Patriarchal Code as Expressed in Mahesh Dattanis

“ At last we have a dramatist who gives sixty million English-speaking Indians an individuality. Thank you, Mahesh Dattani! ” comments Alyque Padamsee, a manager who has directed many of Dattani ‘s dramas. Mahesh Dattani was the first Indian dramatist who received the most esteemed literary award, the Sahitya Academy Award in 1998 for the aggregation of his dramas, Final Solutions and Other Plays. The commendation described his work as “ a superb part to Indian play in English. ”

The postcolonial topic in India and elsewhere is hovering between two sorts of rationality-one represented by the traditional cultural idea and the other by modern western discourses. This struggle between the two civilizations becomes evident in the plants of Vijay Tendulkar, Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani where moral rules find a new dimension. To them societal guesss are ever different from the worlds of life. For illustration one can non anticipate a boy ever to be an obedient or a unsighted follower of his parents. Sadly the clang of traditional and modern values are an indispensable portion of the life of the people at present. This clang is brought out brightly by Dattani in his first drama Where There ‘s a Will Mahesh Dattani like Shaw, uses the phase to reprobate many of the drawbacks predominating in the society.

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Harmonizing to “ Patriarchy is a societal system in which the function of the male as the primary figure of authorization is cardinal to societal organisation, and where male parents hold authorization over adult females, kids, and belongings. It implies the establishments of male regulation and privilege, and is dependent on female subordination. The rule of patriarchate has been cardinal to the societal, legal, political, and economic organisations down the ages.

In his first drama ( 1988 ) , Dattani takes up the issues of the patriarchal codification. Indian society has been a really traditional society with strong patriarchal values. Fathers have desired to hold boies because they are supposed to transport frontward the name of the household, and because in their boies male parents have hoped to populate out their ain dreams and aspirations. In the yesteryear this has led to a state of affairs where a male parent demands unquestioning obeisance from his boy because he steadfastly believes that he entirely knows what is best for him. Subsequently this denies the boy any chance for independent growing. With altering times, this has begun to alter. In Where There ‘s a Will, Dattani exposes the hollowness of the patriarchal codification, which can non be followed in the station colonial scene.

The drama revolves around a purportedly ‘self made ‘ successful industrialist, Hasmukh Mehta.This patriarch is the supreme malcontent who tries to order to his boy, Ajit, because he would non toe his male parent ‘s line. Though he makes Ajit the joint pull offing manager of his house, he does non let him to explicate any company policy. However he fails to do Ajit make what he wants. This he succeeds in making when through his will after his sudden decease, he denies Ajit the ownership of his belongings till the latter becomes 45 old ages old and in the intervening 20 one old ages, continues to run the company precisely in the manner his male parent did. However, as the drama unfolds the shade of Hasmukh Mehta, who is watching everything with victory, realizes with discouragement the foolishness of his desire. It besides depicts the traditional hubby and married woman relationship through two coevalss and takes a bolder expression at the new adult female of the society in the signifier of Hasmukh ‘s kept woman Kiran Jhaveri. Dattani besides shows the dark temper and sarcasm through the signifier of Hasmukh ‘s will left in the attention of his kept woman.

The narrative has been narrated by Hasmusk Mehta, the conventional male parent who is of the sentiment that a male parent knows what is best for his boy, and Ajit, the boy who believes in populating his ain life and woolgathering his ain dreams. The first-half of the drama presents the male parent ‘s point of position where the playwright seems to be taking the side of the male parent. When the drama begins Ajit is speaking to a friend on the phone and stating him how he would overhaul the whole works if he were given merely five hundred thousands of rupees. Commenting on his male parent Ajit comments, ” aˆ¦But he merely wo n’t listen to me. I do n’t believe he has of all time listened to me in his full life. “ ( CP 455 ) . Husmukh respects Ajit as an incapable and irresponsible immature adult male of 20 three who resists all his efforts to take him under his wings. Ajit on his portion considers his male parent to be a caput strong individual who is merely non ready to see any other sentiment except his ain. When they talk to one another, Husmukh is blunt and disdainful, and Ajit is noncompliant. In a series of uncovering conversations, the playwright makes bother their attitudes clear:

AJIT.Do n’t hold any rights at all?

HASMUKH.You have the right to listen to my advice and obey my orders.

AJIT.Thank you. You are so generous. I could snog your pess.

HASMUKH.There ‘s no demand to make that, merely Polish my places every forenoon

and I will be happy.

AJIT.You will ne’er be happy. Not until all of us dance to your

melody. And I will ne’er make that

HASMUKH. Do n’t be so obstinate!

AJIT. You are obstinate excessively.

