Easterine Kire Iralu’s Mari: A Historical Narrative of the Forgotten Battle of Kohima
Keywords:Battle of Kohima, Naga society, culture, identity, traditional values
Most of the Indians now have forgotten that Kohima was the scene of an Allied victory in the World War II; the victory was so decisive that it changed the contours of the war in Asia. In this significant battle of Kohima, the Japanese force tried to enter India from Naga Hills, advancing progressively into Asia after the success of their Burma campaign in 1941-42. But in Kohima they were defeated convincingly by the British Allied Forces which were helped by local inhabitants in the battle. The Japanese had broken down equally by disease and hunger thus left their plan to enter in India. The Battle of Kohima often refers by Nagas as a ‘forgotten battle’ and its heroes as the ‘forgotten heroes’. Easterine Kire Iralu’s Mari stands as a distinct novel as it commemorates the forgotten Battle of Kohima of 1944. The novel is a fascinating love story set in the midst of this war. It is an enchanting tale of Iralu’s aunt Khrielievu Mari O’ Leary who was engaged to a British sergeant Victor. The novel is written in form of a diary which Mari maintained during the war meticulously registering every event of her life. Mari is not just a story of a young girl falling in love but it’s a story of all those people who lived that war- time. This paper examines the impact of the battle of Kohima on the culture, identity and traditional values of Naga society which the writer has described in the backdrop of Mari’s life journey in the novel.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Veena Gour, Dr. Shubhra Tripathi
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