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Writers International Edition

Academic Papers

Imparting Ethics through Poetry for Harmony and Prosperity Article by Dr Shalini Yadav

Abstract

In this digitalized era where every learner is learning through apps and gadgets, the crisis of human values is intensifying in contemporary society and casting its evil shadow in all walks of life without any boundaries in between of caste, creed, age, religion and ethnicity. The dream of ensuring harmony, happiness and prosperity seems to be just a dream that can never be fulfilled if no action is being taken in the direction with immediate effect to inculcate and impart values in young generation, which is completely engrossed in, and have become the puppet of technology including various social media platforms. This paper makes an attempt to explore what universal values are needed to be instilled in youth for a better society and their own holistic growth and how through poetry, values can be transferred in learners to ensure harmony and happiness, moreover to turn them in civilized professionals with suffice ethics.

Keywords: digitalized; harmony; prosperity; universal values; society.

For any society to flourish human values are substantially foundational. Values are “the principles, ideals, fundamental convictions and standard of behaviour that help in one’s judgment of what is important in life” (Sharma and Setia). If good core values are inculcated in the citizens of a society, the society moves towards the creation of a just, happy and good society. 

Unfortunately, the promises we make to meet our destiny and the dreams we see to have prosperity, social well-being and human happiness prove to be false due to the absence of values in the people at present time; due to more inclination towards technology and secluded life rather than focus on rationality in thoughts and expressions without being selfish. This lacuna or value crisis prevails in different spheres of people’s life categorizing these into individual, societal, intellectual or cultural and nature levels. 

Individualism has been rooted in people deeply and turning them towards attaining personal success or worldly success defined in merely materialistic terms as the acquirement of wealth, supremacy and status in society. A. N. Tripathi says: 

“The rat race to this success commands the enthusiastic support of the powerful middle and elite classes. Their upbringing and enculturation have tuned them to the single-minded pursuit of career growth and economic success. All other life values, which give meaning, worth, and fullness to human existence, are seen as roadblocks and unnecessary diversions from the high road to material success.” (3)

Consequently, the perception of a good life is misunderstood as “with unrestricted enjoyment of sensuous pleasures and fulfilment of unlimited desires” which is a “consumeristic haven filled with all kinds of artefacts for comfort and luxury” (Tripathi 3). On the other hand, criticizing commonly accepted notions of success and the good life does not mean looking down upon the usual human preferences for monetary benefit, physical facilities and enjoyment of life’s pleasures. There is no doubt these things are important for life but are they the only things which are important for a good life? The question is what are the real goals of a human endeavouring for happiness and harmony? At present this crisis of values is basically due to excessive focus on the accumulation of materialistic things rather than paying attention to inculcating and implementing life values such as love, affection, empathy, respect, trust etc. According to A. N. Tripathi writes in his book Human Values about the dimensions of increased crisis of values may be due to increasing respectability of selfish individualism; rise in rights-consciousness and decline in duty-consciousness, and the mentality of adopting double standards of value judgment. (4-5)

Mainly there are two categories of people in society. On one side people who are self-seeking, career-oriented and people who just think about their personal advancement without paying much heed to human relations. In the contrast, there is another kind of 

“individualistic personality; of those who refuse to submerge their individual identity in the tide of social and behavioural fashions of the day, who do not sacrifice their principles and values for pecuniary gains, and who are able to withstand unethical allurements of the work life and the psychological pressures of being the odd-man out.” (Tripathi 4)

This is a breed that is disappearing and another one is creating a crisis situation of human values in mushrooming youth. Therefore the youth should be educated to develop social consciousness, sovereign temper and communitarian outlooks to remove social inequalities, disharmonies and lack of social cohesiveness. Youth should be directed towards making society an enlightened and egalitarian society with better humans in it instead of focusing and utilizing all their energy on attaining physical facilities and achieving high status. It creates a dire need for the nurturance of human values in the youth of the country so that via implementing these values with the right understanding in them they serve the nation establishing harmony at various levels including individual, family, society and nature.

Imbibing basic human values and creating a deeper insight towards humanity can be actualized through value education in teenagers and young learners at the school and college levels. Hence “value education aims at developing deeper concerns amongst the individuals for the well-being of the society while being selfless,” it can assist in enhancing values in an individual, which “often gets overlooked due to the modern information-oriented education” and required to shape the personality (Jain 2). 

A rich cultural heritage with saints, philosophers and many writers and poets are perfect illustrations who talked about the foundational values such as honesty, discipline, love, compassion, frugality, cleanliness, non-violence, courage, integrity, respect etc. These are the values which one needs to understand and express through one’s behaviour with the right understanding. Kshitiz Jain has communicated-

“The family and society act as constant teachers who keep on nurturing these values from time to time. They make an individual realize the true worth of these values. At times, they act as reflectors of human values. They strengthen the sense of differentiation between right and wrong. Both the family and the society explain that the values are universal in nature.” (7)

Values help in building social cohesion, harmony, peace and global integration and ideal humanity leading towards the dream of creating an ‘Akhand Samaj’. Via the process of exploring one’s ‘Self’ through either ‘experiential validation’ or ‘natural acceptance’ of values and understanding the needs of a human being differentiating animal consciousness from human consciousness, one can lead to a path of right living. The inculcation of values assists human in various ways as follows:

  • It leads to a happy and healthy life fulfilling all aspirations and objectives of one’s life.
  • It assists in deciding aspirations and aims for what one really wants via the process of self-exploration.
  • It promotes tolerance and understanding for people across the world breaking all boundaries and eliminating barriers for making the world a global world.
  • It enhances the decision-making power of a human differing right and wrong deeds to perform without hurting others moreover, assisting others to fulfil their goals too.
  • It encourages keenness, and grows the right attitude and capability to deliberate and judge oneself.
  • It helps in developing professional ethics in oneself to create and work in a better work environment.
  • It triggers humans to make a balance between all four orders of nature including material, bio, plant and animal order.

Therefore the youth needs to act according to ethical human conduct for the holistic growth of oneself and the society including nature in it. The participation of an individual to ensure harmony at various levels includes accountability (jimmedari), right understanding (samajhdaari), honesty (imaandari), and participation (bhagidaari).  

Subsequently, poetry is “one of the powerful instructional tools and an important art to study at any age and most universal vehicle of human expression” to spread harmony in society and to inculcate human values in the learners via good poems which are written by great poets whole over the world. (Anupama et al.)

Poetry being an aesthetic and expressive medium of communication touches the hearts of readers instilling fundamental core values in them. Moreover, poems have always been an excellent way in which depth of emotions is realized via its language’s richness. The purpose of writing poems by various poets may be different but many of them are written on diverse humanitarian issues and related to cherishing the beauty of nature which can be chosen for imparting and implementing of values in the young generation as these have the most intense and long-lasting impact on readers and listeners’ minds and hearts.

James Kirkup’s poem ‘No Men are Foreign’ is one of the upright exemplars to teach the value of universal brotherhood, non-violence and equality to create a harmonious environment in the world. He tried to make everyone remember that no man is a stranger and no country is a foreign country by the lines-

“Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign
Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes
Like ours: the land our brothers walk upon
Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.”

Kirkup

Further, the poet gives evidence of the unity of man how all the people of the world are nurtured equally by natural resources like ‘sun and air and water’ and they all are “fed by peaceful harvests, by war’s long winter starv’d” (Kirkup). It can be instilled in the youngsters that everyone toils to earn livelihood and others’ destiny is also similar to ours. The poem teaches that whatever is told to us by leaders or rulers to hate or exploit the people of other countries or societies, “it should be remembered well that it is ourselves/That we shall dispossess, betray, condemn” (Kirkup). It clearly states that hatred and wars would deprive us of the bliss of universal brotherhood hence it is a form of self-destruction and we would doom ourselves to a life of animosity and eccentricity. Therefore everyone especially the youth of the country needs to understand that all are equal on the earth and we must live a valued life with universal core values such as love, respect and trust spreading harmony in the aura. 

Our lifestyle, culture, gender economic or literacy status may vary but we all are the same as we all have some type of body with in which one’s ‘self’ resides and our heart breathes. Thus the poem can be taken for deliberation and facilitation of values in the youth to get rid of their minds of xenophobia and to treat the people of this world with a feeling of universal brotherhood as one. In the poem ‘Mending Wall’ Robert Frost also initiates by saying that there is something “that doesn’t love a wall” even though in the same poem he suggested that ‘Good fences make good neighbours’ (Frost).

An Indian-born Canadian poet Rupi Kaur talks about gender equality in her poems to create awareness in relation to equal human rights for women can be chosen to elaborate and impart value education in youngsters so that in our patriarchal society especially young boys and men understand it and change their mindset towards women and girls. Considering all equal, everyone should practice the value of love in him or her that she expresses through one of her poems – 

“to hate
is an easy lazy thing
but to love
takes strength
everyone has
but not all are
willing to practice.”

Kaur

‘Viswa Kavi’ or poet of the world Rabindra Nath Tagore also advocated the idea of global uprightness due to his universal ideology.  His poem “Where the Mind is Without Fear” is “a hymn to inspire all mankind” where he wanted India to be a fearless country post-independence following the ideology of peace, fearlessness and universal brotherhood. (Hasan) Badrul Hasan says-

“The verse continues to exhort people—particularly in conflict zones across the world—to seek fearless truth, progressive thoughts and actions, and to stand up and see the world as one, undivided by borders or “narrow domestic walls.”

Hasan

Beyond racism and discrimination, Maya Angelou’s poems also try to empower humanity for making the world an integrated one spreading harmony at all levels without any boundary lines. There are many famous poets who have exerted through their poems to spread awareness and inculcate values in the readers and quoted by people frequently. Therefore poetry 

“emphasizes the role of the senses, calling to mind memories and feelings and an excellent tool for encouraging students’ creativity and for exposing the aesthetically elastic boundaries of language. Poetry encourages students to develop empathy and understanding to view the complexities of the world in new ways.” (Anupama)

Having an important place in lives of people with excellent and rhythmical language used in poems, these poems not only attract people for the sake of attaining pleasure but also influence by the lexis and aesthetic qualities and shots of values to implement in their lives. They need to read or listen poetry with a mindset to explore the ‘self’ and to awaken the ‘sense’ and to connect with rest of the nature and society ensuring harmony and making a balance between the use of technology and ethics. Thus it can be said that a good literary piece of writing 

“can be vital to language development and competence; conflict resolution; and cultural assimilation; emotional development and stability; development of positive and good oriented attitudes of life.” (Anupama et al.)

Works Cited

  • Anupama, V. et al. “Role of English Literature to Inculcate Human Values”. Tejasvi Astitva- Multi-lingual Multi Disciplinary Research Journal.
  • Frost, Robert. ‘Mending Wall.’ https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44266/mending-wall
  • Hasan, Badrul. A Hymn For All Mankind: Where The Mind Is Without Fear. https://www.readersdigest.in/conversations/story-a-hymn-for-all-mankind-where-the-mind-is-without-fear-…-125689
  • Kaur, Rupi. https://www.littleinfinite.com/20-of-rupi-kaurs-best-poems/
  • Kirkup, James. ‘No Men Are Foreign.’ http://www.english-for-students.com/no-men-are-foreign.html
  • Jain, Kshitiz. Human Values. Neelkanth Publishers, 2014.
  • Sharma, Priyanka and Rajni Setia. Human Values. Genius publications, Jaipur, 2017.
  • Tripathi, A. N. Human Values. New Age International Publishers, 2014.

About the author

An avid poet, writer, humanitarian, ambassador of peace and professor, Dr Shalini Yadav holds a PhD in Post-colonial Literature and M. Phil in English Language Teaching (ELT) from the University of Rajasthan, India and a course in Advanced Creative Writing from the University of Oxford, UK. During her tenure as an educator in India, Libya and Saudi Arabia, she has participated and presented papers at conferences and seminars, chaired sessions and delivered lectures. She keeps reading her poems and short stories at various National and International poetry carnivals. She has meticulously written and also reviewed a large number of scholarly research articles for various National and International refereed journals and edited volumes. She is Public Relation Officer at iSPELL India, Administrator and Star Poetry Publisher at The Passion of Poetry and member of various literary societies including prestigious Writers Capital Foundation, ICERT, PLCS, AINET etc. She is Chief Editor for the International Forum of The Internal News. The editor of Open Page in Writers International Edition, she is also an efficacious member of the editorial boards of various qualitative journals of many countries. She has authored and edited 10 books till now and working on her next project entitled Contemporary African Women Writers . Her major books include Reconnoitering Postcolonial Literature , Emerging Psyche of Women: A Feminist Perspective , On the Wings of Life: Women Writing Womanhood , Postcolonial Transition and Cultural Dialectics , and Communication Techniques . Besides, her poetry books includes Across the Seas , Floating Haiku , Kinship With You: A Collection of Poems , Till the End of Her Subsistence: An Anthology of Poems , and one in Hindi Kshitiz Ke Us Paar . Many of her short stories and poems are published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and anthologies. She is recipient of Savitribai Phule Excellence Award-2023, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award-2023 and Global Women Icon Award-2023.

