Ghashiram is an offspring of a specific social situation. The character, Ghashiram comes in search of fortune to Pune with his wife and daughter. He becomes the victim of power structure in the beginning of the play when he is wrongly abused of theft and thrown to prison. Later he uses his patriarchal power over his daughter and submits her to Nana Phadnavis in exchange of political power. Right from the first entry of Ghashiram into the city of Pune he has a longing to combine himself with the corrupt power structures of Pune. This is evident in the scene when Nana dances erotically with the courtesans, his ankles sprain and Ghashiram waiting for a chance to find legitimate position ...view middle of the document...
Look at my innocent daughter – a whore. The overripe bastard eating her like peach… spit on me… “
Thus Ghashiram could clearly perceive that his innocent daughter’s life has been ruined for his egotistic nature but still his mad craving for power makes him continues his operations.
When Ghashiram comes in search of opulence to Poona he was wrongly accused to theft, humiliated and arrested. In addition to this the police prevent Ghashiram from attending the feast given by Peshwas. This utter humiliation suffered in the hands of policemen hits his ego and makes him challenge:
“…I’ll come back to Poona. I’ll show my strength. It’ll cost you! Your good days are gone… There’s no one to stop me now, to mock me to make me bend, to cheat me. Now I’m devil.”
“You’ve made me an animal: I’ll be a devil inside… I’ll make this Poona kingdom of pigs….”
Ghashiram suffers damage of reputation in hands of policemen for no fault of his. The hunger for revenge in Ghashiram combines with the hunger for power so immensely that he hunts the best way to avenge the people of Poona.
After gaining power as Kotwal of Poona, Ghashiram starts patrolling through the streets of Poona during the nights. The men and women have to stay at home at night and are not supposed to have extramarital relationships. As a result of the strict imposition of his rules,
“Prostitutes’ lane was desolate / the chasing of women was halted. / Pimps turned into beggars. / Counterfeit coin were worthless”.
“The nails of the Brahmin’s right hand are pulled out. The fingers are washed with lemon juice and soap. All the lines and signs of his hands are noted. His hands are wrapped in a bag is sealed and ordeal is prepared.”
Ghashiram grows arrogant and mishandles people and strives for strict rules but sometimes he becomes unreasonable and absurd. In one instance Ghashiram arrests a man who is in a hurry to fetch a midwife, Ghashiram inhumanly queries him;
“Why does she deliver in the middle of the night (slaps him)…”.
In another instance Ghashiram punishes a husband and wife on the suspicion of adultery. In another instance Ghashiram suspects a real permit to be counterfeit one; a woman goes straight to Nana and complains:
“My husband and his brother have been arrested by Kotwal’s soldiers. My father-in-law died. They won’t let them hold the funeral. The permit is real but they call it counterfeit. Sir, the corpse has been lying in the cremation ground since...