Mahesh Dattani: Affirming English as the Language for Modern Indian Theatre
AbstractThe present paper explores Mahesh Dattani’s claims for English as the language of expression for his plays and for the modern Indian theatre. The paper looks into the biographical causes and circumstances that made Dattani choose English for his writing. His boldness in his choice of language has contributed a lot towards his success as a playwright and as a director; giving him an international exposure and recognition. He adapts Western theatrical techniques to the Indian socio-cultural context with his dramatic genius, enabling him to retain the original flavour of the characters and situations in his plays. The themes that he chooses for his plays are unconventional, which the other playwrights of his time avoid to take up on the stage. But Dattani through his dramatic genius handles such themes in the most successful manner; sensitising the audience towards the issues and enabling them to think on their own. He takes the Indian theatre out of the conventional closet languages and themes for new projections on the international forum – adding new aesthetical dimensions to it and making it ever rich, vibrant and dynamic.
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