Final Solutions is about Remain Gandhi, a liberal, his devout Hindu wife, his mother who has been traumatized by the Partition and his daughter. One night, after communal riots break out and a Hindu priest is killed, Muslim boys seek shelter in the Gandhi home. One Of the boys is ashamed of his religion and has changed his name from Ban to Bobby. The other, Saved, expresses pride in being a Muslim. He is also easily incensed and might just have been responsible for the murder of the rises.
Propelled by the fantasy of persecution, the play turns into a harsh examination of two realities: one Hindu and the other Muslim. The searing exercise is made brutal by the use of a sparse stage setting, a ritual chanting in place off background score and lines like ‘Go back to Pakistan’ that can be heard on street corners every day. Perhaps most interesting – and menacing – is the use off flexible chorus. One moment the chorus represents Muslims, the other it witches to being Hindu.
It acts as a savage mob, responds like an audience to events in the play, and distills the petty similarities which bind us together as community. Like Tannin’s last play, Tara , which looked at discrimination against the girl child. Hanna Solutions examines the nature to our prejudices. Are they inherited from parents the way we might a family heirloom? Can education be the catalyst in liberating us from them? Final Solutions doesn’t really have any answers.
Says Padres: “The play hopes to expand Other people’s mental universe. ” In essence, what the play strives towards is put succinctly by one of its characters: “All religion is one. Only the ways to God are many. ” Simple. And yet a tinder-box of communal passions. In the end, after the plays vividly conceived visuals have faded and the goose bumps calmed, there remains a lingering question. If one community cannot respect the religion of another, must it learn to tolerate Maybe.