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Final Solution by Mahesh Dattani

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 11 (2631 words)
Categories: Literature, Plays
Downloads: 34
Views: 39

Introduction

Final Solutions has taken the issues of the majority communities in different contexts and situations. It talks of the problems of cultural hegemony, how Hindus had to suffer at the hands of Muslim majority like the characters of Hardika/Daksha in Hussainabad. And how Muslims like Javed suffer in the set up of the majority Hindu community. This all resulted in communal riots and culminated in disruption of the normal social life, and thus hampered the progress of the nation.

The mob in the play is symbolic of our own hatred and paranoia.

Each member of the mob is an individual, yet they meet into one seething whole as the politicians play on their fears. In this play, the chorus continuously sings sometimes under the mask of Hindus and sometimes under that of Muslims revealing their feelings of fear and hatred for one another. When the Chariot leading the procession is broken and the Pujari is killed the Hindus masks sing: “How dare they! They broke our Chariot and felled our Gods! This is our land! How dare they? ” The mob/chorus comprising five men and ten masks on sticks (five Hindu and five Muslim masks) are the omnipresent factor.

Throughout the play, Now Muslim in masks sings: They hunt us down! They’re afraid of us! They beat us up! We are few! But we are strong! The scenes of the play take place inside and outside Ramnik Gandhi’s house where Ramnik has given two Muslim boys shelter from the violent mob outside. The mob is in the form of a chorus, changing its guise into Muslims and Hindus through masks and songs. Inside, a Hindu family is sharply divided over giving shelter to the unknown Muslim youths in the midst of communal frenzy and violence.

Even after fifty years of Independence, people have not been able to forget their enemity and bias against each other, i. e. Muslims against Hindus and Hindu against Muslims. In the play, two young men, Javed and Babban, are hired to disrupt social harmony while others like Hardika’s parents -in-laws have secretly burnt the shop of their Muslim friend, with the selfish end of buying it at reduced price. Final Solutions is based on the apparently friendly relations between Muslims and Hindus and the simmering currents of hatred beneath.

The family unit comprises members of different age groups, symbolic of past and present, stretching the plot to over a period of half a century. Young people like Smita, Bobby and Javed, present the future and Ramnik and Aruna, the present while Hardika, the grandmother of Smita, is sometimes presented in Daksha (Past) a fifteen year old newly married young girl, writing her diary and then as her grandmother in her late sixties (present) teaching her children and revealing the family’s past.

Major events are presented through her eyes. The play, Final Solutions, is also the story of a young baffled boy Javed, who becomes a victim and a terrorist and is exploited by politicians in the name of ‘Jiahad’. He is trained for the terrorist activities and sabotaging. He is sent to a Hindu ‘Mohalla’ where a ‘Rath Yatra’ is taking place. Javed is so over-whelmed with the fervour of ‘Jehad’ that he throws the first stone on the ‘Rath’ causing chaos, ending up in the killing of the ‘Pujari’ and crashing down of the ‘Rath’.

Bobby a close friend of Javed, saves him from the violent mob and gets him sehtler in Ramnik Gandhi’s house, where causes of Hindus and Muslims hatred are being discussed and strange secrets of terror, greed, avarice and communal hatred are being revealed. The details of stage given in the play help the audience to experience the shifts in time, Dattani keeps shuffling the frames:- “Within the confines of the ramp is a bare born presentation of the house of GANDHI’S with just wooden blocks for furniture. However upstage perhaps as an elevation a detailed kitchen and a Pooja room. When the curtain rises, we find Daksha, the newlywed bride, going through her diary dated March 31, 1948. Considering her diary as her sole friend in the new environment of her in-laws, she is sharing her secrets, experiences and views with her diary. The diary begins with the shattered dreams of a young girl who wanted to be a singer like Noor Jahan, but who has been married and confined to four walls of her in-laws house. This suggests how most of us have to live a life of unfulfilled desires. This is a very lengthy monologue of Daksha but is written in the style of a spoken dialogue.

