Conflict in Final
By Mahesh Dattani
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Subject:- Indian English Literature – Post-
Submitted to:-Department of English Maharaja
Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University
Mahesh Dattani (born 7 August 1958) is an
Indian director, actor, playwright and writer. He wrote
such plays as Final Solutions,Dance Like a Man, Bravely
Fought the Queen, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Tara
Thirty Days in September and The Big Fat City.
All his plays address social issues, not the very obvious
ones, but the deep-seated prejudices and problems that
the society is usually conditioned to turn away from. His
plays deal with gender identity, gender discrimination,
and communal tensions.
Mahesh Dattani’s Introduction
Final Solutions’ is about the lingering echoes of the partition.It was Alyque
Padamsee who first spotted and encouraged Mahesh Dattani’s talent and gave
him the confidence to venture into a career in theatre. Dattani formed his own
theatre group, Playpen, in 1984.He is the first playwright in English to be
awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award.
The play Final Solutions, written by Mahesh K. Dattani discusses the theme
of communal riots, hatred and bitterness of Hindus and Muslims against each
other.Plot is set in Gujarat. The play is divided into three acts.
Basically, Final Solutions is the story of a Gujarati family that consists of four
people – grandmother (Daksha/ Hardika), father (Ramnik), mother (Aruna),
and daughter (Smita); and their encounter with two muslim boys.
Play starts with past thinking of Hardika/ Daksha.Then arrives two stranger’s
story moves on by the clash with family members .
Aruna represents second generation and sumita represents third generation.
There is mother daughter conflict is play because of lack of education.
Sumita was studying and she was having a knowledge what is right and
what is wrong while Aruna was was illerate she was highly indulged into
traditional beliefs or we can religious belief. Mother- daughter conflict is
noticed in play because one educated and other was uneducated. Sumita
has liberal thoughts while Aruna has orthodox thoughts so this caused
conflict between mother and daughter.
Mother – daughter conflict
Smita, daughter of Aruna and is a girl of modern period. She
believes in liberal ideology and she doesn't support her mother's
activities from heart, though she helps her in all the household
chores and work of her God. She loves her mother but at one point
of time she feels stifled and expresses her feelings to Aruna. She
requests her mother not to bind her with prejudices any more. She
even did not have hatred for the Muslims as her close friend is a
Muslim girl whose name is Tasneem. Smita is a girl who believes in
She does help her mom in her pooja work because she loves her mom but
she doesn't personally support all the things from heart. Rather at one point
of time she gets tired of her mother's prejudices and conveys her feelings to
her mother. And Smita quoted as: "Please, mummy, don't try so hard!
You are breaking me. Ever since I was small, you have been at me to
go to the temple, make garlands, listen to you reading from the Gita. I
love you, mummy, that's why I did that. I listened to u and I obeyed
you. I tolerated your prejudices only because you are my mother.
Maybe I should have told you earlier, but I'm telling you now, I can't
bear it! Please don't burden me anymore! I can't take it!"
In third act, Smita openly refuses and criticizes her mother‟s
conservative attitude and hollow religious orthodoxy when Aruna
prevents Javed from touching the bucket with which she regularly
fetches drinking water. It is with the same water that she bathes her
gods. Hence, Aruna is afraid that the bucket gets defiled and even the
water being carried in it gets „contaminated‟just by the touch of a
Muslim.Here, contamination is less a matter of bodily cleanliness and
more inner consequence of the consumption “ How can I, when I
won’t even harm a got or a chicken?. She was having fear in her
This is exactly what Smita tries to put into her mother‟s head when Aruna
enters into an argument with her about the time-honoured religious
values and point out the eternal truth behind them:
ARUNA. . . I shall uphold what I believe is the truth.
SMITA. It is the truth only because you believe in it.
ARUNA. No! I will not accept that. Not from you.
SMITA. Why not?
ARUNA. I will not!
SMITA. You have to face it. You have to admit you are wrong!
ARUNA. You cannot tell me that I am wrong!
SMITA. Why not?
ARUNA. Because . . . because I will not accept that from someone
who is not proud of her inheritance. (Smita sits down, placing
the brass pot lightly on her lap.) You cannot criticize what you
are running away from. You will be prejudiced.
A mother often regards her children as a part of herself. Out of this natural motherly
instinct which is generally triggered by care and concern, she may, sometimes, try to
make the children wholly dependent on her for everything and control their lives so that
they will always remain safe and secured in life. If her attempts fail, she may be
temporarily upset but soon reconciles herself to the given situation. Smita is secular in
her view on religion and its purpose, whereas, Aruna is a zealous follower of Hinduism.
In spite of their ideological differences, both Aruna and Smita wrap up their prejudices
and end the conflict on a reconciliatory note. Smita apologizes to her mother, “I am
sorry. I mean it” to which Aruna also positively reacts, “So this is the end”. Are you
Dattani, Mahesh, director. Final Solution . ZEE5, 5 Aug. 2019,
Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.
Dattani, Mahesh. Final Solutions. Students' Edition ed., Penguin
Books India, 2005,Print.
Gond , Arvind, director. Final Solutions . YouTube, Asmita Theatre ,
2 Apr. 2020, https://youtu.be/YydlveN65pc. Accessed 3 Oct.
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