Shama Zaidi & Annie Zaidi

Shama Zaidi is a screenplay writer, costume designer...

India: the drafting of a vision

It is election time and safeguarding our Constitutional rights and freedoms is a key concern. But how much do we really know about the Indian Constitution? What was it trying to address, and what were the debates unfolding in the background?

Did you know, for instance, that before the Constitution came into force, in order to marry across religious lines, you had to first declare yourself an atheist? Or, that the Sedition Law was hotly debated and yet, was finally retained – what were the reasons for this?

We are delighted to invite Shama Zaidi, one of the two writers of the TV series Samvidhaan: The Making of the Constitution of India to Mumbai Local. In conversation with Annie Zaidi, Shama will give us an insight into how the constitution came to be – what inspired it, what our concerns were, and why we finally settled upon the decisions we did. The stories surrounding the Women’s Question, the Language Question, the Sedition Law, the relationship between Centre and State, the inclusion or exclusion of castes and tribes are fascinating and illuminating – and Shama tells them so wonderfully well!

Come join us on Saturday to peek into this critical history that informs the commitments our nation state makes to us. Live attendance is best, but if you can’t make it – we have live feed for you here.

Curated by Ramu Ramanathan.
RSVP for this session begins on Monday 29th April 2019.

Shama Zaidi is a screenplay writer, costume designer and art director based in Mumbai, having worked on over thirty feature films over the past five decades. She has worked as a writer and / or designer with several leading directors, including Satayjit Ray (Shatranj Ke Khiladi), Shyam Benegal (Charandas Chor, Manthan, Bhumika, Mandi, Susman, Trikaal, Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda, Mammo, The Making Of The Mahatma, Sardari Begum, Zubeida, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose The Forgotten Hero), M S Sathyu (Garm Hava, Kanneshwara Rama, Bara), Girish Karnad (Lamp in the niche) and Muzaffar Ali (Umrao Jaan), among others.

Shama has worked on many television series, the most important being BHARAT EK KHOJ (The Discovery of India) and SAMVIDHAAN (the making of the Indian Constitution). She was also instrumental in setting up an Urdu television channel for the ETV Network.

Shama has also worked as an art critic (The Statesman, Patriot and Shankar's Weekly, New Delhi) and a documentary film maker (Islam in India).

She is a recipient of Filmfare award for best screenplay for GARM HAVA (Hot Winds), jointly with Kaifi Azmi (1974) and The Chaman Lal Memorial Award for contribution to costume design.

Annie Zaidi writes across several genres. She has published a novella, Gulab, a collection of short stories, Love Stories # 1 to 14, one collection of essays, Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, which was short-listed for the prestigious Crossword Book Awards. She co-authored The Good Indian Girl(with Smriti Ravindra) and a book of illustrated poems, Crush. She is the editor of Unbound: 2000 Years of Indian Women's Writing.

Her play scripts include 'Jaal' (Hindi) and 'So Many Socks' (English), both of which have been staged in Mumbai and other cities. The latter script was short-listed for the META awards in 2013. Another script, 'Name, Place, Animal, Thing', was short-listed for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award in 2009. A radio play, 'Jam', was regional (South Asia) winner for the BBC's International Playwriting Competition 2011.

She has made one documentary film, 'In her Words: The Journey of Indian Women', which traces the lives and struggles of women as reflected in the literature that they have created.

Venues Dates Time
12-99 yrs
1 hr , 30 min
Entry free, on a first-come-first basis. Pre-register now to save your seat.