She is narrating the horrible incidents of the Partition, which are still haunting her mind even after one year. “We gained independence… My father had fought for that hour. He said he was happy we were rid of the Britishers… He said before leaving they had let loose the dogs. I hated to think that he was talking about my friend’s father. ” The young girl immediately changes into the old Hardika: “I opened my diary again. And I wrote. A dozen pages before. A dozen pages now. A young girl’s children scribble. And an old woman’s shaky scrawl. Yes, things have not changed much”.

After a fifty year of marriage, Hardika is advising Aruna her daughter-in-law: “Be careful I said. The dogs have been let loose”. There seems to be no change even after so much education and development. It is sad that over after fifty years of Independence, the same things are happening; the whole story is presented in a series of scenes and memories, dialogues, images and sudden shifts in time. Hardika’s wounds caused by the killing of her father in communal frenzy during Partition become fresh again. She is terrorized when she finds two Muslims boys in her house.

She does not like her son Ramnik giving them shelter from the mob outside. When she is alone with the boys, she asks them to leave India and go to Pakistan for good, as she still doubts the commitment of Muslims to the nation. Hardika : Have you ever thought of going to Pakistan? Bobby : No Hardika : Why not? Javed: I prefer Dubai Hardika : There you can live the way you want without blaming other people for your failure like we did many years ago. Her problems have no meaning for Bobby and Javed and their problems have no meaning for her. Hardika and Javed are easily excited and are kept in dark about the reality of the things.

The death of Hardika’s father at the hands of Muslims is of no concern for Bobby and Javed, and Javed’s sister’s safety has no meaning for Hardika. Their experiences are their own. Each of them is trapped in his/her own experiences. Hardika and Javed both have the bitter tastes of the minority community. Hardika’s father was murdered because they were member of the minority Hindu community in Pakistan during Partition and Javed has become a terrorist because he is from the minority Muslim community in India. Javed explains to Ramnik his reasons for involving himself in Terrorism and acts of sabotage on the Hindu procession (Rath Yatra). Anyone sitting at home, sipping tea and reading the newspaper will say that it is obvious that a minority would never start a riot, we are too afraid that it had to be politically motivated. The selfish and petty politicians still play with the emotions of the young people like Javed and Babban, instigate them to create violence and use them for their own ends. Dattani has conveyed the same message in Final Solutions, where Bobby and Javed long to be amongst the majority section of the society. Javed tells Ramnik: Javed: It must feel good Ramnik : What? Javed: Being in the majority

Ramnik : Yes, I never thought of it. Javed: After feeling good you are in the majority? Ramnik : No, about being the majority. Javed, who became a victim of their plans, narrates his horrible experience: “It is a terrible feeling. Being disillusioned. Don’t we all have anger and frustration? Am I so unique? Now that I am alone… I hate myself. It was different when I used to attend the meetings. I was swayed by what now appears to me as cheap sentiment. ” Javed explains how when he was following the Hindu ‘Rath’. Someone at first put a stone in his hand and then a knife. Javed hit the procession hard.

In the words of Babban, Why did Javed threw stone and climbed the Rath and hit the Pujari, because he was told that the Hindus were taking the procession of their Gods prodding them… to wipe us out of existence…” However, there is a hidden human heart in Javed. Screaming with pleasure, Javed, in the Carnival, moves on the giant wheel. But soon his joy ride is over as the pujari looked at the knife in his hand, begs him for mercy. His frenzy is over and he wishes to be a normal human being. He is not able to kill the pujari. Bobby seems to be wise enough to understand both Aruna and Javed’s viewpoints well. He reads out Javed’s eelings to Ramnik and tries to convince Aruna that God is not biased by picking up the idol and grasp it in his hands: “You cannot remove my smell with sandel paste and attars and fragrant flowers because it belongs to human being who believes, tolerates, and respects what other human beings believe that is the strongest fragrance in the world” By doing so, Bobby at the same time hurts the sentiments of Aruna, a Hindu woman, when, infact, the Muslim religion does not allow any women to ever enter their Mosques, showing open disrespect towards women; however, hurting Aruna’s feelings can be a small offence on Bobby’s part when Aruna, perturbed over this action cries: “Oh! Is there nothing left that is sacred in this world. ” He tries to calm her by the logic of fraternity and forgiveness: “The tragedy is that there is too much that is sacred. But if we understand and believe in one another nothing can be destroyed… And if you are willing to forget. I’m willing to tolerate”. Later on Aruna herself admits to god’s oneness.

