Modern Perspective. Ancient Traditions. Timeless Values.

Past Productions

Silappadhikaaram - a story of women of substance

About Silappadhikaaram

Silappadhikaaram (authority of the anklets) is considered by many scholars of Indian literature and history to be the gem of the literature of the Sangam era. Sangam literature, which bloomed in Tamil Nadu in southern India during roughly the third to the eighth century after Christ, is an unparalleled collective body of Indian literature. Most of Sangam literature is religious. Silappadhikaaram is decidedly secular, being quite open to the precepts of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. But, its focus is entirely on terra firma.

Silappadhikaaram is the story of the authority (adhikaaram) that flows from justice, righteousness, loyalty and courage. It is the story of Kannagi, an extraordinary woman who exemplified these traits. It is to an almost equal measure, that of Madhavi, whose character was far, far above that generally associated with her inherited station in life, that of a courtesan. And, it is about Kovalan, who flitted between these women with all the loyalty of a butterfly.

Apart from its undisputed literary merit, it is a great source of information on the lives and mores of the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala of the period.

CCA's production of Silappadhikaaram focuses on the above three aspects of this literary gem. It is primarily about the character of its two great female protagonists and the contrast with that of Kovalan. Their characterization is embroidered on the muslin of Sangam literature and the vibrant and entertaining culture and history of southern India in the early centuries of the first millennium. This is a new theme for CCA, one we hope will lead to a series of productions on women of substance.