Emergent ‘New Woman’ in the ‘Toxic Patriarchal Society’: A Fearless and Fierce Voice in Meena Kandasamy’s When I Hit You

Abstract

The emerged ‘new woman’ in the ‘toxic patriarchal society’ stands against oppression and fights back with resistance, which is well portrayed through relentless and unshakable spirit of evolving women writers such as Meena Kandasamy. This paper highlights the way Kandasamy makes her unnamed narrator use language as a weapon against oppression and violence of deadly masculinity and patriarchy. Further it explores the stratagems applied in an abusive marriage with a misogynist husband who imposes clampdowns and inhumaneness upon the woman of the house that too on a feminist writer who finally backfires with her flaming voice writing the narrative of dictatorship of the patriarch cum psychic husband and freedom of her feminine psyche from the shackles.                                      

Keywords: Patriarchy; narrative; identity; feminine; oppression; identity.

Indian women have been progressive a lot with resilient strides from early Vedic period to postmodern era, passing through Mughal Period to Colonial and post-independence period with influence of feminist movements. In the period when Britishers colonized the country, many writers like Torulata Dutt, Rajlakshmi Debi, Krupabai Sathianandhan, Pandita Ramabai Saraswati, Swarna Kumari Ghosal, and Cornelia Sorabji scripted with an altering perspective and a convincing societal drive. 

The next generation of Indian women writers including Nayantara Sehgal, Kiran Desai, Amrita Pritam, Arundhati Roy, Shashi Deshpande, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Anita Desai, Shobha De, Githa Hariharan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ismat Chughtai, Jotirmoyee Devi, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain, Bama Faustina, Baby Halder, Rajam Krishnan, Sujata Bhatt, Meena Kandasamy, Manjul Bajaj and Samhita Arni are such female psyche who got recognition for their creativity, straightforwardness and contribution to Indian Feminist Writings with their much-appreciated works. Their female characters portrayed vivid experiences of life as a woman and how the psyche emerged and a ‘new woman’ came into existence gradually. These writers have made their women characters insistently voice to reject the imposed burden of patriarchal supremacy of men hence due to the predominant gender perception, they have always been thought-out frail, incompetent and therefore subdued. Even Indian epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata are retold and re-interpreted from Sita and Draupadi’s feminist perspective.

A ferocious woman writer Meena Kandasamy voiced various issues of caste, poverty and violence in Southern India in The Gypsy Goddess her debut novel. Her second novel When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Wife is written in first-person with usage of an unnamed narrator who is a newly-wed writer undergoing hasty societal seclusion, inaccessibility to social platforms and life-threatening violence under her husband’s authoritative behaviour. It’s a fictional work but with autobiographical reflex hence Kandasamy’s own marriage also went worse in the same way. This narrative seems not just of one Indian woman but behind this story, the stories lie of thousands and lakhs of Indian women who suffer in their marriages. The National Family Health Survey last year found that

over 30 percent of women have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused by their partners at some point. This book is Kandasamy’s rebuke to those who think privilege, financial or educational, protects against harm. Her characters are never named, their anonymity allowing the reader to slip easily into their skins.” (Maher)

Consequently in this terrifying, eye-opening and heartbreaking writing, Kandasamy has put up a ceaseless resistance to agony and travail through her strong lexis. She says “I am the woman who has tried to shield herself from the pain of the first person singular. I am the woman who tum-my-rubs every received taunt so that it can be cajoled into sentences.” (Kandasamy 248) She further expresses that she is the woman 

“who stands in the place of the woman who loathes to enter this story in any of its narrations- police or procedural, personal or fictional- because that woman has struggled so hard and so long to wriggle out of it- and now, when asked to speak, she would much rather send a substitute. Sharing stories might be catharsis, but to her it is the second, more sophisticated punishment. I am the woman deputed on her behalf.” (Kandasamy 248)

The narrative moves ahead with a nerve-wracking pace like an extended poem in the form a prose appearing as a feminist anthem, crafted onward like a manifesto realizing oneself. Kandasamy’s narrative can’t be delimited hence it has a pounding heart, with comprehensively acknowledged pursuit for independence and sense on the earth where women are still distressingly belittled. She expresses being the representative of new emerged woman who could be “removed from the brutality of the everyday- from its dying grasshoppers and fading flowers and starving children and drowning refugees” (248) and “sheltered within words, the one distanced into a movie running in her mind, the one asked to bear the beatings, the one who endures everything until something snaps so that fate can escape her.” (248-249) 

Kandasamy portrays the image of new woman via the emancipated feelings of her narrator who says, “I am the woman with wings, the woman who can fly and fuck at will.” (247) She has “smuggled this woman out of the oppressive landscape of small-town India.” (247) She adds that she needs to “smuggle her out of her history, out of the do’s and don’ts for good Indian girls” hence she has been limited in the confinement of set patriarchal codes of conduct from centuries. (247-248)

The story starts with lines by the narrator how her mother never stops talking about what had happened past five years, though with each year, the story had “mutated and transformed, most of the particulars forgotten” (3) such as events’ sequence, day, date, month and time of the year etc. but she keeps on giving absurd details about the physical and mental condition she was in when her daughter escaped from the brutal situation at her husband’s place she was stuck into, by saying, “were they even feet? Were they the feet of my daughter? No! Her heels were cracked and her soles were twenty-five shades darker than the rest of her, and with one look at the state of her slippers you could tell that she did nothing but housework all the time. They were the feet of a slave.” (4) She further continues that when their daughter came back to them after a bad marriage with a criminal husband, she came “with her feet looking like a prisoner’s, all blackened and cracked and scarred and dirt an inch thick around every toenail” (4) and her father washed her feet with his own hands, scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing them with hot water and salt and soap and an old toothbrush and applying cream and baby oil to clean and soften them”. (4-5) The condition of the protagonist is also described with such phrases that she was “brittle and empty like a shell” (6) and it took months to get her back to normal moreover, “her hair was swarming” with lice that drained all the energy of the girl. (7)

The protagonist being the writer finally decides to write her own story after listening various plagiarized versions with added anecdotes created by her mother to tell people. Kandasamy calls “authorship” is a “trait” which one needs to take very seriously being “ruthless”. (9)

The journey of the narrator towards being an assertive and strong voice is not so easy. It initiates with a depriving of the narrator’s independence after her marriage to a University lecturer, Marxist and one-time revolutionary person in South India. Her husband is a communist with his beliefs covering his own sadism and tries to control her. The narrator expresses that she feels “blank” like “a house after a robbery” and like “a mannequin stripped of its little black dress and dragged away from the store window, covered in a bedsheet and locked off in the godown”. (16) She talks about his sadist attitude and “the plainness that makes him pleased”. (16) She further releases her feelings, “This plainness that has peeled away all my essence, a that can be controlled and moulded to his will” though she took that “plainness” she wears as a protection “mask” further not only to hide her face but to “prevent arguments” with him. (16) Her husband wanted to play the role of a perfect wife, therefore, to escape punishments, she says

“I begin to wearing my hair the way he wants it: gathered and tamed into a ponytail, oiled, sleek, with no sign of disobedience. I skip the kohl around my eyes because he believes that it is worn only by screen-sirens and seductresses. I wear a dull T-shirt and pajama-bottoms because he approves of dowdiness.” (15)

Further she proceeds saying that it gave her a feel of being a woman who has given up in the life “to play the part of the good housewife. Nothing loud, nothing eye-catching, nothing beautiful.” (16) Her husband wanted her to look like “a woman whom no one want to look at or more accurately no one even sees.” (16) Her life became depedent on him while playing a role of a dutiful wife who had to pretend that her husband is the hero of everyday. She compares and expresses her freedom what she relished before marriage saying that “a once-nomad” is “to be confined” now to “the four walls of a house”. (20) Though she is confined to home. She tries to seek solace in reading and writing, but “the house appears to shrink the minute her husband is home, how there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, nowhere to evade his presence.” (21)

Through her firm and fierce usage of language, she exposes the double standards and dialectics of patriarchal and in specific of Communism putting forth “she must learn that a Communist woman is treated equally and respectfully by comrades in public but can be slapped and called a whore behind closed doors.” (34)

After moving to another city where she couldn’t now anything and that became torturous for her “an assault on her tongue, mind and body”. The linguistic barrier restricted her speech to fulfill duties as a wife like bringing vegetables or any grocery item. Moreover at that stay, her husband with a “self-inflicted ordeal” (50) blackmails and forces her to deactivate her Facebook account, which was her “lifeline to the world outside” (52) in Mangalore with all her professional links as a freelance writer to promote her work, give her news, and to keep her in the loop of the literary scene. Very consciously knowing that it is her space as a writer he wanted her to cut herself off from Facebook though she calls it as “an act of career suicide” (52). The control freak further makes her submit all her email accounts to him to operate on her behalf in addition keeps an eye on her phone too. He does like her writing articles in English calling it being a poet prostitute or whore moreover absurdly connects it to colonization period where whore used to be a link between the colonizer and the colonized. More he hates the feminism inside her treating it as a problem between to remain good couple. The narrator gradually cloistered to her silence to make sense of the world. For her “To stay silent is to censor all conversation. To stay silent is to erase individuality. To stay silent is an act of self-flagellation…” (161

Her silence strategy irritated the man further. Therefore she was frequently raped and beaten down even with routine household stuff such as the hose of the washing machine and the power cord for her laptop. She was kicked in her stomach, her hair gathered in bunch, blood rushing to her head, moreover dragged “from the table and into the bedroom”. (163) Even her parents kept on saying to tolerate this all brutality and beastly violence to save her marriage and didn’t understand what she really went through. About the narration of being beaten down, Preti Taneja in the review of the novel When I Hit You expresses, 

“through Kandasamy’s use of stylistic devices such as repetition, are we – the narrator reflects that every moment has narrative potential. The risk of desensitization is averted: the novel becomes a meditation on the art of writing about desire, abuse and trauma.” (Taneja)

Kandasamy expresses with audacity the gut-wrenching experience how the protagonist feels to be raped within a marriage. She feels like dead person whose ceremonial feeding goes on. She describes it metaphorically “motionless, devoid of touch, taste sight smell sound, the corpse feels nothing. It lies there, playing the role of the obedient half of an obligatory ritual, as close relatives drop white rice through its parted lips. It is a feeling of unfeeling.” (168) She feels humiliated and calls that her body learns “to play dead” and “extends it own threshold of pain and shame and brutality”. (169)

Kandasamy talks about petite bourgeois mindset of those people in the society for whom shame is “not the beatings, not the rape. The shaming is in being asked to stand to judgment.” (219) She applies her own strategies to get rid of this marriage by not conceiving a child and further not reverting back to any of his torture by speaking to him. Silence becomes another weapon after her writings hence she understood that “there are no screams that are loud enough to make a husband stop”. (167)

Using language as a weapon, she includes epigraphs at the start of chapters from Pilar Quintana, Wislawa Szymborska, Anne Sexton, Kamala Das, Margaret Atwood, and Malathi Maithri and many more correlating herself to these feminist writers “beyond caste, race or culture, even beyond language difference”. (Taneja) Added to her style, Sudipta Dutta says about the title selection in her review that 

“The title, unwillingly or not, reminds us of an illustrious predecessor, James Joyce, and his first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, in which Stephen Dedalus or the writer’s literary alter ego, finds words to create his identity and his art, to describe Dublin and her many moods, to defy convention on nationality, language, religion”. (Dutta)

Kandasamy dissects the “Indian form of toxic masculinity” by giving illustrations of Indian male leaders never wanted to be seen at public platforms with a woman by their side hence it meant for them that they were not masculine enough, not the man enough to lead the people, if they go for conjugal relationships therefore they continued “to remain bachelor politicians”. (124)

When I HIt You is a powerful gender narrative and an expression of protest against suppression and inhumane conditions of existence a woman was fallen into, how she survived and came out the traumatic situation. Therefore such gender narratives including gender issues and women emancipation become the new catchphrase across the globe with very fast pace transforming social structures and prevailed inequalities settling the minds of people.

