Kottayam: �In a time when things are only being banned and what we see around us is something or the other being out because of it, the famous Rock Opera Jesus Christ Superstar staged in Pallikoodam School, Kottayam district of Kerala 25 years after it was banned, at the same place where it was banned in 1990.
The ban was put on the drama because it shows Christ as both sacrilegious and blasphemous which was against the fundamental believes of the Christian faith and can hurt the Christian religious feelings and believes, disturbing the peace. But Father Abraham Vellathadathil, former Principal of Henry Baker College, Idukki who challenged this ban in the Kerala High Court along with Mary Roy said, the rock opera is a literary piece and even the Christians of the Vatican also enjoyed it.
The rock opera was written in 1970 by Tim Rice with music from Andrew Lloyd Webber. It tells the story of last seven days of Jesus� life on earth starting with Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with crucifixion. It highlights the struggle between Judas and Jesus with a different psychological point of view that is not in the Bible. The opera depicts the agony of Jesus during his betrayal, trial and condemnation. The play shows that Jesus Christ was not the son of God but was actually nothing more than the right man at the right time. It also shows that Judas was much misunderstood and was depicted as a tragic figure dissatisfied with the direction in which Jesus steers his disciples. The rock opera also suggests that Mary Magdalene may have had a relationship with Jesus.
25 years ago, the children of the Pallikoodam School (Corpus Christy School at that time) were all ready for the performance when founder Mary Roy received the order from Alphons Kannamthanam, former IAS officer and the then Collector of Kottayam for the ban on this play on October 15, 1990 at 5:05 PM. On Friday, December 4 after 25 years, the school witnessed the play again as the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban from this dance drama in April, 2015.
The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that since�Jesus Christ Superstar had already been produced all over the world and is available online, a ban, based on an order by the district collector, serves no purpose. People of Kottayam can easily watch the play on internet.
The interesting part of the play was that those who were students of the school during the ban are now parents of the school students; the music ban still has members who were part of the 1990 play as student. All the major roles in the play are done by the 11th standard students, but it also staged students from junior classes. No Christian was offended with the play or its contents when it is staged now, majority of the students performing the play were also Christian.
Although it was a temporary ban, but took 25 years to get over. The case shuttled between the government and the Kerala courts for a decade before it went to the Supreme Court.