The Prophet and the Poet is a remarkable theatrical adaptation by Vijay Padaki of the long correspondence between Gandhi and Tagore. The letters that these two giants of Indian history and culture exchanged constitute one of the most intellectually, politically, and affectively exciting conversations ever to be published. Gandhi and Tagore debate the most fundamental issues about freedom, political protest, education, leadership, and economic justice which haunt India even today and are of universal concern. Each writes with utmost affection and respect for the other. They sometimes agree. But they often disagree and when they do, there is a stark clash of visions and ideals expressed with respect, a searing force of conviction, and rhetoric to match.
The real stuff of drama, expressing the depths of feeling and thought, Padaki’s play is directed by Anmol Vellani, one of India’s foremost theatrical figures. He plays one of the two lead roles alongside Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, who has written extensively on Gandhi in recent years. Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi will give the distinguished keynote address after the performance.