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Mahesh Dattani: Drama and Marginality

Journal: Praxis International Journal of Social Science and Literature (Vol.5, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 86-89

Keywords : Mahesh Dattani; Marginalized People; Social Issues; Criticism of Life; Abused Childhood;

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Years ago, in his oft quoted essay, “Functions of Poetry”, Matthew Arnold¹ asserted, “At bottom, poetry should the criticism of life”. This observation may safely be applied to all branches of literature. Drama cannot be an exception to this observation. Being a powerful dramatist of the recent time, Dattani has every intention to use drama as a mirror to reflect social, political, religious, sexual realities of the day. Especially, Dattani's concern for the ‘marginalized people' of society brings him distinction among his contemporary playwrights. His daring attitude provokes Dattani to speak for those for whom, usually, nobody speaks. In his play, Tara, Dattani shows the pathetic plight of two physically challenged people- Chandan and Tara. They are almost nobody in the eyes of society. Through the play, Seven Steps Around the Fire, Dattani's sympathy and love for the hijras2 come to the forefront. Again, the play, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, conveys the message that the Gays3 and the Lesbians are the essential part of Indian society. The play, Thirty Days in September, shows the miserable plight of sexually abused children and the early loss of the innocent childhood. Besides, the play, Brief Candle, deals with the problems of the cancer patients whose lives are nipped in the bud. For some reasons, after 2012, hardly any production of Dattani comes to the public domain. It is a great expectation of the readers and the spectators that Dattani will soon come forward with his powerful productions dealing with burning social issues that demand our immediate attention.

Last modified: 2022-04-28 10:21:06