Social-Political Orientation and Reflection of Indian Culture in Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel
The paper is about social-poltical orientation and reflection of Indian culture in Shashi Tharoor’s The Great India Novel. It is a fictional work that takes the story of the Mahabharata, the epic of Hindu mythology, and recasts and resets it in the context of the Indian Independence Movement and the first three decades post-independence. Figures from Indian history are transformed into characters from mythology, and the mythical story of India is retold as a history of Indian independence and subsequent history, up through the 1980s. Character of novel is orientation of Indian poltical personality likeC.R. Bhishma is correlated to Mahatma Gandhi. Ghandhari of Mahabharata is blind-folded whereas Kamala is invalid. Dhritarashtra, is India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru; while the chaste Kaurava pater familias Bhishma, generally referred to Gangaji, is Gandhi. But rather than a hundred sons, Tharoor’s Dhritarashtra fathers a single daughter, Priya Duryodhani -the oldest Kaurava in the Mahabharata is called Duryodhana-, hailed as the future ruler of all India: an obvious reference to Indira Gandhi. Shishupal is correlated to Lal Bahdur sastry. Draupadi, who represents the ?body politic?, or Indian democracy and wilts visibly with the imposition of Duryodhani’s ’s iege? -a reference to Indira Gandhi’s State of Emergency from 1975 to 1977. Yudhistir is correlated to Morarji Desai. Tharoor says that in writing of Indian culture, he is very deeply conscious of his own subjectivity; arguably, there is more than one culture and certainly more than one view of Indian culture. The culture of every country determines the food, cloth, music, likes and dislikes and every aspect of a man’s life. Despite one’s education and social contact his traits of culture come to the fore at the time of crisis. Tharoor is widely acknowledged as an experimental novelist. Novelty is the watch-word in his works.
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