Kandasamy’s feminist narrative is a scorching chronicle of one woman’s encounter with marital rape and abuse, how she castoffs the overtly idolized image of the good Indian girl opening up in a very affirm voice which exhibits desire, feels pain and has unyielding courage. It screams from its modest case, denying to be silenced in its search for love and identity; leaving the gut-wrenching impression how the epitome of submissive Indian femininity is in ruins at last and a new woman has emerged out of the cocoon. 

Works Cited

  1. Dutta, Sudipta. Words gave her wings. May 27, 2017. Retrieved on July 25, 2021.
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/words-gave-her-wings/article18583321.ece
  3. Kandasamy, Meena. When I Hit You. Juggernaut Books, New Delhi, 2018.
  4. Kishore, Henry. The Evolution of Indian Women Psyche: A Chronological Study of Women and Woman Writers in India. 2017.
  5. Maher, Sanam. She Was Abused by Her Husband. So Is the Narrator of Her New Book. The New York Times, March 17, 2020.
  6. Taneja, Preti. When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy – review. July 7, 2017. Retrieved on July 25, 2021.
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/07/when-i-hit-you-meena-kandasamy-review

Portrayal of Post Independence and Partition Struggle through Indian English Literature

Abstract

The soul cum quintessence of patriotism is alive and flexing intensely in the hearts of millions of proud Indians. The 75th year of independence that is widely evident in a new India with a breed of youngsters, pragmatic and sensible representatives who are looking for new horizons to touch upon, need to realize and remember always how the country broke age old shackles of colonialism, got freedom and came out of post independence’ tear-jerking and heart-rendering traumatic experiences of horrendous partition where every person of the country was angst-ridden directly or indirectly. The independence got after almost two hundred years heaved under the yoke of British colonial rule has been documented in the historical chronicles but with mere facts and details of the deaths happened due to massacres and number of people who crossed the borders. Therefore it was literature only and literary writers such as Khushwant Singh, Ismat Chugtai, Amrita Pritam, Rajendra Singh Bedi, Saadat Hasan Manto, Sardar Singh Duggal, Bhishma Sahani and many more who described gut-wrenching scenes of devastating partition in their works and portrayed how humanity tattered into pieces and survived during hard times with a ray of hope for better future. This paper is an attempt to explore how Indian English Literature proved to be a canvas for the portrayal of struggle during partition time and till date, leaving imprints on upcoming generations via reading of outstanding literary texts to value the freedom got by ancestors’ efforts invoking nationalistic feelings inside for country’s all-inclusive growth.

Keywords: Independence; nationalism; partition; traumatic; canvas; literature; humanity.

Portrayal of Post Independence and Partition Struggle through Indian English Literature

Indian Writings in English is a product of historical confront between two cultures including Indian and Western Culture. It refers to the body of the works by authors in India who write in English and whose native or co-native language could be one of the numerous languages of India (Wikipedia). Moreover Indian English Literature is defined as “literature written originally in English by authors, Indian by birth, ancestry or nationality” (Naik).

Indian Literature in English deals with Indian subjects and backgrounds/ settings that can be rural or urban. Diversified culture of India is portrayed in the works using Indianized English and Indian feelings. Many works from regional languages have also been translated into English for the worldwide readers to know about Indian culture and issues. Indian English Literature

  • was initiated due to colonial encounter of India and Britain;
  • exchanged the culture, language and literature with Britishers;
  • opened new doors of knowledge, power and freedom to Indians;
  • led to literary renaissance in the country;
  • influenced the language of thinkers, philosophers, and reformers, and
  • assisted in resisting orthodoxy, superstitions and rituals, ill practices prevailing in the society. 

In Pre Independence era, Sake Dean Mahomed was the first one who had got his book published The Travels of Dean Mahomet in English adopting epistolary form. It was written in the form of thirty-eight letters. At the age of 11, Dean Mahomed had started working at the East India Company’s Bengal Army as a camp follower and he travelled all over the Gangetic plain, from Delhi to Dhaka over the period of next fifteen years. In 1996 a historian, Michael H. Fisher, talked about Sake Dean Mahomed’s work in his own scholarly work, The First Indian Author in English: Dean Mahomed (1795-1851). Though he is chronologically the first, yet it is not proven that Dean Mahomet’s work is the first one in the history of Indian English writing,

Raja Rammohan Roy’s essay “A Defense of Hindu Theism” is counted as the first original publication in expository prose form in the history of Indian writing in English. Raja Rammohan Roy was a great scholar and knew many languages including Bengali, Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic and English, moreover, he had read the Bible in Hebrew and Latin. Being a great social, religious and cultural reformer of the period, he founded the Brahmo Samaj in 1828. He is known in the country for fighting for women’s rights and leading a drive against the prevailing practice of sati. Knowing the importance of English, he wrote articles such as “practice of burning widows alive” and “Address to Lord William Bentinck” in English and wished to modernize the country.

Following the footsteps of Raja Rammohan Roy, in the pre-independence period, many poets and writers came into light and wrote in English or their work got translated into English from regional languages. Toru Dutt wrote poetry in both languages English and French whereas Nightingale of India Sarojini Naidua portrayed the festivals, occupations and life of the Indian. 

Indian Jewish poet Nissim Ezekiel has been considered as a pioneering figure who enriched the poetry with modernist innovations and techniques. Additionally Aurbindo Ghosh, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhay, Mulk Raj Anand and R K Narayan exhibited imperialism and Indian Culture in their works.

‘Viswa Kavi’ and visionary spirit Rabindranath Tagore revolutionized education and literature in India and was the first non-European to receive Nobel Prize in literature in 1913. He enriched literature and contributed to the freedom struggle in pre-Independence India by his incredible social reforms that assisted in uniting Bengal. His famous song Banglar Mati Banglar Jol (Soil of Bengal, Water of Bengal) helped in uniting the Bengali population. 

Further Tagore being against conventional classroom education, remodeled education as a holistic development process where teachers would be more like mentors, guiding students towards emotional, intellectual and spiritual upliftment, moreover he laid the foundation stone of Visva Bharati University. Tagore believed in the universality of man. The identity of India after independence was closely based on Tagore’s ideology of peace and universal brotherhood and he expressed his feelings through a poem ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’. He wanted a country after independence where everybody could have a right to express without fear.

Many nationalist leaders like Mahadev Govind Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, C Rajagopalachari, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were excellent orators of English. All of them had good command over the language and promoted the learning of language in India in pre independence and post independence period.

Initially post independence literature faced some issues hence the writers and poets were struggling and going through identity crisis and the age was reflected as the painstaking age of ‘dark modernism’. Consequently the writings presented the clashes between traditional cultures and western modernity. Under the western influence, the concept of experimentation was also developed and literature of India that time perceived several key changes in terms of literary writings. Independence of India from British Rule was a turning historic episode with its socio-political significance that no one can deny till now. This happening of freedom struggle, attaining independence and partition struggle not only had an outstanding impact on the literary works done in various regional languages but also on Indian English Literature. 

Before independence, the whole nation was dreaming and struggling for achieving independence with mixed emotions of anguish and hope. But after attaining freedom from colonial power with an unusual condition of partition followed with riots in whole country, the whole nation was in double and mixed expression state. Happiness and hopefulness of better future at one side where social and economical growth were a part of its credo, and destruction, despair and blood shed due to partition were there to let everyone down on other side. 

The epitome of human sufferings was witnessed in various forms during the cataclysmic partition of India in 1947. Massacres and mutilation of human bodies were going on parallel with migration and uprootedness. Sexual assaults became quite common experience belilttling and terrifying women of that period, moreover loss of honour, property, relations, mental peace, sense of security, nationality, identity etc everything was on stake. The sentiments of the people who suffered at that time of partition have not been expressed in history books and chronicles hence these books have just collected the data and facts related to the procedure of partition. The real sufferings faced by people were portrayed through literature in most obvious way. Literaure has expressed and told the next generations of the country how people of that period suffered and no doubt it has left never ending impression on the hearts, minds and souls of the people. 

In the works of writers such as Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Krishan Chandra, Rajendra Singh Bedi, Saadat Hasan Manto, Sardar Singh Duggal, Bhishma Sahani, B. Rajan, Amrita Pritam, Nanak Singh, Ismat Chugtai, Chaman Nahal, Yashpal, Kamleshwar and Khushwant Singh, there are some very emotional and heart-rending delineations about catastrophic and horrified partition which became more about despair than hope after the division. Their works are full of overwhelming and gut-wrenching scenes of devastating partition and description of the inner psychology of the characters who struggled and managed to live during hard times. That unbearable suffering was such a mental-physical state which caught the psyche of people in such a way that it can’t be cured with passing years and keeps bringing never-ending problems to society. 

“Today the legacy of 1947 looms larger than ever before on the subcontinent. Partition has actually proved to be a trauma from which the subcontinent has never fully recovered. But sadly, this is not reflected in its history writings, a fact that is lamented by many” (Roy 18). 

Many poets of that period lamented the bloodshed through their poetry. Few of such works are Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Subh-e-Azaadi’, Annada Shankar Ray’s ‘Khoka O Khuku’, Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s ‘Dudh Da Qatl’, Amrita Pritam’s ‘Waris Shah’, Agha Shahid Ali’s ‘By the Waters of Sind’ and Mehjoor’s ‘Azadee’ etc. which are translated in English too. Amrita Pritam’s poem ‘Waris Shah’ is one of the best illustrations to understand the disastrous condition of that time. She wrote the poem when she was going from Delhi to Dehradun through a train as a refugee and prayed through the following lines-

Today Waris Shah I call out to you

To speak out from the graves
Rise today and open a new page

0f the immortal book of love
A daughter of Punjab once wept

And you wrote many a dirge
A million daughters weep today

and look up at you for solace
Rise o beloved of the aggrieved

just look at your Punjab
Today corpses haunt the woods

Chenab river overflows with blood

Some one has mixed poison

In the Five Rivers of Punjab…

(Pritam)

In India post independence people became more aware in terms of reading our own languages’ literature and beyond the boundaries started reading the literature of richer languages too. Translation work was initiated a lot and writers started publicizing their works stimulating a literary atmosphere. In addition technological advancement gradually left an impact on Indian literature but still partition time literature due to tragic setting is counted in the best including these novels such as Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan (1956), B. Rajan’s The Dark Dancer (1959), Attia Hosain’s Sunlight on a Broken Column (1961), Manohar Malgaonkar’s A Bend in the Ganges (1964), Amrita Pritam’s Pinjar (1956) and short stories like “Of Ram and Rahim” by Mahasweta Devi, “Toba Tek Singh” by Saadat Hassan Manto and “The Crossing” by Jotirmoyee Devi and many more.

The independence of India from British rule took its own price in the form of partition of the countries into two countries- India and Pakistan. The hearts and souls who became happy and cheerful with a thought of attaining freedom out of sudden became very sad and gloomy due to partition. The country was parted on religious parameters hence Pakistan turned into a Muslim state and India continued to be a secular country. The religious identities of the people became troublesome for them over nights and created chaos everywhere in the whole country espeacially in Punjab area. The divide and hatred between the communities of Hindus and Muslims grew wider and more grave. The partition smeared, smashed and turned the feeling of the light and brightness of freedom into darkness and gloom. The riots aroused on both sides of the border led to extreme destruction, mournfulness, and killing spree. The whole Indian society had got a set back by such diastrous condition of the country which was completely out of control. 

The tragic memories are still haunting people who were wounded, fractured and survived in that period.  Those terrifying scenes are well portrayed and depicted in the literature by writers and poets who suffered mentally and physically. How people suffered, struggled, migrated, became homeless, without a penny and food in that period can never be forgotten. More than eight million migrated and around one million were either killed or died. Our historical documentation doesn’t decribe in detail all that trauma faced by people and just calculates the numbers of migrated people and killed ones. The impression it left on people’s souls and psyche can never be erased.

