Kaustubh Naik will present his paper titled “Setting the stage: Aitihasik Natak and the Maharashtrawadi politics in 20th century Goa” at the 18th International Conference on Maharashtra to be held at the South Asia Institute, UT Austin, USA.
The theme for this year’s conference is Communication and Community in historic and Contemporary Maharashtra.
In the panel on Marathi theatre, Kaustubh will share his research on the history of Marathi theatre in 20th century Goa and its role in the Goan political sphere, especially in mobilising support for the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in the sixties.
In 20th century Portuguese Goa, the Hindu bahujan samaj, a conglomeration of marginalised caste communities, claimed Maratha identity, based on the social aspects of Shivaji’s polity and the concept of a warrior heritage. This paper traces the popularity of the historical plays based on Shivaji, performed by village collectives in temple spaces during annual fairs and ritual ceremonies throughout the 20th century. Specifically, I examine their role in consolidating communitarian identities and shaping regional consciousness by analyzing the tremendous electoral success of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Paksh, a regional political party that, in post-colonial Goa, sought to merge Goa with Maharashtra.