Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe

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शान्ताते कोर्ट चालू आहे

Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe
Country India
Language Marathi

Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (Silence! The Court Is in Session) is a Marathi play written by playwright Vijay Tendulkar and first performed in 1968, directed by Arvind Deshpande, with Sulbha Deshpande as the main lead.[1] The play was written in 1963, for Rangayan, a Mumbai-based theatre group, though it was performed much later. It was inspired after the playwright overheard the conversation amongst the members of amateur theatre group traveling on Mumbai local train to perform a mock-trial at Vile Parle suburb.[2]

The play was based on a 1956 short-story, Die Panne (Traps) by Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt.


The play has since been translated into 16 languages in India and abroad. The BBC showed its English version, filmed by Satyadev Dubey.[3] Actor-director, Om Shivpuri, directed the Hindi translation of the play as Khamosh! Adaalat Jaari Hai. The play had his wife Sudha Shivpuri in the lead role and is considered an important production in the theatre history of India.[4]


In it we find a group of teachers who were planning to stage a play in a village. One of the members of the cast does not turn up. A local stagehand was asked to replace him. A rehearsal was arranged and a mock trial was staged to make him understand the court procedure. A mock charge of infanticide was leveled against Miss Benare, one of the members of the cast.

Then the pretend-play suddenly turned into an accusatory game and it emerged from the trial that Miss Benare is carrying an out-of-wedlock child by Prof. Damle, the missing member of the cast.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Its playwright, Vijay Tendulkar, got national recognition in the form of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Award for drama in 1970 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama) Award in 1970 for playwriting.

Film adaptation[edit]

Noted Marathi playwright and stage director Satyadev Dubey directed a Marathi film based on the play, with the same name in 1971. Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe started the New Cinema movement in Marathi cinema[5] and is considered one of India’s finest films.[6]

It marked the debut of actors Amrish Puri and Amol Palekar, and of Govind Nihalani for whom this was his first film as a full-fledged cinematographer; till then, he had worked an assistant to Guru Dutt’s cinematographer V.K. Murthy.[7] Govind Nihalani co-produced the film with Satyadev Dubey.[8]

Lastly, this was Vijay Tendulkar's first screenplay, who went on to write landmark films like Nishant, Aakrosh, Ardh Satya and Umbartha.

Film cast[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Silence! The Court Is in Session (Three Crowns). Priya Adarkar (Translator), Oxford University Press, 1979. ISBN 978-0-19-560313-2.
  • Collected Plays in Translation: Kamala, Silence! the Court Is in Session, Sakharam Binder, the Vultures, Encounter in Umbugland, Ghashiram Kotwal, a Friend's Story, Kanyadaan. New Delhi, 2003, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-566209-2.


External links[edit]