Abstract

What happens when the government commissions new puppet plays based on the life of Mohandas Gandhi, India's revered “mahatma” (great soul)? Can the recently sainted compete with the ancient heroes of the Mah bh rata or R m yaa?

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Author notes

Salil Singh is a playwright, director, and actor who has several years of professional puppetry experience. His productions have ranged from opera to new plays and puppet theatre. Most recently, he has finished his dissertation on the performer's art in Tōlpāvā koothu, and, at the University of Texas, codirected the documentary film Borrowed Fire (1998) about the shadow puppetry of Kerala, India. He has taught at the University of Texas and Ripon College in Wisconsin.