Dushman asks one question: “Is the majority always right?”


The ending was fantastic,” said of the viewers as one came out of the Rimal theatre, Gurukul.

Yes, it was, and it perhaps answered the question that had been raised right through the play — is the majority always right?

Dushman, an Urdu adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, was staged on November 8 in the Capital by the Ajoka theatre from Pakistan as part of the ongoing Ibsen theatre festival. The dialogue delivery was powerful and though one lost a few strains here and there, it was an experience to witness such a powerful play enacted in one of the finest languages of the world. With the minimum of props, the actors really made the stage their world and each outdid the other.

The play is located in a prosperous northern resort that is famous for its miraculous spring water. Even a foreign multinational is interested in signing a deal to bottle this spring water. The town is prospering on this miraculous water. However, the person responsible

for discovering the spring’s miraculous qualities also finds out that the water is contaminated and this could be the reason and source of a number of skin disease and stomach ailment cases that have been reported in the recent months. He is bent on warning the people of the impending danger.

However, those in power, those who are influential, are not ready to do so. They are hell bent on proving that what the doctor is saying is nothing but some rubbish fed him by foreign forces.

Hence, the question — is the majority always right, is an individual’s voice, though s/he may be telling the truth, always smothered?

The use of an intelligence agent is one unique touch which as director MadeehaGauhar said reflects workings of the society in which they live and operate.

The protagonist Dr Hadi asks the agent, who has offered him everything — lost respect of

the town’s people, his peers and friends, a good position, wealth — “Will this guarantee the safety of even a single person of this town?”

The play ends with this question and on a note that the fight is on, and that perhaps truth will prevail in the long run.