Literature either English Literature or regional such as Punjabi, Hindu, Urdu, Bengali and English, in both type of, writers and poets have tried to describe the heinousness and havoc of tragic partition through characters and settings portrayed in the literary pieces touching the hearts of the readers to realize utmost what people exactly suffered. The terror overpowered their souls and body, the fear of losing everything, the insecurities, the pain to leave the roots behind, and the lose of reverence and homelessness everything has been skillfully portrayed and narrated in the stories in literature to reach the unreach.  

Everyone including normal populace to great leaders of the country experienced the same. Intensity could be little less or more but people of all states and religion suffered mentally, physically, psychologically as the mother earth was full of bloodshed and dead bodies. People were at one side filled with anxiety and fear, and another side with hope of upliftment of the country. Tahira Naqvi talks about what Ismat Chugtai
has written in her essay “Communal Violence and Literature”:

“The flood of communal violence came and went with all its evils, but it left a pile of living, dead and gasping corpses in its wake. It wasn’t only that the country was split into two bodies and minds were also divided. Moral beliefs were tossed aside and humanity was in shreds” (Naqvi 3).

Khushwant Singh’s most famous novel Train To Pakistan (1956) is a historical novel which is based on partition of India in 1947 and how the country was splitted by Britain- Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. It narrates how social and religious groups were rearranged and clashed violently. A human dimension is exhibitly meticulously by Khushwant Singh which brings to the event a sense of reality, horror, and believability. Train to Pakistan explored the themes of heart-throbbing ravages of war, cultural and social perception of partition time and religious practices etc. Depicting the moral paradox, Khushwant Singh says, “The bullet is neutral. It hits the good and the bad, the important and the insignificant, without distinction” (Singh 170).

A movie was also directed by Pamela Rooks, based on the novel given the same title Train to Pakistan. It was released in 1998 and nominated in Cinequest Film Festival, 1999 in the best feature film category.  The first chapter “Dacoity” of the novel was staged in the form of a play named ‘Train to Pakistan’ at Lamakaan- an open cultural space in Hyderabad, India that was adapted and directed by Krishna Shukla.

Amrita Pritam’s Pinjar narrated the gendered experience of the trauma, exploitation, sacrifices and sufferings of partition. It is an extraordinary saga that depicted the issues of displacement, marginalization, abduction, dual identity and powerlessness moreover, different dimensions of violence against women on religious, social and most prominently physical and mental levels. Further via the portrayal of character of Puro, Pritam brought forth the fact that women have been the prime victims in every communal strife, riots and wars. She highlighted that women are considered merely bodies and nothing more than bodies. The heart-breaking story symbolized the fate of thousands of women at the time of partition whose voices were silenced (Arora). Moreover Pinjar is a story which detailed how women were mutilated, sexually assaulted, raped, rotated naked in the surroundings, impregnated and fetus killed in the womb during the tremulous time of partition. Double yoke of patriarchy and dislocation oppressed them. In addition they were questioned in terms of chastity, purity and dignity though there was no fault of them.

The fifth novel of Khushwant Singh, Burial at Sea took the psychedelic insight into an individual’s life and the freedom struggle of India. The title sounds little spiritual but mundane affairs like societal, political and individual’s struggle are at prior. It’s a saga of an individual named Victor Jai Bhagwan who is made legendary in the novel because of his actions and economical support he provided to the country by industrialization while struggling for freedom. He took his first breath in slave India but he was determined to make India economically stronger and independent. ‘Modernize or perish’ was the slogan he gave to Indian industrialists to be a free and developed country. On the other hand, Gandhi and his followers were working to throw the Britishers out of the country. Khushwant Singh basically portrayed the two different kinds of strata of freedom fighters in the novel. 

In colonized India whereas one side people were fighting for freedom following Mahatma Gandhi credo of non-violence, celibacy and the boycott of everything foreign, some people with good fortune and reputation wanted their kids to study English to tell the British to their faces that it is time to buzz off from India and let Indians handle their own affairs. They found it the other way of bringing India honor and self-respect by worsening the British in their own law. 

Khushwant Singh’s different kind of representation supporting those who had been in guilt for being a slave to English custom by anglicizing their children is utterly an illustration of his sharp intellect. Krishan Lal hired a nanny governess Valerie Bottomley from London who changes Jai Bhagwan into Victor “the son of an English county gentleman: cravat, waistcoat, and stripped trousers… impeccable manners” (Singh 12). Later on because of her immense efforts, Victor got admission in Eton and went England to finish his higher education from there. He came back after finishing his studies and tried to industrialize the country but Gandhi was not in the favour of that.

Mahatma Gandhi strongly objected on the use of machinery, since in his time machines typically led to “the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of a few, extremely rich people” (Iyer 348). Today, of course, the situation is not like that. For example, information technology has led to decentralization of power, rather than centralization of it. But in that phase where colonial India was struggling for freedom, Gandhiji felt that industrialization will increase the problem of economic equality in the country later on. In K Kripalani’s book All Men Are Brothers, Mahatma Gandhi says,

“I cannot picture to myself a time when no man shall be richer than another. But I do picture a time when the rich will spurn to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and the poor will cease to envy the rich. Even in a most perfect world, we shall fail to avoid inequalities, but we can and must avoid strife and bitterness.” (Kriplani 136) 

Gandhi supported an economic theory of simple living and self-sufficiency/import substitution. He envisioned for a more agrarian India after independence with a focal point to meet the material needs of its public prior to generating riches and industrializing. After Nehru, Victor Jai Bhagwan was Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Indian- a brilliant young man with the temperament of a leader and fiercely committed to his country. Though Victor adored and respected Gandhi, he disagreed with the Mahatma’s vision for the future of India and moreover, he 

“…contradicted everything Gandhi stood for: handspun cloth, self-sufficient villages, very basic education…wanted to see an India which had modern textile mills, steel plants, automobile factories, huge dams and thousands of miles of canals, every village connected by road, more schools, colleges and hospitals.” (Singh 16) 

According to Gandhi, people “might achieve these material ambitions but in the process lose their souls and their Indianness” (Singh 19). He was also decisive about industrialization calling it an indefinite multiplication of wants. He said that the reliance on machinery will destroy man’s inseparable relationship with nature; moreover, this overdependence on machinery may demolish the stable and long-established agrarian village communities which are environment-friendly and which for him constituted the core of the nation’s strength, not just material, but ethical and spiritual. For Victor “it was more important to industrialize India, to make it economically strong. Because what freedom could there be without that?” (Singh 61)

People were in dilemma either to celebrate or to sing gloomy songs due to partition. It has been well portrayed in the novel by Khushwant Singh the way he described that Victor didn’t take part in the independence celebrations going on in Delhi though “the city was in festive mood with the Indian flag flying on all buildings and processions marching down the streets shouting slogans” (Singh 76). He was not happy thinking about future prospect he was looking at for the country and was completely disturbed by partition. The only one who looked happy at his home was his “little daughter, who went around Shanti Bhawan marching like a soldier carrying the tricoloured flag of Independent India and shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ (Long Live Mother India!)..” (Singh 75) 

Khushwant Singh has depicted the after effects of partition with excellent rhythmic gait and a sense of believability, horror and human emotions’ dimensions. He describes through the character of Victor that people had not dreamt for such freedom like Victor also didn’t in his younger days. The whole country was burning in the fire of partition, which Khushwant Singh has depicted with his in-depth knowledge about the after effects of partition- 

“Fratricidal war erupted on the subcontinent between Hindus and… Muslims…slitting each other’s throats from the banks of the Indus to beyond the Hooghly…the city was flooded with Hindu and Sikh refugees who had fled from Pakistan…they were living in ancient monuments, on footpaths and roundabouts.” (Singh 75) 

Victor felt too secluded than ever before because the British, the Congress and the Muslim League had distorted the country into something terribly unrecognizable. Khushwant Singh’s architectonic skills and profound critical insight into human emotions are extremely exceptional how he expressed the sufferings through the character of Victor in the story. 

Imprints and marks of partition memories on the hearts and minds of people are alive due to literature that can never be faded away. The startling narratives of many writers from the time of partition till today mention this catastrophic episode. In Borders and Boundaries: How Women Experienced the Partition of India Ritu Menon says, “The rending of the social and emotional fabric that took place in 1947 is still far from mended” (Menon 91). Though the suffering is Unsalvaged after the subcontinent was blooded, yet survived and colonizer or partition riots could not kill the spirit of the country.   

Henceforth post independence Indian English Literature is virtually synonymous with Post-colonial Indian English Literature. It continues to evoke colonial legacies in the contemporary society. It seeks to compete with English language fiction for International prizes like the Commonwealth Fiction Prize, and the Booker Prize, etc. Post-Independence Indian English fiction is rich in thematic content. Many writers such as Kamala Markandaya, Arundhati Roy, Nayantara Sehgal, Shashi Deshpande, Shobha De, Kamala Das, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, Bharati Mukherjee, Rohinton Mistry, Salman Rushdie, Shiv K. Kumar, Upmanyu Chatterjee and Manju Kapur and many more have contributed to the growth of Indian English Literature and popularized it in the country and abroad. Area of Indian English Literature is also broaden up by including Dalit issues, Feminist movements and LGBTQ writings in it and still continued to embrace new perspectives.

Dr Shalini Yadav
Professor, Department of English
Compucom Institute of Technology and Management
Jaipur, Rajasthan

Works Cited

  1. Arora, Rachna & Smita Jha. “Women’s Body as the site of Encroachment: A Critical Study of Amrita Pritam’s Novel Pinjar.” Social Science Review. Volume 2, Issue 2, December 2016. 
  2. en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Indian_English_literature
  3. http://literaryvista.blogspot.com/2013/05/trends-in-indian-novels-in-english-in.html
  4. https://thewire.in/books/amrita-pritam-centenary
  5. Iyer, Raghavan. The Essential Writings of Mahatma Gandhi. Ed. (Oxford: Oxford Univeristy Press, 1990), 348-402. 
  6. Kripalani, K. All Men Are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as Told in His Own Words. Ed. (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), 129-136. 
  7. Menon, Ritu. Borders and Boundaries: How Women Experienced the Partition of India. New Jersey: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1998.
  8. Naik, M. K. A History of English Literature. Sahitya Akademi, 2009.
  9. Naqvi, Tahira. (Trans.) Ismat Chugtai’s My Friend, My Enemy: Essays, Reminiscences, Portraits. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 2001.
  10. Roy, Rituparna. South Asian Partition Fiction in English: From Khushwant Singh to Amitav Ghosh. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010.
  11. Singh, Khushwant. Burial at Sea. Penguin Books India, 2004. 
  12. Singh, Khushwant.Train to Pakistan. 1956.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND REVENGE IN LOUISE ERDRICH’S ‘THE ROUND HOUSE’

Abstract

Karen Louise Erdrich is an American author of novels, poetry, and children’s books featuring Native American characters and settings. Erdrich is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance. The present paper entitled Restorative Justice and Revenge aims to bring out that Revenge itself is a value emotion, which expresses a victim’s desire to punish the victimizer.  No matter what the circumstances are, being the party who endures a wrongful act, results in your seeking either of these two things Justice or Revenge. Justice is basically defined as the concept of moral rightness, which is based on the rules of fairness, ethics, equality and law. Revenge, on the other hand, refers to an action taken by an individual as a response to a wrongdoing. The nations will sometimes try to increase justice by operating courts and enforcing their rulings. The first necessity in fighting for social justice is simply noticing and caring about injustice. The jurisdictional issues between tribal, state and federal governments are confusing, and not intuitive. Erdrich by the issues in this novel gives the knowledge about the weight of the struggle and the price of each small victory. In The Round House Erdrich is creating space to feel, think, and imagine solutions to social problems. This is the power of literature in a fight for social justice it prompts mental and emotional commitment to issues and it provides a space in which one is free to imagine different endings.

Keywords: social justice; rationality; law; equity

Restorative Justice and Revenge in Louise Erdrich’s ‘The Round House’

Literature is entertaining and can distract us from the details of our own lives, but its real social value is in which how it reflects reality. Literature gives us tools that we use to interact with the world around us. It is a useful tool for social justice and the way it mingles with our expectations. The Round House is a work of fiction but it’s value lies in its truth. The quest for justice is shown in several plotlines of The Round House in which different individuals seek justice for the perceived wrongs done to them.

