Alternative Indias: Writing, Nation and Communalism by Peter Morey, Alex Tickell (Editors)

By Peter Morey, Alex Tickell (Editors)

The controversy over no matter if non secular or secular identities give you the such a lot attainable version for a much broader nationwide id has been a continual function of Indian politics from the overdue 19th century to the current day. in addition, within the final thirty years the more and more communal articulation of renowned politics and the sluggish upward thrust of a constellation of Hindu nationalist events headed through the BJP has elevated the urgency of this debate. whereas Indian writing in English has fostered a protracted culture of political dissent, and has many times wondered ethnocentric, culturally particular varieties of political identity, few critics have thought of how this literature engages without delay with communalism, or charted the literary-political reaction to key occasions reminiscent of the Babri Masjid / Ramjanmabhumi affair and the hot development of renowned kinds of Hindu nationalism. The essays gathered in replacement Indias holiday new floor in experiences of Indian literature and picture via discussing how key authors supply contending, ‘alternative’ visions of India and the way poetry, fiction and movie can revise either the communal and secular types of nationwide belonging that outline present debates approximately ‘Indianness’. together with contributions from foreign students special within the box of South Asian literary stories, and that includes an informative advent charting the parallel advancements of writing, the kingdom and communal recognition, substitute Indias deals a clean point of view at the connections and discontinuities among tradition and politics within the world’s largest democracy. desk of Contents Acknowledgements Peter MOREY and Alex TICKELL: creation Anshuman A. MONDAL: the bounds of Secularism and the development of Composite nationwide identification in India Alex TICKELL: the invention of Aryavarta: Hindu Nationalism and Early Indian Fiction in English Elleke BOEHMER: “First appreciate Your Need”: Manju Kapur’s Erotic kingdom Shirley chunk: “Cutting throughout Time”: reminiscence, Narrative, and id in Shashi Deshpande’s Small treatments Amina YAQIN: The Communalization and Disintegration of Urdu in Anita Desai’s In Custody Ashok BERY: “Reflexive Worlds”: The Indias of A.K. Ramanujan Peter MOREY: Communalism, Corruption and accountability in Rohinton Mistry’s kinfolk concerns Sujala SINGH: The Routes of nationwide identification in Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow strains Ralph J. CRANE: Inscribing a Sikh India: another studying of Khushwant Singh’s educate to Pakistan Sharmila SEN: No Passports, No Visas: the road of regulate among India and Pakistan in modern Bombay Cinema Afterword individuals Index

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Tracing the “dynamics of the acts of recall,” Chew shows how forms of autobiography and bildung in Deshpande’s novel evolve into a sophisticated meditation on the problems of remembering and, in the aftermath of trauma, recuperating the self. The trauma faced by Deshpande’s protagonist, Madhu, is the death of her son in the communal bombings that shook Bombay in the months following the destruction of the Ayodhya Babri Masjid in 1992. For Chew, Madhu’s attempt to heal herself by working on the autobiography of Savitribai Indorekar, a famous classical singer, involves her in a journey into her own past, made possible by the human interactions and cultural rituals of her new life in the town of Bhavanipur.

In effect, their ideology threatened to alienate them from their own nation. Second, the Aryavarta just happened to be the area where the Muslims were, if not always in a majority, the traditionally dominant group. Thus, the very location of ‘essential’ India was also the location most visibly inhabited by people who, according to the ‘conservative’ criteria, were ‘foreigners’. A concept of nationhood was thus required which could neutralize such a possibility, and the composite conception fitted the bill perfectly.

34 This problem raised its head on two counts. First, because of this ‘misfit’, the majority of nationalists, ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’, lived and originated in the coastal presidencies of Bombay, Madras, and Bengal and not in the Aryavarta. Their own location in ‘India’ was thus outside the ‘India’ they posited as the ‘true’ nation. In effect, their ideology threatened to alienate them from their own nation. Second, the Aryavarta just happened to be the area where the Muslims were, if not always in a majority, the traditionally dominant group.

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