian era which started with ambitious idealism and ended up in disillusionment.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published October 12th 1972 by Oxford University Press (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,503)
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Feb 20, 2015 Shriya rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shriya by: Gussie
I am not surprised that Tughlaq is one of the best loved plays of Girish Karnad . Despite being a translation, it's well written and captures the details of politics and diplomacy with an ease no other author could have managed. Karnad shows the evolution of Tughlaq from an idealist to a tyrant lusty for power and fame, something anyone, any Indian for that matter can relate to easily especially people who are familiar with the Nehruvian Era of Indian politics.

Though according to most people
Jan 12, 2016 Tikuli rated it really liked it
Exceptional. Even in translation the play is flawless. The way Karnad touches on the contemporary politics through history is brilliant. I think it gives the play an universal appeal. I found the plot to be multi-layered and would love to read it again a few times. There is a lot of depth in the plot and I think just one reading is not really enough, at least for me. A detailed author’s note, an introduction by UR Ananthamurthy , an essay by Aparna Dharwadker on “Historical Fictions and Postcolo ...more
Mar 02, 2015 Malika rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, drama
Muhammad bin Tughlaq is a complex character and I think many young adults who are full of idealism should be able to identify with him.
After reading this story my opinion is that we(idealists) must learn to detach oneself from one's job especially when one is in a field like administration because very few people would agree to one's ethics and principles. At this juncture one often has to choose between glory/achievement of one's goals or adhering to one's principles. Those who choose the latte
Sidharth Vardhan
Nov 21, 2014 Sidharth Vardhan rated it really liked it
Shelves: indian, bestest, plays
The wise man's mistakes

Tughlaq is short, funny, analogous, based on facts and a page turner.

Tughlaq is the best play history ever written and it is equally brought out by Girish Kahand.

Girish Kahand is known to use history and mythology to deal with contemporary issues. Tughlaq touches contemporary issues in multiple ways including its take on secularism and socialism.

The story mostly elaborates mistakes of the most educated of all muslim rulers who ever ruled over India and his wise man's mista
Jan 09, 2015 Akshay rated it liked it
Tughlaq is a thirteen scene play written by actor-playwright Girish Karnad about the turbulent rule of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, who ruled from 1324 to 1351. The play recaptures some significant events which begin soon after Tughlaq’s ascension to the throne of Delhi, his proclamations of idealism, his calling upon people to be a part of building of a new empire, of peace and prosperity, to a kingdom that survives on ideals such as amity and peaceful coexistence. The play depicts him as a man of ide ...more
Suhasini Srihari
Jul 16, 2014 Suhasini Srihari rated it really liked it
Karnad has very effectively designed Tughlaq's character with the blend of history and myth. Tughlaq is an intriguing character, and literature serving as alternate history, has beautifully characterised the historical character. His two major errors, one of shifting the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, and two, of introducing copper coins as a medium of currency exchange (not foreseeing how it could be misused) - add to the character's failure. Karnad explores the psyche of Tughlaq and we, as ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Divya is currently reading it
i want read in book
Ankur Vohra
Jul 24, 2015 Ankur Vohra rated it really liked it
A Short but a deep read. The humor is subtle but one of the best I have come across in a long time. Completely explains the dilemma and the hypocrisy that comes to surround people in power. Even the best of intentions go haywire in front of personal self interests of power centers.I think the closet analogy of a book that I can think of is Animal Farm by George Orwell, you can call this book an Indian version of the same concept. Good Read.
Ashish Manik
Apr 17, 2013 Ashish Manik rated it liked it
Beautifully written; un-put-downable!
What I loved the most in this play is the character of Aziz - his wit & humour - and of course, the decisions of Tughlaq - that one would find as really canny at some events, but way more foolish at other times.

Also, as impressive are Girish Karnad's lucid depictions of royal manners & lifestyle and of the Hindu-Muslim thoughts prevailing in India.
Just one thing - the end is what disappointed me a bit.