The novel The Round House explores the effects of a sexual assault on an Ojibwe reservation. This novel has been described as a balanced mystery, thriller story of the first-person narrator a thirteen-year-old boy named Joe Coutts. It brings out the awareness of the ongoing problems of violence against women on Native American reservations. This problem involves histories of legal jurisdiction issues and continuing injustice. These injustices continued to harm both women and men in indigenous communities. Erdrich believes that, through her writing, it increases the process of increasing safety for women on reservations and it helps to reduce the daily anxiety. Many women feel and fear the possibility or chance of being raped or attacked.

The story of the novel The Round House includes many types of twins, beginning with the two houses The Round House and the house where Joe lives with his father and mother. There is another twin character Linda Wishkob in contract to her twin brother Linden Lark, The Wiindigoo in Anishinabe tradition is a vampire like figure who was once a human but later becomes a cannibalistic monster with a frozen heart “Considered beyond reconciliation with the community, the only way to solve the problem the wiindigoo poses, for itself and others is to kill it” (Johnston 165).  Erdrich identifies herself strongly as Anishinaabe and is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Her novels, her works of nonfiction, short stories, children’s book and poetry is the survival and strength of Anishinaabe and more importantly Indigenous culture. Throughout the novel The Round House, Erdrich explores the concept of justice and its converse of injustice. At the beginning of the novel, Bazil Coutts is introduced, who works as a tribal judge.  Due to his father’s profession and his distinguished role with the native community. Joe has enhanced his legal and moral understanding of justice and also Joe is simultaneously aware of the slavery of the indigenous population and the injustice in the American legal system.

As the novel goes by, Erdrich makes various historical allusions that address indigenous justice. In the opening of the novel, Erdrich mentions the United States, forty-three Galloons of Whiskey, a court case that decided that Congress has the power to control the possession and the sale of liquor in the Land belonging to and the land nearby the Native American tribes. It is described in the novel as “Forty-three gallons of whiskey, sundry peltries, and other goods and merchandise, seized as forfeited by virtue of the twentieth section of the Act of Congress approved June 30, 1834, as amended by the Act approved March 15, 1864” (The Round,93). The inclusion in the thing beginning of the novel shows that the borders and the complications therein particularly affect the indigenous life in the United States. Throughout the novel, Joe struggles to cope with the aftermath of his mother’s violent and brutal rape his mother Geraldine is traumatized while her husband Bazil and her son Joe try their level best to help her heal fast.

Throughout the novel, Joe struggles to cope, with the aftermath of his mother’s violent and brutal rape. His mother Geraldine is traumatized while her husband Bazil and her son Joe try their level best to help her heal fast. Because of Geraldine’s trauma and Bazil’s caring love and concentration on his wife, Geraldine’s leaves Joe without much parental oversight. Joe tries to figure out and identify the man who raped his mother. Finally, when Joe finds out the culprit Linden Lark, he came to know that he cannot be able to bring that criminal to trial because of a loophole and the solution for this with his father and friends and discusses the different kinds of justice. “My father and I had followed her to the doorway, and I think as we watched her we both had the sense that she was ascending to a place of utter loneliness from which she might never be retrieved” (The Round 33).

The narration describes Judge Coutts and Joe as they climb the stairs. Judge Coutts climbs up to sleep in the sewing room rather than with his wife. Joe climbs the stairs after killing Linden Lark. In all of these cases, climbing the stairs symbolizes the family members travelling into physical, emotional, or spiritual isolation where the others cannot reach or help them. Because of the broken system of the law, he starts to follow his own path to administer justice. As he does, he feels a bane quickly transforms his desire for justice into an obsessive need for revenge, especially for Linden Lark, his mother’s rapist, to go free. Joe says he wants to kill him over and over again and that angry and revenge mode eventually allows him to plan and carry out Linden Lark’s murder. After the murder, he feels that he may have become a kliindigoo, because of the monstrous man he killed. But his community defends him, turning it into another type of justice, the traditional justice for dispatching wiindigoes.

A corrupt form of a similar incident towards justice is played out by Linden Lark. He has convinced himself that he and his family have suffered injustice at the hands of Indians, but they have no standing under the law yet Linden Lark continued to diminish the white man and take his honour. He also sees Indian women as whores who have added to his humiliation by rejecting him. In his twisted view, he plans to achieve justice and make things right by making “ two Indian women suffer”.

From the government’s point of view, the only way you can tell an Indian is to look at that person’s history. There must be ancestors from way back who signed some document or were recorded as Indians by the U.S. government … after that, you have to look at that person’s blood quantum. In other words, being an Indian is in some ways a tangle of red tape. On the other hand, Indians know other Indians without the need for a federal pedigree, and this knowledge like love, sex, or having or not having a baby—has nothing to do with government. (The Round,123)

Linden Lark carries out his revenge in “The Round House”, which is supposed to be justice as well as the symbol of the sacred nature of women. He kidnaps and murders Mayla Wolfskin, as he feels that she shamed him, and he attacks Geraldine because her husband was the one who ruled against his family and forced them into bankruptcy. In the point of view of Lark’s thinking, he is achieving the justice, that the world denied him. In the eyes of the world, however, he is taking his revenge.

The Round House represents many different incidents of women being mistreated by both Native and non-Native men and also, the effects of colonialism and neo colonialism are illustrated through different characters , actions and discourses which reveal the racism within North American society. “With a savage thump he turned the casserole over onto the table. He lifted off the pan. The thing was shot through with white fuzz but held its oblong shape. My father rose again and pulled the box of cutlery from the cabinet counter” (The Round 78).

Joe narrates these words after he challenges his father on the effectiveness of the legal system to which his father subscribes. After Linden has been released from jail, even though Geraldine has named him as the attacker, she and Joe begin to lose faith in the law. Here, Judge Coutts puts a rotten casserole on the table and stabs it with various forms of cutlery until he forms a sculpture. He uses this as a symbol of Indian law: an unstable edifice of unjust and a few reasonable laws all balanced on top of a rotten base. In laying out the intricacies and contradictory elements behind Indian law, Judge Coutts reveals that he hopes to slowly overcome these laws’ injustices by building a better legal structure that will give the tribes more sovereignty over crimes committed on their land. The best way to spark this sort of change would be from within. Although Joe understands his father’s symbol, he cannot accept such small steps toward justice. Thus, he feels that he must pursue it on his own terms.

I suppose I am one of those people who just hates Indians generally my feeling is that Indian women are what he called us, I don’t want to say He said we have no standing under the law for a good reason and yet have continued to diminish the white man and to take his honour I won’t get caught, he said, I know as much law as a judge. Know any judges? I have no fear The strong should rule the weak. Instead of the weak the strong! It is weak who pull down the strong. (The Round, 196)

After killing Linden Lark, Cappy takes a moment to process his actions, dropping to his knees. Although Cappy shoots Linden with relative ease and in an attempt to fulfil justice, he obviously is profoundly affected by his crime. Throughout the novel, Erdrich seems to imply that some of the violence is justified, and that violence will always harm the person who is committing it. These certainly can be applied in Cappy did that, out of love for his best friend. A young boy’s family has suffered a terrible attack and assault which gives him a quest to solve the crime and at the same time to learn about life and himself. His search for identity and the quest for justice is not an easy one, it gives him a mix of cultures and religion which exists on the contemporary reservation.

It is significant that Erdrich voices social justice for both Indigenous and non-indigenous women. The Round House ends with a heartbreaking lack of resolution. Nothing is resolved and also no one is fulfilled. The first necessity in fighting for social justice is simply noticing and caring about injustice.

S. Dicxy
Ph.D. Research Scholar (Reg. No:21213164012044)
Department of English &Centre for Research
Scott Christian College (Autonomous)
Affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
Nagercoil-629003
dixcy1995@gmail.com

Dr. J. Chitta
Assistant Professor
Department of English &Centre for Research
Scott Christian College (Autonomous)
Affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
Nagercoil-629003
dixcy1995@gmail.com

______________________________________________________

Reference

Erdrich, Louise. The Round House, NewYork:Harper,2012.
Johnston, Basil. “Weendigo” in Ojibway Heritage. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1976, 165- 167.
“Difference Between Justice and Revenge.” Difference Between Similar Terms and  Objects, 26 January, 2010, http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-justice-and-revenge

Sense and Sensibility of Women in Meena Alexander’s ‘Nampally Road’

Women in the patriarchal society are subjugated and pulled towards the periphery by male chauvinistic writers. Feminist writing challenges the dominant literary tradition through negotiating power and marginalises women’s experiences and identities. Many feminist writings are focused on women’s experiences in their family, society and relationship. If a woman writer paints her own portrait by her it appears to be looking into the mirror to see her where the images she sees provoke her to contrastic and unpredictable responses to her own body and face. A woman is very much concerned about her appearance which brings the feeling of uncomfortable and security because that is the way they are judged by others. As a writer, Alexander strives for freedom within the world of patriarchal society through her writings. She tries to break down the existing patriarchal society and creates a space for herself in the world of male chauvinism. In her works, Alexander presents multi faces of women as mothers, political activists and victims of patriarchal society. She has also presented the social and political sense of women which provides the rules and regulations for women. 

Alexander brings out strong female characters in her novel Nampally Road, such as Mira, Durgabai, Raniamma, Laura, Maitreyi and Rameeza Be. These women characters represent the different sensibility of women in different classes. Alexander portrays Mira as a sensitive college teacher, Durgabai as a compassionate doctor, Maitreyi as a courageous sweeper and Rosamma as a communist worker. Through the strong and independent feminine images, Alexander tries to discover the place of women in society by altering the traditional boundaries drawn by patriarchy. Alexander explores the significance of women through the character Durgabai, who is a kind, loveable, sympathetic and compassionate widow. She has a son who lives abroad for his education. Formerly she was the head of Hyderabad Center for Children’s Diseases where she has served for thirty long years. Even in her old age, she is not free, “she scarcely had time to rest” (Nampally 18) which reveals her enormous power of work. She is running her clinic under “a tin roof in one of the poorest parts of town” (Nampally 17) but she does her service for nothing. For instance, once a man, who is a widower from the hill region, brings a boy, who is attacked by a leopard on the hill to treat his wound. He is so poor, the wound in the boy’s forehead is so huge and it is like a hole which reaches the brain and maggots are crawling over the tissues of knowledge. Durgabai knows that the child will not survive because the brain has been damaged a lot but she is so sympathetic towards the boy. Sometimes her job is to deliver babies from unwanted pregnancies where she is compassionate towards the “Woman in trouble, rapped or saddled with an unwanted pregnancy” (Nampally 16). She is sympathetic towards them and builds up the spirit of those women by saying “Shame doesn’t last” (Nampally 16). Hence Alexander wishes for the transformation of India, through the character of Durgabai, and so significantly claims, “A new India is being born” (Nampally 16). The protagonist, Mira, a twenty-five-year-old young girl, lives with Durgabai in her house, as a paying guest. She treats her as if she is her own daughter and Mira adopts her as a surrogate mother. Mira calls Durgabai “Little Mother” (Nampally 16) and shares everything with her. Like a mother, Durgabai loves Mira and takes care of her and also she gives shape to her valuable ideas. So Durgabai not only appears to be a mother of Mira but of the entire people of India. Alexander tries to explore the significance of the attachment of female characters in her novel. Mira’s relationship with Durgabai helps her a lot in times of distress. Mira seeks emotional refuge and “guidance in her attempts to assimilate this new experience – this ‘poetics of dislocation’” (Dutt 225). As Mira is loved and taken care by the little mother, Durgabai, cultivates values within her. Little mother’s motherly affection is explicit through the small boys in the bicycle shop who sleeps on the pavement. Little mother wraps themselves with rags and feels happy in treating the ailments of these boys. Like a mother, she also feels about the amount of food which they used to take and she says, “They eat so poorly. A bit of rice, or roti and some dal if they’re lucky” (Nampally 19). This brings out her sympathy and concern for the poor child. According to Sasikanth, “the little mother, perhaps, is symbolic of Mother India. The symbolism is made evident when Durgabai suffers from illness as the city goes through commotions and atrocities carried out in the name of politics” (141).

Like Alexander, Mira writes poems, but she has never published them. Ramu, who is her friend, lover and colleague of Mira mocks her writing. He says that there is no use in writing poetry at this juncture of trouble in the society, instead advises her to be a woman of action. Here Alexander focuses on thinking about women think about gender. Thereby she introduces the idea that the women’s question is structurally necessary to our society and politics. The critic Joseph points out that, “she attributes all the vandalism and crime against women and other subalterns to the corrupt system” (59).

