The Struggle of the Third gender and Children in Mahesh Dattani’s Seven Steps around the Fire and Tara

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Vinita Marigold, Dr. Amutha Dhanaraj


Two plays have been chosen for study - Mahesh Dattani’s Seven steps around the Fire and Tara. The very title of the play Seven Steps Around the Fire speaks of an important ritual of marriage where the bride and the bride groom symbolically take seven steps or sattapadi around the fire. Mahesh Dattani has chosen to name his play Seven Steps around the fire  to highlight the fact that marriage has been denied to a transgender. A transgender is not permitted to marry but whose presence is considered auspicious in a wedding. The second play chosen for study is Tara which demonstrations the discrimination that takes place in a patriarchal society. The boy is chosen over the girl by the parents and elders of the household. One crucial decision of the family affects the lives of the two characters –Chandan and Tara in ways that cannot be healed. It even goes beyond death. By using the theory of socialist feminism an attempt has been made to understand Indian society suffering under the powers of capitalism and patriarchy. Although socialist feminism primarily shows that women are the ones suffering in a society under the patriarchal set up, this study has been undertaken to show that it’s not just the women but there could be minorities in a society such as transgender, men and children who could be silent sufferers of society.

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