Retooling a tradition: A Rajasthani Puppet Takes Umbrage At His Stringholders
Producer: Apsara Media for Intercultural Education
Director: Nazir Jairazbhoy and Amy Catlin
Year Released: 1994
Length: 47 minutes
In Act One, a deposed nawab puppet natters annoyingly on the anti-Muslim bias of his Hindu Bhat puppeteers, who insist on making him cough uncontrollably every time he smokes his huqqa. In ACT Two, his courtesan Anarkali chastises him for his biased views, and challenges him to search for positive elements in the creativity and affectionate humor of the puppeteers as they retool their traditional craft to suit modern life in India. In Act Three, the fictitious Puppeteer Guild Leader, Chaggan Lal, urges the Nawab to give credit to the altruism of the puppeteers and draws attention to puppet shows with themes of national unity, Indian folk arts heritage, population control, democracy, and international affairs.