A poetry workshop cum poetry meet was held at the National Law University, Delhi’s auditorium. The purpose of the poetry workshop was to initiate young people into the art of giving an expression to their feelings and thoughts by means of poems. The event started with the accomplished poets like Dr. Ashok Lav, Dr, Vivek Gautam, Mr. Prem Bihari Mishra, Mr. Rakesh Pandey, sharing their views on poetry, and more specifically on the connect between law and poetry. Thereafter, Dr. Prasannanshu, Associate Professor of English of NLUD conducted a workshop on poetry writing, which evoked enthusiastic response from the participants. Not only, young people wrote their debut poems in this workshop, but seasoned poets, too were stimulated enough by the atmosphere generated at the workshop to write. Some of these poems were presented by the participants and senior poets commented upon them. This session was followed by a poetry meet in which, in addition to the above mentioned poets Dr. Chandramani Brahamdutt, Ms. Sushma Bhandari, Ms. Vinita Malik, Mr. Virendra Kumar Mansotra, Mr. Vijay Saluja, Dr. P. Prasannaraj, Mr. M.K. Sinha, Ms. Shobhna Mittal etc. made their presentations. Dr. Ashok Lav chaired the event, and Mr. Prem Bihari Mishra managed the stage. The theme of this bilingual event was Law and Poetry /kaanoon aur kavita.
The impressive campus of NLUD came alive with the subtlest and loftiest form of literature, viz. poetry and credit must be given to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ranbir Singh who encourages such activities in the University.
The registrar of the University, Prof. Srikrishna Deva Rao inaugurated the event with words of appreciation, and encouragement. The students staged the following plays:
a) Antigone: a tragedy written by Sophocles in Ancient Greece. It was first presented in around 440 B.C. Antigone, her sister Ismene, and her brothers Polyneices and Eteocles, were the children of Oedipus, King of Thebes, and of Jocasta (whom Oedipus married without realizing that she was his mother). The play forces one to think about the nature of the laws, and human nature.
b) The Merchant of Venice: A celebrated work of William SHAKESPEARE. It is fascinating to explore whether justice was done to Shylock during the trial in the Ducal Court of Venice where religious/racial bias was unabashedly bared, and where Portia used disguise to befool the court in order to defend Antonio.
c) PRO ARCHIA: The trial of Archias in a matter of citizenship took place in a Greek court more than 2000 years ago. In this trial, CICERO delivered a speech in defence of his teacher and poet Archias. In the course of the speech Cicero, the celebrated orator, showed his unbound appreciation for literature. The defence speech presents arguments in an elegantly planned way, and is a wonderful piece of literature in its own right.
d) A stage adaptation of the story ‘THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT’ Published in 1913 By JACK LONDON, the American author, journalist, and social activist provokes one to think about the nature of the justice delivery system and justice itself. The story was given a contemporary turn by the actors as a tribute to Jack London in the centenary year of the story.
The actors did not stick to the script religiously, and their ingenuity and innovation at times brought about unexpected and mostly delightful new interpretations of the original work. The unusual theme of the drama event was ‘Law and Literature’.
The evening melted into the night brimming with humour and music. It endeavoured to deliver an important message to the legal fraternity, and the society at large amidst joy and fervour.