Anyway, maybe Tughlaq was so mad because he was an
Mar 16, 2015 Syra rated it really liked it
Set during the reign of one of the most gifted and misunderstood kings in the history of India, 'Tughlaq' is definitely a play that will hold the attention of most readers. The play displays excellent characterization, thoroughly exploring various external as well as internal conflicts. The battle between ideals and reality is undoubtedly, the most intriguing aspect of the play.
Komal Sharma
Aug 24, 2015 Komal Sharma rated it really liked it
People who have read a lot of drama will know immediately the power of Karnad's writing as they begin with it. The way history is employed to imply satire on power is brilliant.
Anuj Kumar
Jan 13, 2016 Anuj Kumar rated it really liked it
One of the best historical plays I have read. It delves deep into the psychology of one of he most controversial Muslim ruler of India.
Apr 08, 2014 Ronald rated it liked it
TheCharacter of Muhammed is intriguing. However his actions lead to his download. a wonderful read and a lesson from history.
Bugar Deen
Mar 05, 2014 Bugar Deen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i want to read immediately. please any one help me.
Usha Basavvagol
Mar 25, 2016 Usha Basavvagol rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manish Goel
Sep 24, 2013 Manish Goel rated it liked it
Play started out with portrayal of wise Tughlaq and ended with mad Tughlaq !!
And I couldn't see the transition between two. And it felt both were present at the same time.

Tughlaq killed many of his confidant on slightest suspicion but gave clemency to all rebels and enemies. He used great logic to spot his enemies but same logic failed and instead rewarded his enemies.

In the end, I remember quote from Godfather "Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer" to justify and rationalise
Sahir D'souza.
A supremely well-written play, 'Tughlaq' is one piece of Indian writing that you don't want to miss! We performed it in Hindi at my school and it was a hit.
This is the tale of a wise man and his lack of foresight, which led to the stagnation, decay and deterioration of his kingdom. Tughlaq was very, very welfare-oriented ruler, but all his plans collapsed miserably. This play explores his doomed rule through his eyes and those of his subjects, who greatly misunderstood him. No one in their rig
Sarthak Jaïn
Jul 02, 2014 Sarthak Jaïn marked it as to-read
This book is fantastic....
Priyanshi Gulati
Apr 13, 2014 Priyanshi Gulati rated it it was amazing
a marvelous play
Mar 17, 2014 Prabakar rated it it was amazing
should complete
Aug 05, 2015 Prem rated it really liked it
Jul 04, 2014 Smitha rated it it was amazing
its good
Aastha Sharma
Apr 13, 2012 Aastha Sharma rated it it was ok
Overall average... Extremely disturbing description of certain practices... As far as the history part goes, the play is factually based which is all the more disturbing... nevertheless, it is a quick read.. to be picked up when you have exhausted all books around you...The plot is plain and untwisted... would have been better to see it on stage! :>
Mar 08, 2016 Nimue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian-fiction, 2016, play
The smallest book and it took the longest time to finish. So much layered this one is. The interpretations are many and that demands a re read if this play some day.
Jayakrishna Kothapalli
Dec 30, 2015 Jayakrishna Kothapalli rated it really liked it
Shelves: indian-authors
A perfect mockery on Nehruvian Socialism, the way Karnad has written the 13th scene is an example of his mastery on theater.Above all the way he etched the characters of Aziz and Aazam is brilliant.
Jun 18, 2010 Sachin rated it really liked it
Good piece of History brought forward by Karnad ji and equally made it dramatic by including theatrical devices.
A great play to peruse upon
Puru Pradhan
Feb 12, 2013 Puru Pradhan rated it liked it
Book based on ancient world politics which is still followed. It shows truth and reality about what happened at the time of Tughlaq...
Dec 24, 2013 Saranya is currently reading it
Abhishek Ganguly
Jan 25, 2013 Abhishek Ganguly rated it it was ok
Interesting take on the Whimsical King, but nothing exceptional.
Usha Alvin
Mar 05, 2013 Usha Alvin rated it it was amazing
The madness in Tughlaq's reign! Very well written.
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Girish Raghunath Karnad (Konkani : गिरीश रघुनाथ कारनाड, Kannada : ಗಿರೀಶ ರಘುನಾಥ ಕಾರನಾಡ) (born 19 May 1938) is a contemporary writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and movie director in Kannada language. His rise as a prominent playwright in 1960s, marked the coming of age of Modern Indian playwriting in Kannada, just as Badal Sarkar did it in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi, and Mohan Rakesh ...more
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