Perspective: Exile Literature and the Diasporic Indian Writer

Amit Shankar Saha, Calcutta University, West Bengal, India

The essay takes a holistic view of the word “exile” to encompass a range of displaced existence. It illustrates through John Simpson’s The Oxford Book of Exile the various forms of exiles. The essay then goes on to show that diasporic Indian writing is in some sense also a part of exile literature. By exemplifying writers both from the old Indian diaspora of indentured labourers and the modern Indian diaspora of IT technocrats, it shows that despite peculiarities there is an inherent exilic state in all dislocated lives whether it be voluntary or involuntary migration. More importantly, a broad survey of the contributions of the second generation of the modern Indian diaspora in the field of Indian writing in English depict certain shift in concerns in comparison to the previous generation and thereby it widens the field of exile literature.

Giving the Lie: Ingenuity in Subaltern Resistance in Premchand’s short story ‘The Shroud’

Somdev Banik, Government Degree College, Tripura, India


It is not always that the subaltern cannot speak, though their authentic representation is often more pronounced in the regional literatures, rather than in Indian Writings in English. The subaltern in Premchand’s story ‘The Shroud’ not only resists the forces of exploitation, but subverts dominant social mores and traditions to gain an advantage over the master class, forcing them to shell out money which they wouldn’t have otherwise in ordinary circumstances. This glory of victory is attenuated by the realization that the subaltern in turn is also an exploiter of the woman in the family, who in life and death is used for sustaining self-interests of the males of the family. 

The Essentials of Indianness: Tolerance and Sacrifice in Indian Partition Fiction in English and in English Translation

Basudeb Chakraborti, University of Kalyani


Indian Partition fiction, on the one hand, records man’s bestiality and savagery and on the other, attests to the fact that man is essentially sincere, committed to upholding humanity to survive and sustain itself.  The paper contends to examine the fundamental goodness of some characters, which the Indian tradition underlines. By analyzing certain characters from Chaman Nahal’s Azadi, Khuswant Singh’s Train to Pakistan, Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice-Candy-Man, Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas, Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories and two Indian films, Mr. and Mrs. Iyar, directed by Aparna Sen and Meghe Dhaka Tara by Ritwik Ghatak, the writer tries to bring home the truth that frenzy of insanity is not final and amidst the pall of darkness and threats of insanity, there is a ray of hope.

Contemporary Gujarati Poetry: For Whom Are They Writing?

Mukesh Modi, D. M. Patel Arts and S. S. Patel Commerce College


The writer here describes the various ages and traditions of Gujarati Poetry, looks into the present condition and questions the practice of writing poetry for the pundits’ sake.

 Middle Age Gujarati Poetry

Gujarati poetry has basically evolved from Bhakti Literature of the 15th and 16th centuries. Oral tradition of Gujarati folklore dates back to the 12th century. So many seekers/devotees contributed immensely to the development of Gujarati poetry. Gujarati literature is divided broadly into two periods. The period from 12th century to the early 19th century is known as Middle Age, and the second period from 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century is known as Modern age. Looking at the Middle Age Gujarati literature, we find that the period was, as is the case with other Indian literature, dominated by poetry. In Gujarati, we have Narsinh Mehta Mirabai, Akho, Premanand, Shamal, Dayaram, Bhalan, Nakar, Bhim, Raje, Pritam, Dhiro, Bhojo and many others. With few exceptions, most of these poets liked to be known as devotees more and poets less. As Dr. Ramesh Trivedi mentions: “There was neither a consciousness of being poets nor attachment to being poets.” The central theme of Middle Age Gujarati Literature was religion. Since the society of the time was dependent heavily on religion, the hymns to devotions, wisdom and detachments were the major themes of the poetry of the age.

Shashi Tharoor’s Riot: Perspectives on History, Politics and Culture

Paras Dhir, Lovely Professional University


History, politics and culture have always been a dominant preoccupation of the Indian-English novelists. This compulsive obsession was perhaps inevitable since the genre originated and developed from concurrently with the climactic phase of colonial rules, the stirrings of nationalist sentiment and its full flowering in the final stages of the freedom movement. In this paper an attempt is made to examine Shashi Tharoor’s Riot as a multilayered narrative that sheds light on many contemporary issues on history, politics and culture of India.