After the colonization, native women are marginalized by their sex as well as by virtue of their relative economic oppression and gender subordination. In every aspect, women are dominating and they are easily dehumanized, exploited and sexually abused by the male. Indian women still liver under the shadow of patriarchal tradition that women should be subordinate to the male and this develops violence against women. Rameeza Be is another woman character, who attains sympathy and concern from the readers. Here Alexander gives a fictional form to a true episode of the rape of a Muslim woman, Rameeza Be. On March 30, !978, at night when they return from celebrating Isak Katha in Sagar Talkies, a gang of drunkard policemen has raped her and her husband is beaten to death. They killed him because he refuses to pay four hundred rupees to the police. The drunkard policemen drag her to the police station and rape her. They also beat her for the whole night. The dead body of her husband is, later, found in a nearby well. She is raped by the policemen, who are the custodians of law and order in society.  Apart from Maitreyi, the portrait of Gandhiji and Nehru, the great freedom fighters of India are the only silent witnesses of this brutal incident in the prison cell. Though she is beaten cruelly to death, she is still alive miraculously. She is rescued by the infuriated community from the cell and they set fire to Gowliguda police station. Even though they have tortured her heartlessly, the radio news declared her a “source of turbulence” and “rewards were announced for finding her” (Nampally 59). Maitreyi rescues her and helps her to get into her normal life gradually. Durgabai, Mira and Maitreyi console the bleeding Rameeza Be Mentally and physically.

Maitreyi is the cleft-lipped sweeper woman, who rescues Rameeza Be from the police station and treats her in a safe place. Maiitreyi herself is a victim of society’s insatiable greed and abuse of power. She is the daughter of Pithulbai and an unmarried woman whose family has had a peacock garden earlier, which is attracted by Nizam of Hyderabad. As they don’t have the physical power to protest against Nizam taking all their land and property. Now she leads her life in poverty in a small hut near King Koti. Apart from being a sweeper, she is a snake keeper who knows to extract poison from snakes and helps her in times of distrust and poverty in her life. Though she belongs to the upper class, she suffers from poverty. Even though she is poor, she hasn’t afraid of being a witness to this shameful incident of Rameeza Be.

Rosamma is a memorable character in Nampally Road, who is a  Marxist leader from the hill country. She attends a meeting which is arranged to take revenge on Rameeza Be’s attackers. Through this, she tries to instigate the furious nature of the people and cries out: “overcome oppression, down with chains” (Nampally 89). Further, she teaches them to take the knife of justice and the value of resistance to injustice and tries to attain it through revolution.

On the one side, women are suffering under the patriarchal society whereas on the other side women try to happy life imposed on themselves. Alexander represents it through the character of Laura and Rani. Laura is the neighbour to Durgabai and Rani is Durgabai’s servant. Both of them have spent their time in talking about film stars and movies in Sagar Talkies. Laura’s husband Henry is a drunkard who has used to beat her. This reveals that women are still in the clutches of a male-dominated society. Again an old woman, who is a cobbler suffering from leukoderma, has been doing her work without bothering about the birthday celebrations of Limca Gowda. Though she does not harm anybody, she is threatened by an Ever Ready man. But she doesn’t mind him and is sincerely concentrating on meeting the broken chappals of Mira. Finally, a policeman stares at her and “kicked some of her leather scraps into the gutter and then walked away, lathi in hand” (Nampally 102). But the old woman is calm and continues to do her work. Her attitude towards the policemen, makes Mira realises her inability.

Finally, Mira, as an educated woman, drives her strength for action from the subaltern voices. She also accepts the words of Rosamma that “You must not be afraid to use knives. How else should we reach the new world?” (Nampally 90). The words of Rosamma have boosted her to raise her voice for the subaltern people. Mira understands that the marginalized have to sustain their anger and one day they will reap justice, liberty and equality. Alexander makes great use of the dreams of women in her writings. Little mother is acquainting Mira with a dream in which she stands as both a trap as well as a liberating force. Through the dream of Mira Alexander explicates the insecurity of female existence in the oppressive male-dominated society. Mira narrates her horrible dream to Little mother:

‘I had a dream last. I was clutching the edge of a great pyramid made of bricks. The bricks were all jagged, all askew as if the pyramid were immensely old, or had been made by an unskilled labourer. But the bricks were not really bricks. I realized this as I held on for dear life. There was black water rushing all around me, and the water was climbing higher and higher. The bricks were alive. They were made of flesh. Human flesh. And they had voices that cried out in a tumult of tongues. As the water rose bit by bit, I struggled to climb higher. And far away as the eye could see was water, black water. Until to the right, all of a sudden I saw a small fire, rocking in that water. And then the fire grew and it invaded the water, and took dominion over it, and approached the pyramid where I still clung with all those crying voices of flesh. I couldn’t bear it. I tried to wake up (Nampally 65)

The bricks in the dream are not bricks but human flesh. They are a highly evocative symbol of suffering women who try to build their life, but on every side, they are battered and overcome by the black waters of patriarchal hegemonic force. The saving grace is the fire, which invades the black waters which is all-consuming, but it glows in the darkness and signifies the awakening spirit of women.

Alexander questions the value of the non-violence of Gandhi because it almost fails to bring a change in the lives of the poor and the subdued as seen in the life of the cobbler woman. Unless the woman takes up the “knife of justice”, (Nampally 90) there is little chance for freedom and justice. The subaltern must speak and then they must go for action, like the women from a village, Rosamma and Maitreyi. Basu writes that “Alexander suggests a path of recovery and healing through female solidarity and friendship” (11). Through the woman characters, Alexander defies the patriarchal society and motivates them to forbid a particular place in society. As a feminist, alexander “aims at liberation of women from male domination and at the promotion of their rights” (Pandey 12). Further she “demands a humanistic attitude towards women” (2). Hence women can get over the shackles of patriarchal society through friendship and hand in others’ problems.

Works Cited

Alexander, Meena. Nampally Road. Chennai: Orient Blackswan, 1992. Print.

Basu, Lopamudra and Cynthia Leenarts. Passage to Manhattan: Critical Essays on Meena Alexander. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. Print.

Dutt, P. Kiranmai. “A Reader Odyssey into Meena Alexander’s Nampally Road.Indian Women Novelists: Set III: Vol.3. Ed. R. K. Dhawan. New Delhi: Prestige Books, 1995.225-28. Print.

Joseph, Mariam Kuruvilla. The Diasporic and Feminist Consciousness in Meena Alexander. Kerala: Comparative Literature Research and Study Centre, 2002. Print.

Pandey, Miti. Feminism in Contemporary British and Indian English Fiction. New Delhi: Sarup and Sons, 2003.Print.

Sasikanth, K. John Wesley. “The Plight of Women in Post Colonial India as Portrayed in Meena Alexander’s Nampally Road.” Research Journal of English Language and Literature 1.1 (2013): 139-42. Print.

 

Subitha K
Research Scholar, Scott Christian College, Nagercoil – 3
Affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
Abishekapatti, Tirunelveli-627 012

Dr.J. Chitta
Assistant Professor of English
Research Scholar, Scott Christian College, Nagercoil – 3
Affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
Abishekapatti, Tirunelveli-627 012

The Invincible Soul of the Indian: A Reading of Gerald Vizenor’s “Guthrie Theater”

Abstract

Indigenous writers such as Gerald Vizenor propose a concept of tribal identity which stands in opposition to the western colonisers’ concepts of nation, sovereignty, and citizenship. Vizenor’s writings demonstrate de-territorialized notions of tribal identity while simultaneously expressing the persistence and resilience of a sovereign country strongly anchored in Anishinaabe homelands. “Guthrie Theater”, a poem from Vizenor’s poetry collection Almost Ashore, portrays the Anishinaabe’s fortitude and resistance against colonial authority that seeks to reject, denigrate, and wipe out a people’s sovereignty. The Anishinaabe people in Vizenor’s writings establish their own borders and provide their own notions of nationhood.

The Invincible Soul of the Indian: A Reading of Gerald Vizenor’s “Guthrie Theater” 

The dominant Euro-American society has long sought to define the terms ‘Indian’ and ‘Indian identity’. Indigenous writers such as Gerald Vizenor propose a concept of tribal identity which stands in opposition to the western colonisers’ concepts of nation, sovereignty, and citizenship. Vizenor’s writings demonstrate de-territorialized notions of tribal identity while simultaneously expressing the persistence and resilience of a sovereign country strongly anchored in Anishinaabe homelands. 

 “Guthrie Theater”, a poem from Vizenor’s poetry collection Almost Ashore, portrays the Anishinaabe’s fortitude and resistance against colonial authority that seeks to reject, denigrate, and wipe out a people’s sovereignty. The iconic Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis is used to show the disparity between the colonisers’ fabrication of the ‘Indian’ and the true figure of the Native American. 

The American Indian in the poem is “forever wounded” (“Guthrie Theater” line 3) by “tributes/…invented names/trade beads/ federal contracts” (lines 4-10). The Indian in the poem is psychologically and physically injured. Broken treaties and false promises made by the white colonisers inflict psychic damage on the Natives. They have been duped by their savage colonisers’ devious schemes.

The Natives are “decorated for bravery” (line 47). In fact, they are forced to join the military by their white colonisers, not because they want to. To safeguard their tribal territory from the British, most Native American tribes allied with the British. Many Natives, however, were killed in battle, many died of famine and other war-related causes, and many were physically handicapped. Instead of improving their circumstances, they were even more mired in misery and poverty.

When their tribal lands became more vulnerable as a result of the conflict, indigenous people felt deceived. Native Americans who were instrumental in Britain’s victory felt abandoned and dependent on missionaries and charity. They are fooled by the whites’ false promises of a treaty and economic assistance made prior to the battle. Furthermore, as non-whites, they were now more subject to racial prejudice both on and off the reservation.

The growing colonial power has seized indigenous territory since its advent in the area. When gold mines were discovered in the native nation, Native people were forced to leave their ancestral lands. Reservations were formed to confine indigenous people to a certain geographic region and exert political and economic control over them. The 1887 land allocation program was designed to take tribal landholdings away. To assist them to become self-sufficient, natives were granted tiny pieces of land, but these plots were often unsuited for cultivation.

American Indians’ lives were rendered unpleasant by the loss of land and culture, as well as poverty, ineffective education, a lack of employment, terrible economic conditions, and poor health. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the succeeding Indian New Deal, which featured a variety of social and economic measures targeted at improving Native Americans’ circumstances, aided Native Americans. The federal Indian policy emphasised political and cultural tribalism, shifting its attention away from Native American assimilation and toward the creation of a multicultural country. This turn of events also contributes to stoking the indigenous people’s resistance fire.

The “invented name” (line 48) of the American Indian also inflicts a wound on him. The mainstream Euro-American literature and media have historically misrepresented Native Americans. Preconceptions about Indians are common, and they can have a detrimental influence on how they are perceived by the rest of the world. Despite the fact that the United States and Alaska have over 560 legally recognised Native American tribes, the phrase ‘Indian’ is used interchangeably. Native stereotypes, ranging from noble barbarian to wise elder to drunken Indian, have emerged in mainstream American literature in many ways. Vizenor observes, “The word ‘Indian’ is a convenient word, a misnomer to be sure, but it is an invented name that does not come from any native language and does not describe or contain any aspects of traditional tribal experience and literature” (Vizenor 120). Native writers such as Sherman Alexie, Vizenor, and others strive to defy the European colonisers’ inaccurate portrayal of the Indians. 

The American Indian “limps past / the new theater // wounded Indian / comes to attention / on a plastic leg / and delivers / a smart salute / with the wrong hand” (lines 11-18). The actors of the Guthrie Theater rehearse the ‘invented Indian’ of the coloniser. The Vizenor’s veteran saluting with “the wrong hand”(line 18) symbolises the Indian’s rejection of colonial beliefs about the Native. At the same time, his action represents a kind of resistance against the colonial power. 

In the Guthrie Theater, the scenes of the Wounded Knee were rehearsed “night after night / the actors / new posers/mount and ride / on perfect ponies / out to the wild/cultural westerns / hilly suburbs / with buffalo bill” (lines 54-62). Thus while the inside of the Guthrie Theater perpetuates the colonisers’ ‘Indian’, Vizenor’s veteran is a realistic representation of the Indian abandoned and deceived by the white masters.

