The Wrongs of the Subaltern’s Rights: a Critique on Postcolonial Diasporic Authors

Abida Younas

University of Glasgow, USA. Orcid id: Email:

Volume IX, Number 3, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n3.14

Received August 09, 2017; Revised September 14, 2017; Accepted September 18, 2017; Published September 20,  2017.


My article discusses propagation of the project of orientalism in the arena of contemporary postcolonial fiction written in English by diasporic authors. In the contemporary world, the project of orientalism is no longer perpetuated by the occidentals but ironically by orientals, albeit diasporic authors, through Re-orientalisation. Like orientalism, the process of Re-orientalism distorts the representation of the natives, seizes their voices and consigns them an inferior rank or in other words, the position of subalternity. Instead of giving voice to their own people, diasporic authors authenticate the project of orientalism by giving inside voices to the global world. While perpetrating the project of orientalism, they wrong the subaltern’s rights as well. It is because, these writers claim to be ambassadors for their own people and foreground their issues. But instead of accentuating the plights of their own people, these writers seem to work for global capitalism, where they are required to write according to the demands of the global market. My paper aims to present a critique on those diasporic writers, who instead of resisting the orientalist agenda in their writings by highlighting the wrongs of subaltern’s rights in the Third world countries, are more engaged in the project of Re-orientalism with special reference to Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers, Adiga’s The White Tiger and Abouzied’s Years of the Elephant. Drawing on the theories of Gayatri Spivak, Lisa Lau, Vanessa Andreotti and Ilan Kapoor, the hypocritical role played by diasporic writers is investigated in order to emphasize that how these authors write from Eurocentric perspectives to affirm the Western hegemony over the postcolonial world even after the European decline in this part of the world.

Key Words: Subaltern, Righting Wrongs, Diasporic Writers, Re-orientalism, Eurocentric.