Year : 1986
Publisher : Sahitya Bhandara, Bengaluru
Reprints : 9

Translated into Hindi and English

Overcome by the abiding guilt of having perjured himself in a murder trial, a village elder commits suicide. Yama, the god of death and righteousness, commands him to return to earth in spiritual form to witness but not to intervene in the subsequent events. The village elder observes the other characters as they are confronted by difficult decisions and revelations which cause them look inward and attempt an appraisal of their lives and values: Savitri, who realises the truth behind her mother’s suicide, greedy Nagappa, idealistic Satyappa and above all, the arrogant, selfish and lustful Manjaiah. ‘The Witness’ uses ancient myths and philosophical and Gandhian concepts to discuss the meaning of truth and its distortions through greed, sexuality and desire. The focus is on what it means to be a witness – in a courtroom, before the gods, to the lives of others, or finally, to one’s self

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