Through dialogues and reflections like these, Dattani makes a strong plea for humanism, love and understanding. Smita, Aruna’s daughter, is a young college student. She is content with whatever her mother has taught her at home, she follows her directions and obeys her by performing all the rituals, till she meets Bobby, a Muslim boy and for a short while, falls in love with him. When she comes to know that Bobby is engaged to Tasneem, she is disappointed, her own experience forces her to introspect and question the rituals she has been blindly performing. Aruna, the mother, is shocked at the queer behavior of her daughter; she declares that she respects all the religions: “Please try to understand. We have nothing against you.

It is only that we have our own customs and … we are equal… All religion is one. Only the ways to God are many. ” But Smita is ignorant of the rituals in Muslim religion so she ridicules her mother for not allowing the Muslim boys to be fed along with them or to let them fill water from the holy pitcher. Aruna feels hurt and asks her daughter not to be so cruel “you can stop being so cruel… . Smita replies, “I am not sorry. I said it… I am glad”. She feels elated in saying so in the presence of two Muslim boys because she is having an inferiority complex. Here, her religious education seems to be shallow because she has not been advised on the necessity of the rituals.

On the other hand, Bobby is so impressed with the fact that Smita enjoys more freedom with her mother than he does. For Javed, religion is more stifling as Bobby says, “Javed finds the whole world stifling”. Ramnik, who is not able to understand Javed and Babban’s indulgence in acts of violence and sabotage, tries to teach the Muslim boys a lesson and gives them a good piece of his mind. And through this discourse, comes to light the hard facts of their lives. In the end, he praises the boys for their courage in fighting and questioning things. Bobby has changed his name to Bobby from Babban simply because he does not like to expose his identity as a minority member.

Ramnik, who seems to be quite liberal, intelligent and understanding stands exposed for his hypocrisy in the end. Ramnik knows it very well that his father and his grandfather had burnt the shops of their Muslim friends. He suffers from the complex and is willing to compensate by offering them jobs. But it never occurs to him that killing of Hardika’s father could have happened to revenge. He praises Bobby for helping Javed, in doing away with his false pride and faith in his religion. Ramnik tells Bobby. “You are brave. Not everyone can get off. For some of us, it is not ever possible to escape”. This goes on in Ramnik’s mind and he wants to make penitence for it. No one in the house is familiar with this truth.

The question raised by the young Muslim boys forces Ramnik to confess and lose his mind. In the end he tells Hardika that her husband had burnt his Muslim friend’s shop because Ramnik knows that she had only few year to live now so they would not have to suffer long for it. Ramnik tells Hardika: “I just can’t enter that shop any more… I didn’t have to face to tell anyone. For me there is no getting off. No escape. It is their shop. It is the same burnt shop we bought from them, at half its value. And we burnt it. You husband. My father. And his father. They had burnt it in the name of communal hatred… ” Ramnik finds it hard to keep all the secrets burning in his mind.

His agony is with him only since he does not want his wife, Aruna, to suffer from the agony of this sin. That is why Aruna is busy with her daily rituals as usual, even after a fight with Smita over the rituals. She is shocked by the rude behavior of her daughter who is not willing to change her ways. She is very proud of her ancestral past and Ramnik does not want to shelter it. When she wants to know about Ramnik’s anxiety, he simply says, “there are things, that are better left unsaid” He desperately wishes the boys to accept a job so that he can liberate himself from pain and also absolve himself from a feeling of guilt. It is a tragedy that people like Javed who once fall victim to terrorism cannot lead a normal life.

Society refuses to accept them. And often they end their lives either in a fight or become target of police firing or commit suicide. In the 21st century they are rather prepared to die with their target like the suicide bombers. Javed tells Ramnik that no one from the police would come to arrest him and that he becomes a victim of mob’s fury. Abandoned by the family, discarded by the society, he resorts to violence. Smita again tells her father about them: “They hire him! They hire such people and… those parties. They hire him! That is how he makes a living. They bring him and many more to the city to create riots. To… to throw the first stone”.

Cite this essay

Final Solution by Mahesh Dattani. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/final-solution-by-mahesh-dattani-essay

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