Vizenor’s tales attempt to dispute non-Native authors’ representations of the natives. Vizenor refutes the characterization of the Anishinaabe people as multicultural people, depicting them as capable of establishing their own native identity and declaring their tribal presence in the face of colonial authority. The struggle of the Anishinaabe people is an attempt to restore their ‘presence’ and a voice that has been denied to them in dominant Euro-American narratives. Native Americans see colonialism as a continuous process that has impacted and continues to influence both communal and individual levels. 

In Vizenor’s poem “culture wars / wound the heart / and dishonor / the uniform” (lines 38-41). Here, in contrast to the notions of the ‘vanished Indian’ or the ‘invented Indian’, the poet emphasises the power and defiance of the homeless veteran. 

In the metropolis, the Native feels disoriented. Indian agents had defrauded him of his property. After losing his ancestral grounds, the Native feels rootless and displaced in the city. The city is shown as a racially divided environment in which the Native must contend with the erasure of his religion and traditional practices. It is true that the metropolitan area is unable to give him the quiet existence that he had been denied in the reservation due to his status as a colonised person. Despite this, the valiant Indian warrior manages to carve out a niche for himself. His strong will and indomitable spirit enable him to adapt to challenging situations. 

Vizenor’s Indians resist by reframing the colonial concepts of tribalism and nationalism. Vizenor’s poetry proposes new ways of representing the indigenous reality. The colonial inclination to obscure conquest and naturalise control of the American Indians is exposed and criticised by the writer.  The Anishinaabe people in Vizenor’s writings establish their own borders and provide their own notions of nationhood. They develop their own sense of transnational mobility and attachment to their country.

Ann Mary Raju
Asst. Prof., PG & Research Department of English
Mar Thoma College, Tiruvalla,
Pathanamthitta, Kerala – 689103.
annmaryraju@gmail.com

References

McGlennen, M. S. “By My Heart”: Gerald Vizenor’s Almost Ashore and Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point”. Transmotion, vol. 1, no. 2, 2015, pp. 1. Web. 

The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature. Edited by Joy Porter and Kenneth M. Roemer, Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.

The Columbia Guide to American Indian literatures of the United States since 1945. Edited by Eric Cheyfitz, Columbia University Press, 2006. Print.

Vizenor, Gerald. “”Guthrie Theater.” PoemHunter, 03 June 2016, https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/guthrie-theater/. 

—. Literary Chance: Essays on Native American Survivance. Universitat de Valencia, 2011. Print. 

CLASSICAL GREEK CULTURE

Philosophy and science

Building on the discoveries and knowledge of civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia, among others, the Ancient Greeks developed a sophisticated philosophical and scientific culture. One of the key points of Ancient Greek philosophy was the role of reason and inquiry. It emphasized logic and championed the idea of impartial, rational observation of the natural world.

The Greeks made major contributions to math and science. We owe our basic ideas about geometry and the concept of mathematical proofs to ancient Greek mathematicians such as Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes. Some of the first astronomical models were developed by Ancient Greeks trying to describe planetary movement, the Earth’s axis, and the heliocentric system—a model that places the Sun at the center of the solar system. Hippocrates, another ancient Greek, is the most famous physician in antiquity. He established a medical school, wrote many medical treatises, and is— because of his systematic and empirical investigation of diseases and remedies—credited with being the founder of modern medicine. The Hippocratic oath, a medical standard for doctors, is named after him.
Greek philosophical culture is exemplified in the dialogues of Plato, who turned the questioning style of Socrates into written form. Aristotle, Plato’s student, wrote about topics as varied as biology and drama.

Art, literature, and theatre

Literature and theatre, which were very intertwined, were important in ancient Greek society. Greek theatre began in the sixth century BCE in Athens with the performance of tragedy plays at religious festivals. These, in turn, inspired the genre of Greek comedy plays.
These two types of Greek drama became hugely popular, and performances spread around the Mediterranean and influenced Hellenistic and Roman theatre. The works of playwrights like Sophocles and Aristophanes formed the foundation upon which all modern theatre is based. In fact, while it may seem like dialogue was always a part of literature, it was rare before a playwright named Aeschylus introduced the idea of characters interacting with dialogue. Other theatrical devices, like irony, were exemplified in works like Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.

In addition to written forms of theater and literature, oral traditions were important, especially in early Greek history. It wasn’t until around 670 BCE that Homer’s epic poems, The Iliad and Odyssey, were compiled into text form.

Greek art, particularly sculpture and architecture, was also incredibly influential on other societies. Greek sculpture from 800 to 300 BCE took inspiration from Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental art and, over centuries, evolved into a uniquely Greek vision of the art form.

Greek artists reached a peak of excellence which captured the human form in a way never before seen and much copied. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealized perfection of the human body; their figures in stone and bronze have become some of the most recognizable pieces of art ever produced by any civilization.

Greek architects provided some of the finest and most distinctive buildings in the entire Ancient World and some of their structures— including temples, theatres, and stadia—would become staple features of towns and cities from antiquity onwards.

In addition, the Greek concern with simplicity, proportion, perspective, and harmony in their buildings would go on to greatly influence architects in the Roman world and provide the foundation for the classical architectural orders which would dominate the western world from the Renaissance to the present day.

The legacy of Greek culture

The civilization of ancient Greece was immensely influential in many spheres: language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and the arts. It had major effects on the Roman Empire which ultimately ruled it. As Horace put it, “Captive Greece took captive her fierce conqueror and instilled her arts in rustic Latium.”

Via the Roman Empire, Greek culture came to be foundational to Western culture in general. The Byzantine Empire inherited Classical Greek culture directly, without Latin intermediation, and the preservation of classical Greek learning in medieval Byzantine tradition exerted strong influence on the Slavs and later on the Islamic Golden Age and the Western European Renaissance. A modern revival of Classical Greek learning took place in the Neoclassicism movement in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe and the Americas.

 

CASH MANAGEMENT – A PERSISTENT NECESSITY FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

ABSTRACT

Cash is the important current asset for the operations of the business. It is the basic input needed to keep the business running on a continuous basis; it is also the ultimate output expected to be realized by selling the service or product manufactured by the company. Cash management involves managing cash efficiently, the proper usage of cash while assessing liquidity and the cash flow and investments. Cash planning protects the financial condition of the firm by developing a projected cash statement from a forecast of expected cash inflows and outflows for a given period. Cash management necessitates speeding cash inflows while slowing down cash outflows, but it may not be considered in isolation. A company’s cash flow is coupled to its operations, investment activities (such as the purchase or the sale of capital equipment), and to its financing activities (such as raising debt or equity funding or repaying such funding). The cash that a firm produces from its operations is tied to its core business activities and provides the best opportunities for cash flow management. Cash plans are very crucial in developing the operating plans of the firm. Cash planning can be done on daily, weekly or monthly basis. The period and frequency of cash planning generally depends upon the size of the firm and philosophy of management. The Cash Management Cycle is followed in industry, which incorporates number of operations; the operations are generally concluded after the appropriate analysis on checking about the desired quality, price transactions of sales and purchases are taking place like wise.

KEYWORDS: – Cash, Cash Planning, Cash Inflow & Outflow, Cash management, Cash Management Cycle, 

INTRODUCTION

Cash can be referred as medium of exchange, which is immediately exchangeable. Cash has to face the prime requirements of common acceptability and easy accessibility for immediate use in purchasing and payment of debt. Acceptability to a bank for deposit is a common test applied to cash items. It is channelizing available cash into expenditures that enhance productivity, directly or indirectly. In addition, Cash is ready money in the bank or in the business. It is not inventory, it is not accounts receivable (what you are owed), and it is not property. 

Cash is the important current asset for the operations of the business. It is the basic input needed to keep the business running on a continuous basis; it is also the ultimate output expected to be realized by selling the service or product manufactured by the company. The company should keep sufficient cash, neither more nor less. Cash shortage will disturb the company’s manufacturing operations while excessive cash will simply remain idle, without contributing anything towards the company’s profitability. Thus, a major function of the financial manager is to maintain a sound cash position. All cash and cash equivalents must be disclosed as current asset’s financial statements in Accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Effective Cash management must be incorporated accuracy, completeness, authorization, existence, disclosure, and reporting overall cash activities and the cash cycle within the organization. Management requires the control over cash so that future business planning, forecasts, and projects can be made, as well as for the production and issuance of the entity.

MEANING OF CASH & CASH FLOW

Cash is organized money in the bank or in the business. It is not inventory neither accounts receivable (what you are owed) nor is it property. These can potentially be transformed to cash, but can’t be used to pay suppliers, rent, or employees. Profit expansion does not essentially indicate more cash in hand. Profit is the sum of money you expect to make over a given period of time, while cash is what you must have on hand to keep your business running. Over time, a company’s profits are of little value if they are not accompanied by positive net cash flow. You can’t spend profit; you can only spend cash. Cash is the money which a company can disturbs immediately without any restrictions. The term cash includes coins, currency and cheques held by the company, and balances in its bank accounts. Sometimes near-cash items, such as marketable securities or bank term deposits, are also included in cash. The basic characteristic of near-cash assets is that they can readily be converted into cash.

Cash flow refers to the association of cash inflow and outflow in a business. Scrutiny of the cash inflows and outflows is one of the most serious management errands for any business. The outflow of cash includes those cheques you write each month to pay salaries, suppliers, and creditors. The inflow includes the cash you receive from customers, lenders, and investors. 

 If the cash inflow exceeds the outflow, a company has a positive cash flow. A positive cash flow is an excellent sign of financial health, but is by no means the only one. If company has a cash outflow that exceeds the inflow, a company has a negative cash flow. Reasons for negative cash flow contain too much or outdated inventory and poor collections on accounts receivable. The initial point for good cash flow management is developing a cash flow projection. Smart business owners recognize how to develop both short-term (weekly, monthly) cash flow projections to help them manage daily cash, and long-term (annual, 3-5 year) cash flow projections to help them develop the necessary capital strategy to meet their business needs. They also prepare and use historical cash flow statements to understand how they used money in the past.

MEANING OF CASH MANAGEMENT

Cash is the important current asset for the operations of the business. Cash is the basic input needed to keep the business running on a continuous basis; it is also the ultimate output expected to be realized by selling the service or product manufactured by the firm. The firm should keep sufficient cash, neither more nor less. Cash shortage will disrupt the firm’s manufacturing operations while excessive cash will simply remain idle, without contributing anything towards the firm’s profitability. Thus, a major function of the financial manager is to maintain a sound cash position. Cash is the money which a firm can disburse immediately without any restriction. 

The term cash includes coins, currency and cheques held by the firm, and balances in its bank accounts. Sometimes near-cash items, such as marketable securities or bank time’s deposits, are also included in cash. The basic characteristic of near-cash assets is that they can readily be converted into cash. Generally, when a firm has excess cash, it invests it in marketable securities. This kind of investment contributes some profit to the firm. Cash management is a broad term that refers to the collection, concentration, and disbursement of cash. It encompasses a company’s level of liquidity, its management of cash balance, and its short-term investment strategies. In some ways, managing cash flow is the most important job of business managers. For some time now, technology has been the key driving force behind every successful bank. In such an environment, the ability to recognize and capture market share depends entirely on the bank’s competence to evolve technically and offer the customer a seamless process flow. The objective of a cash management system is to improve revenue, maximize profits, minimize costs and establish efficient management systems to assist and accelerate growth.

CASH MANAGEMENT IN INDIA

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed an emphasis on upgrading technological infrastructure. Electronic banking, cheque imaging, enterprise resource planning (ERP), real time gross settlement (RTGS) is just few of the new initiatives. The evolution of payment systems such as RTGS has posed some tough challenges for cash management providers. It is important that banks now look towards a shift to fees from float although all those cash management providers who have factored in float money in their product pricing might take a hit. But of course there are opportunities also attached like collection and disbursal of payments on-line across the banks. There are a number of regulatory and policy changes that have facilitated an efficient cash management system (CMS). Fox example, the Enactment of Information Technology Act gives legal recognition to electronic records and digital signatures. The establishment of the

Clearing Corporation of India in order to establish a safe institutional structure for the clearing and settlement of trades in foreign exchange (FX), money and debt markets has indeed helped the development of financial infrastructure in terms of clearing and settlement. Other innovations that have supported in streamlining the process are: Introduction of the Centralized Funds Management Service to facilitate better management of fund flows, Structured Financial Messaging Solution, a communication protocol for intra-bank and interbank messages. Today, treasurers need to ensure that they are equipped to make the best decisions. For this, it is imperative that the information they require to monitor risk and exposure is accurate, reliable and fast. A strong cash management solution can give corporate a business advantage and it is very important in executing the financial strategy of a company. The requirement of an efficient cash management solution in India is to execute payments, collect receivables and managing liquidity. 

