How diverse is the curriculum you are currently delivering? Does it reflect the faces that stare back at you in your classroom or the issues of equity and diversity that are so often in the news?
Dara is a historical play written by Pakistani playwright Shahid Nadeem, adapted by Tanya Ronda and Directed by Nadia Fall for the National Theatre. I wanted to bring it to your attention as it could be a small part of a larger jigsaw that allows you to deliver a diverse and relevant curriculum.
The play is based on the true story of the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, focusing on the conflict between two brothers, Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb, over the throne of the empire after their father’s death.
Dara, the eldest son and heir to the throne, is known for his liberal and tolerant views, while Aurangzeb is more conservative and orthodox. As the two brothers vie for power, tensions rise and the empire is plunged into a brutal civil war.
Throughout the play, we see the struggle between these two ideologies and the devastating impact it has on the people of the empire. The story also highlights the role of religion in the conflict, with Dara’s Sufi beliefs pitted against Aurangzeb’s more fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.
Ultimately, the play serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of extremism and the importance of tolerance and understanding in a diverse society.
Think of the excellent conversations and discussions you could be having with your students if you studied this play in school.
Schools can get free membership to the National Theatre Collection online and stream Dara directly into your classroom. Find out more here.
Dara still resonates with audiences today because it explores themes that are still relevant in contemporary society. The play tackles the issues of religious intolerance, extremism, and the abuse of power, which are unfortunately still prevalent in many parts of the world.
The play also raises questions about the role of religion in politics and governance and the potential consequences of using religion as a tool for political gain. This is a theme that is particularly relevant in today’s global political climate, where religion is often used to justify acts of violence and discrimination.
The play highlights the importance of tolerance and understanding in a diverse society. It shows how the lack of acceptance of different beliefs and cultures can lead to conflict and division, and how promoting tolerance and respect can help build a more harmonious society.
You can access the National Theatre Learning Pack for Dara which will support your student’s viewing of the play and provides links to the UK School Curriculum. Its useful plot synopsis with time codes allows you to jump to different sections of the play.
To have diversity in the curriculum, you need diverse teaching materials, stories, media, and literature. The story of Dara, is one significant contribution to help bring diversity into your curriculum.
Register and you can download 3 of the Free Resources Every Month!
Save money and get 10 resources of your choice every month. The yearly subscription is the best value.
Purchase and you can add 2 teachers to your account so they can download 10 resources each month