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Subaltern Subjectivity and Resistance: Dalit Social History in Postcolonial Indian Fiction in English

Mittapalli, Rajeshwar

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Abstract

In the absence of a well-established tradition of historiography literature has been the only reliable source of Indian social history for ages. In the postcolonial era Mulk Raj Anand's novel "The Road", Rohinton Mistry's "A Fine Balance", and Arundhati Roy's "The God of Small Things" have faithfully documented the social history of the dalits. Together they constitute a powerful critique of the moral corruption and hypocrisy of the Indian society which allows untouchability to continue. This paper will explore how the three novels present various discourses that construct dalit subjectivity and how in their own way the dalit protagonists offer resistance. By focusing on the dalit characters and their social matrix these novels help sensitize society to the problems the dalits face. Therefore, the paper further argues that fictional 'representation' of the dalit consciousness and social history is tantamount to 'resistance', especially since other authentic socio-historical accounts are hardly available.

Document type: Lecture
Date: 2008
Date Deposited: 4 November 2008
DDC-classification: Literatures of other languages
Controlled Subjects: Englisch, Literatur, Paria <Motiv>, Indien, Geschichte 1947-
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indien , Literatur , Postkolonialismus , Dalit , Sozialgeschichte, , India , English , Fiction , Dalit , Social History , Postcolonialism
Subject (classification): Literature
Countries/Regions: India
Additional Information: Vortrag, gehalten auf der 20th ECMSAS, Panel 13: History and the South Asian Novel Written in English

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