HASMUKH. I ‘m obstinate because I know I ‘m right. You ‘re obstinate

because you are a ninny. ( CP 468 )

Hasmukh ‘s male parent is a typical patriarch. When his senior boy runs off from place to fall in a group of flower peoples, he tightenes his control over the other boy, Hasmukh, who is taken out of school and set to difficult work in the mill that his male parent had set up. Hasmukh is obliged to his male parent for the preparation that he has given him. He holds that if today at the age of 40 five he is a really successful industrialist and one of the richest work forces in the metropolis, it is all because of the schooling that he has under his male parent. He is unhappy with his boy, Ajit, because he would non follow in the footfalls of his male parent. He tells him that he needs ‘seasoning ‘ , to do him suit to run the company when his male parent would no longer be at that place. The conversation reveals the dominating inclination of Hasmukh:

HASMUKH. … I will retire one twenty-four hours, either from the company

or from this universe. What will go of you so? I have to

season you now. You need flavoring.

AJIT. Seasoning! What do you intend flavoring? I ‘m non a block

of wood! ( CP 4 )

[ Ajit reacts to this and says, ]

AJIT.aˆ¦You want to run the show. Play Big Boss every bit long as you

can or every bit long as God permits. And when all of a sudden you

are called to a better universe, you still want to play Big Boss.

and you can make it through me. In short you want me to be you.

HASMUKH. I should hold prayed for a girl. Yes I want you to be me!

What ‘s incorrect with being me?

AJIT. And what becomes of me? The existent me. I mean. If I am you,

Then where am I? ( CP 461 )

This is the basic struggle between the male parent and the boy in this drama. The male parent wants a typical submissive, hardworking and obedient boy. He does non desire a boy who is inventive, individualistic and independent. The boy, on the other manus, is non ready to be simply a paradigm of his male parent. He believes in populating his ain life and believing his ain ideas. “ Why is it that everything I say or do has to be something that person has told me or learn me to make? “ ( CP 459 ) . Dramatist nowadayss here non an single instance but a representative of the changed society.

The postcolonial Indian society has undergone some cardinal alterations. Even when a immature adult male is working with his male parent or other seniors of the household, for illustration, in the household concern or industry, he has his positions on different facets of the work he is involved in, and wants them to be heard and respected.Such issues have greatly affected the patriarchal codification. Dattani ‘s drama shows both the strong desire of the older coevals to continue its authorization over the immature and the determined command of the immature to interrupt free of this patriarchal codification.

Husmukh does non save his married woman and daughter in-law excessively. His will after his decease is a daze to his household members. He has non left his belongings unconditionally to his boy or his married woman. His married woman Sonal is a powerless adult female as she is confined to the house and financially dependent on her hubby. Dattani besides inquiries the patriarchal moral codification which demands the fidelity of a adult female to her hubby but non the fidelity of a adult male to his married woman. Sonal is surprised to cognize about the kept woman Kiran Jhaveri merely after her hubby ‘s death.Sonal remembers well that Husmukh is precisely the same like his male parent. Kiran Jhaveri, his kept woman besides recalls how her male parent is a existent patriarch who beats his married woman and her brothers besides behave precisely the same manner like the male parent.

Following the patriarchal codification, Husmukh Metha while alive remains an arrant failure as a male parent and a hubby. The echt relationship of love, concern and compassion that should organize the foundation of an ideal household is exhaustively losing in his life. His life proves the hollowness of patriarchal codification. Bill Gaither, in his vocal Love Can Turn The World stresses:

If coal can turn to diamonds

And sand can turn to pearls

If a worm can turn into a butterfly

Then love can turn the universe.

The life of Husmukh Metha establishes the fact that with no love the patriarchal system which he follows becomes hollow and meaningless.

Dattani therefore strongly brings out the denial of individualism and chance for single growing in a patriarchal codification. In the name of tradition and good manners and even responsibility, the household is expected to follow blindly whatever they are asked to make which deprives them of their thrust and of their enterprise. In Where There ‘s a Will Dattani makes a bold statement in favor of the person ‘s right to populate his or her life harmonizing to his or her ain right. Even one may neglect or come to grief he or she may be bold plenty to confront life on his or her ain footings.

Plants Cited:

Dattani, Mahesh. Collected Plays. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2000. Print..

Prasad, Amar Nath. The Dramatic World of Mahesh Dattani: A critical geographic expedition. New Delhi: Sarup Book, 2009.Print.

Gaither vocal Band. ‘Love Can Turn The World Lyrics ‘ . Uulyrics. Web. 24 Jan. 2011.

‘Patriarchy ‘ . Wikipedia. Web. 3 Feb. 2011.

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