Mudra Rakshasa

Born in 1931 in Behta near Lucknow, Shri Mudra Rakshasa took his Master’s degree from Lucknow University and was then employed as Assistant Editor of Gyanodaya, published from Calcutta from 1955 to 1958. He was Editor of Anuvrata, also a Calcutta publication, between 1959 and 1961. He worked as Editor, Scripts, at All India Radio from 1962 to 1976. Shri Mudra Rakshasa’s first mentor in the dramatic arts was his father Shivcharan Lal ‘Prem’, a well-known performer of the popular Swang-Sapera theatre of the region. Similarly, his early inspiration in literature came from his maternal grandfather Acharya Chatursen Shastri, an eminent literary figure. Shri Mudra Rakshasa has been long established as a front- ranking figure in the work of Hindi letters, and has a large and varied output to show for over fifty years of work in the field. Preeminently a playwright, he has authored thirteen stage plays besides a large number of plays and scripts for radio and television. His most popular plays for the stage have proved to be Marjeeva, Yours Faithfully, Tendua, Tilchatta, Guphayen, Daku and Ala Afsar. His works of theatrical criticism includes Rang Bhumikayen and a book on Nemichandra Jain. He is also well known as a director, and has about thirty stage productions to his credit. Shri Mudra Rakshasa has besides published ten novels including Dand Vidhana and Hastakshep, several collection of short stories such as Pratihimsa, and produced a substantial body of work reflecting his concern with social, economic, and cultural issues. His books in this genre include Dharmagranthon ka Punarpath and Arthik Samrajyavad, while his work of literary criticism, Alochana Ka Samajshastra, his biographical work Bhagat Singh Hone ka Matlab, and his satires such as Prapanch Tantra also point to his strong social engagement. Shri Mudra Rakshasa has been honoured with the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998 for his work in drama. He has received the Sahitya Bhooshan title from the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, and the Dalit Ratna title conferred by the Ambedkar Mahasabha in 2008. Shri Mudra Rakshasa receives Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Indian theatre as a playwright.