Wading through the tempestuous waters within which our society is drowning, is India’s first Sahitya Akademi award winning dramatist, Mahesh Dattani. He is a humanist who uses his multifaceted personae as a weapon in his fight against inhumanity. Dattani sees in society what others wish to ignore. His works are a plea for humane treatment of homosexuals, equality towards women and moreover equal rights for every small section of society including the hijras. His plays question all kinds of discrimination, be it religious prejudice, gender discrimination or even homosexuality. His plays not only bring up gender issues and the space allotted to women in a patriarchal society, but also deal with gender prejudices which affect the lives of the female child even amongst educated, urban families.
Mahesh Dattani is a name that guided the weakling Indian English Drama on the path of reliability, steadfastness and distinct identity. He has an ability to amalgamate the traditional beliefs with ultramodern disposition and conviction. His plays are heavily charged with socio political, emotional, physiological and psychological issues. Many of his plays deal with familial issues wherein the family members are trapped in social constraints and struggle to wrestle out of societal pressures. Dattani’s plays expose the violence of our “private thoughts, and the hypocrisy of our public morals” (Kumar,“Mahesh Dattani’s Collected Plays”). His work conveys his political beliefs without being instructive or revolting the subjects of recognition and power struggles, run right through all his plays.
Tara sheds light on the sufferings of the physically challenged, whilst weaving itself around the gender constraints and class struggle prevalent in Indian society. Playwright Mahesh Dattani himself says of Tara;“It’s a metaphor either for being born equal as male and female and sharing so much more and with the surgical separation comes a cultural distinction and prejudices as well, but on another level, it could also deal with the individual having the male and female self and half the female self is, whether your gender is male or female, is definitely given the lower priority.” (Cited Kulshreshtha)