International Journal For Multidisciplinary Research
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Volume 5 Issue 6
'Human Relationships and Gender Identity: Looking into Mahesh Dattani’s Tara
|Abstract||Mahesh Dattani delves into diverse themes such as place of anomalous or so called freaks in society, patriarchal standpoint, male chauvinism, gender discrimination, child sexual abuse, homosexuality etc. In India women/girls have historically suffered both overt and covert discrimination which targets not just the female body, but also indulges in mental and psychological assaults. And the regrettable element is that the hurt is caused by a person, who is considered to be the protector. In ‘Tara’, Dattani portrays the web of human relationships, through the social issues of gender discrimination resulting from long-established social beliefs. ‘Tara’ mainly deals with the theme of gender bias, followed by patriarchal hegemony. Siamese twins Tara and Chandan must be separated to ensure their survival. The ill placed decision of their mother Bharati and grandfather to benefit the male child Chandan with the third leg which rightfully belonged to Tara brings to the fore the ills of patriarchy. The issues of caste system and social hierarchy are also voiced in the play. For Indian psyche mother is next to God, but in ‘Tara’ the mother becomes the instrument of partisanship and unfairness and forces Tara to lead a life of incompleteness, physically as well as psychologically. Bharati remains guilt ridden, and therefore, she tries to recompense to Tara, in every possible way she can. Tara loves her mother the most. She even considers her mother her idol, but she gets the shock of her life when she comes to know the truth of her incompleteness from her father. By this time Bharti’s guilt takes the better of her and before Tara could speak to her mother regarding this injustice, Bharati goes insane. The influence of patriarchy is evident in Bharti’s character too. Besides being a mother, she is also an educated lady. Thus, the decision of favouring the boy child with the leg doesn't agree with her character. She doesn't come across as a woman having a strong personality and it appears that she has been coerced into giving consent for the ill-fated surgery. She is also the victim of patriarchal dominance of her father. Bharati's personal preference and her father's patriarchal dominance, ruin not only the lives of the twins but also that of Bharati because, she also suffers whole life as a result of this action. Sociologically, ‘patriarchy’ may be interpreted as a metaphor for unquestioned authority over women by all those powers that have the conventional social sanctions to perpetrate. Such transgression is not a momentary exploitation; it is often a protracted ploy to marginalize women/girl children. Plays like Tara can foster an environment of awareness, resistance and proactive modalities to counteract prevalent negative gender bias.|
|Keywords||patriarchy, hegemony, gender, caste system,|
|Field||Sociology > Linguistic / Literature|
|Published In||Volume 5, Issue 6, November-December 2023|
|Cite This||'Human Relationships and Gender Identity: Looking into Mahesh Dattani’s Tara - Aparna - IJFMR Volume 5, Issue 6, November-December 2023. DOI 10.36948/ijfmr.2023.v05i06.8524|
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