A Post-Colonial Assessment of Indian Nationalism in Tagore’s Selected Novels
Ebenezer, Huldahrajammal (2005) A Post-Colonial Assessment of Indian Nationalism in Tagore’s Selected Novels. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
This paper is an investigation into the history of India during the early nineteenth century with the birth of the Indian Nationalist Movement under the British colonizers. It is a post-colonial reading and it is in close relation to Rabindranath Tagore who was an active participant in the nationalist movement and his manifold reasons for his disapproval of the movement. It examines two of Tagore’s famous novels, The Home and the World (1916) and Four Chapters (1934) with political uprisings as its background. The protagonists from both the novels represented by Nikhil, Bimala, Sandip, Indranath, Ela and Atin each embody the happenings that took place during the subjugation and their reaction towards the colonizers. Its main focus is on the discourse encompassing the cultural, political, social and economical issues that takes place in both the novels, reflecting the mindset of the people during that time. The colonization of India by the British is clearly depicted in the role of the protagonists in both the novels of how they boldly rejected to subjugation and the reasons for doing so. Thus, the need for self-identity and recognition was beginning to take root in the heart and soul of the people of India. Tagore’s initiative to instill self-worth into the colonized people is portrayed in the arguments and actions found in the novels. The Partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon for easy administration divided the Hindus and Muslims accordingly. The extremists represented by the Hindu majority participated fully in the Indian Nationalist Movement whereas the Muslims formed their own movement. This division among the people of India had later on led to bitter riots and unnecessary killings.
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