An examination of the select plays of Mahesh Dattani’s through the lenses of Queer

Document Type : Original Article


The NorthCap University


Mahesh Dattani is a leading professional playwright, an artist of multi-dimensional personality for whom the theatre is an art with function. The plays of Dattani are characterized by way of a few theatrical and thematic innovations. Dattani, like Shaw, uses the stage to condemn many of the drawbacks prevailing in society. Most of Dattani’s plays are set in contemporary society and reveal the harsh realities of the world. He chooses themes related to sexuality and gender issues and challenges the heterosexuals normatively considered as central to our culture. Dattani’s characters are voices for the voiceless and marginalized segments and show how they face social exclusion, separation, and hatred. In the socio-cultural context, a margin is equivalent to ‘other’, and marginalized individuals or groups in a society do not feel securely incorporated into the societal mainstream, which comprises self-styled ‘normal’ people. As Michel Foucault said, there are numerous walls of quietening, and they are an indispensable component of the discourse techniques that strengthen and permeate them. Among many of the subjugated voices, the present paper aims to discuss the representation of queer in Dattani’s plays and confer that masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed. For this purpose two plays by Dattani have been opted,’ On the Muggy Nights In Mumbai,’ and ‘ Do the Needful’.