Sultana Daku – one of the most popular nautankis. 

Written in the 1920s by Roopram, this nautanki is the story of Sultana, the famous dacoit (thief) of the early 20th Century. 

Born in Uttar Pradesh, Sultana with his gang of 300 robbers is the equivalent of Robin Hood.  Legend describes him as a clever and brave man who fooled the police and kept changing his hideout.  Sultana’s lover was Pholkanwar, a tawayaf (dancer) who lived with him in the jungle.  The present nautanki shows that, ironically, Sultana was betrayed by a poor man who’d been helped by him.  Sultana was finally caught and hung by the British.