MOTIVES FOR HOLDING CASH

     The firm’s need to hold cash may be attributed to the following the motives:

  • Transactions motive
  • Precautionary motive
  • Speculative motive
  • Compensation Motive

     They are explained in detail as – 

  • Transaction Motive 

The transaction motive requires a firm to hold cash to conducts its business in the ordinary course. The firm needs cash primarily to make payments for purchases, wages and salaries, other operating expenses, taxes, dividends etc. The need to hold cash would not arise if there were perfect synchronization between cash receipts and cash payments, i.e., enough cash is received when the payment has to be made. But cash receipts and payments are not perfectly synchronized. For those periods, when cash payments exceed cash receipts, the firm should maintain some cash balance to be able to make required payments. For transactions purpose, a firm may invest its cash in marketable securities. Usually, the firm will purchase securities whose maturity corresponds with some anticipated payments, such as dividends, or taxes in the future. Notice that the transactions motive mainly refers to holding cash to meet anticipated payments whose timing is not perfectly matched with cash receipts.

  • Precautionary motive

The precautionary motive i s the need to hold cash to meet contingencies in the future. It provides a cushion or buffer to withstand some unexpected emergency. The precautionary amount of cash depends upon the predictability of cash flows. If cash flow can be predicted with accuracy, less cash will be maintained for an emergency. The amount of precautionary cash is also influenced by the firm’s ability to borrow at short notice when the need arises. Stronger the ability of the firm to borrow at short notice less would be the need for precautionary balance. The precautionary balance may be kept in cash and marketable securities. Marketable securities play an important role here. The amount of cash set aside for precautionary reasons is not expected to earn anything; therefore, the firm attempt to earn some profit on it. Such funds should be invested in high-liquid and low-risk marketable securities. Precautionary balance should, thus, held more in marketable securities and relatively less in cash.

  • Speculative motive

The speculative motive relates to the holding of cash for investing in profit-making opportunities as and when they arise. The opportunity to make profit may arise when the security prices change. The firm will hold cash, when it is expected that the interest rates will rise and security prices will fall. Securities can be purchased when the interest rate is expected to fall; the firm will benefit by the subsequent fall in interest rates and increase in security prices. The firm may also speculate on materials’ prices. If it is expected that materials’ prices will fall, the firm can postpone materials’ purchasing and make purchases in future when price actually falls. Some firms may hold cash for speculative purposes. By and large, business firms do not engage in speculations. Thus, the primary motives to hold cash and marketable securities are: the transactions and the precautionary motives.

  • Compensation Motive

Such motives require holding cash balance in case the concern enters into some loan agreement with the bank. Bank provides a great variety of services to its customers. For some of such services it charges commission or fee. While for other an indirect compensation is demanded by it by asking its customers to keep a minimum bank balance sufficient to earn a return equal to cost of services provided by it. Such balances are termed as compensating balances. 

CASH PLANNING

Cash flows are inseparable parts of the business operations of firms. A firm needs cash to invest in inventory, receivable and fixed assets and to make payment for operating expenses in order to maintain growth in sales and earnings. It is possible that firm may be taking adequate profits, but may suffer from the shortage of cash as its growing needs may be consuming cash very fast. The ‘cash poor’ position of the firm can be corrected if its cash needs are planned in advance. At times, a firm can have excess cash with it if its cash inflows exceed cash outflows. Such excess cash may remain idle. Again, such excess cash flows can be anticipated and properly invested if cash planning is resorted to. Cash planning is a technique to plan and control the use of cash. It helps to anticipate the future cash flows and needs of the firm and reduces the possibility of idle cash balances (which lowers firm’s profitability) and cash deficits (which can cause the firm’s failure). 

Cash planning protects the financial condition of the firm by developing a projected cash statement from a forecast of expected cash inflows and outflows for a given period. The forecasts may be based on the present operations or the anticipated future operations. Cash plans are very crucial in developing the operating plans of the firm. Cash planning can be done on daily, weekly or monthly basis. The period and frequency of cash planning generally depends upon the size of the firm and philosophy of management.

 Large firms prepare daily and weekly forecasts. Medium-size firms usually prepare weekly and monthly forecasts. Small firms may not prepare formal cash forecasts because of the non-availability of information and small-scale operations. But, if the small firm prepares cash projections, it is done on monthly basis. As a firm grows and business operations become complex, cash planning becomes inevitable for its continuing success.

Cash planning has three main objectives: 

(1) To ensure that expenditures are smoothly financed during the year, so as to minimize borrowing costs;

(2) To enable the initial budget policy targets, especially the surplus or deficit, to be met; and 

(3) To contribute to the smooth implementation of both fiscal and monetary policy. 

An effective cash planning and management system should:

  • Recognize the time value and the opportunity cost of cash;
  • Enable line ministries to plan expenditure effectively;
  • Be forward-looking–anticipating macroeconomic developments while accommodating significant economic changes and minimizing the adverse effects on budget execution;
  • Be responsive to the cash needs of line ministries;
  • Be comprehensive, covering all inflows of cash resources; and
  • Plan for the liquidation of both short- and long-term cash liabilities.

CASH MANAGEMENT CYCLE

Cash management is imperative because it is complex to forecast cash flows precisely, particularly the inflows and outflows of cash. In normal business process at times cash outflows may exceed cash inflows, because of payments for taxes, dividends, or seasonal inventory build-up. Similarly at times, cash inflows can be more than cash payments because there may be large cash sales and debtors may be realized in large sums promptly.

(Source: Financial Management – By I. M. PANDEY)

The Cash Management Cycle is followed in industry, which incorporates number of operations; the operations are generally concluded after the appropriate analysis on checking about the desired quality, price transactions of sales and purchases are taking place like wise. When the transactions take place, the cash collections and cash payments gets started and the results of it would be visible to the organization in sense of whether it is deficit or surplus. In case of deficit, the cash is borrowed from bank to surmount the result, and if it is surplus then normally, investment takes place for earning certain return on the otherwise idle cash.

Sales generate cash which has to be distributed. The Surplus cash has to be invested while deficit has to be borrowed. Cash management looks for achieving this cycle at a minimum cost. Simultaneously, it also seeks to attain liquidity and control. Cash management assumes more significance than other current assets because cash is the most important and the least productive asset that a company holds.

 CONCLUSION

A business that is possibly trading beneficially with surmounted profit, can implausibly fail if cash is not available. The future for all businesses is vague due to constant tastes changes, interest rates go up or down, suppliers increase prices etc. and the economy itself endure uncertainty as the business cycle changes. Cash management necessitates speeding cash inflows while slowing down cash outflows, but it may not be considered in isolation. Cash is the lifeblood of a business and a business desires to generate adequate cash from its conduct so that it can meet its expenses and have enough left over to repay investors and grow the business. A company through certain manipulations can fabricate its earnings but its cash flow illustrates about the firms real health. A company has to generate an ample cash flow from its business in order to survive. Additionally, a business also needs to administer its cash circumstances in order that it holds the correct amount of cash to meet its urgent and long-term needs. Deprived cash management is probably the most frequent stumbling block for entrepreneurs. The basic concepts of cash flow will facilitate proper planning for the unforeseen eventualities that nearly every business faces. 

References:

  1. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/finance/cash-management/#:~:text=Cash%20management%2C%20also%20known%20as,of%20an%20organization’s%20financial%20stability.
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cash-management.asp
  3. https://theinvestorsbook.com/cash-management.html
  4. https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/FS_Overview.aspx?fn=2753
  5. https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=49282
  6. http://www.iibmindialms.com/library/management-basic-subjects/finance-management/cash-management-cash-budget/#:~:text=Cash%20planning%20is%20a%20technique,weekly%2C%20monthly%20or%20quarterly%20basis.

‘Financial Management 11th Edition’, a text book by I. M. Pandey, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, 2015, Page No: 217 – 219, 726, 738.

10 BEST ADVENTURE DESTINATIONS IN INDIA

There is no better emerging country than India if you want to try out new adventures. From paragliding to scuba diving, India covers every adventure sport that is fun to try. This post will take you through the top 10 adventure destinations in India.

You will enjoy some of the enthralling adventure sports such as River Rafting, Camping, Bungee Jumping, Ziplining, Parasailing, Paragliding, Hot-air-Ballooning, Jungle Safari, Desert Safari, Snorkelling, Scuba Diving and many more in these locations.

Top 10 Adventure Destination in India

  • Rishikesh – Have fun while rafting in thunderous rapids of River Ganga. Enjoy bungee jumping too.
  • Goa – Get your hands-on Jet ski, Flyboarding and enjoy Scuba diving and Snorkelling in water
  • Ladakh – Flaunt your bike riding skills in the valley and go for “Chadar Trek” in Frozen River.
  • Rajasthan – enjoy desert camping with camel safari, hot air ballooning and Jungle Safari in Ranthambore
  • National Park
  • Manali – Enjoy the longest zipline in India along with rafting and camping in the valley.
  • Auli – Skiing in the slopes of India’s best Ski-destination
  • Jim Corbett – Face-off with tigers in Jim Corbett National Park
  • Bir Billing- Paragliding in India’s highest paragliding site.
  • Valley of Flowers – Trek in Valley of Flowers
  • Sikkim – Climb up in the gorgeous mountain peaks.

1. Rishikesh

Bestowed with the recent title of “Adventure Capital of India”, Rishikesh is the most popular adventure destination in India. From River Rafting to Bungee Jumping, Rishikesh is full of adventures.

Some of the popular adventures in Rishikesh are:

River Rafting – You can enjoy short as well as long river rafting stretches as per your comfort. There are 9, 16, 26 and 35 km Rafting stretches in Rishikesh. Get full details about river rafting in Rishikesh here!
Bungee Jumping – Feel the adrenaline rushing through your body by Jumping off from India’s tallest fixed bungee platform, height – 83 m. Other activities to enjoy in Rishikesh are paramotoring, Flying Fox, Giant Swing, Zipline, Hot-air-ballooning, Rappelling, Cliff Jumping, Kayaking and Mountain-biking.
Camping – Chill out from your city bustle amid the nature camps in Rishikesh. To make your stay comfortable camping here comes with all modern amenities. To enjoy utmost in Rishikesh choose a combo of Rafting and Camping.

2. Goa

The 2nd most sought-after destination in India, Goa needs no introduction. Not only in India Goa has its fan-base internationally too. Apart from Expansive sea, golden sands, vast beaches and cool party scenes, Goa is the water sports capital of India. It offers every exciting water adventure. Some of the cool water adventure sports in Goa are Scuba diving, Snorkelling, Parasailing, Jet Skiing, Knee-boarding, Flyboarding, Banana Rides, Aqua Zorbing, Hot-air ballooning and ATV riding.

So if you’re planning for a dive into the Arabian Sea to get a closer look of beautiful sea creatures or Sailing in the air on a Hot-air balloon, Goa will never disappoint you.

3. Ladakh

The Himalayan kingdom Ladakh is a dream destination for every adventure seekers. Popularly known as the Land of Snow, Ladakh is popular for its dazzling mountains and beautiful valleys. The place is also close to the heart of every biker. Pleasant weather, stunning views, highest motorable passes and challenging roads makes this place a dream destination for every biker out there.

Apart from bike riding Ladakh is also popular for “Chadar Trek” i.e. trekking in the frozen river. Here Chadar signifies “Sheet of ice”.

4. Rajasthan

The “Land of Kings”, Rajasthan is popular for its historical forts and huge palaces. Apart from rich culture and heritage, Rajasthan is home to many popular adventure activities. From Desert Camping to Hot-Air-Ballooning, Rajasthan offers a lot of adventures.

Some of the must-do adventures in Rajasthan are:

Hot-air-ballooning – Rajasthan is the famous hot-air-balloon destination. Sail in the sky at a speed 15-20 km/hr and enjoy the surreal landscapes, huge forts and mesmerizing lakes. You can enjoy your hot-air-balloon safari in “Udaipur”. The cost for a 15 minutes hot-air balloon ride ranges from Rs 750-1200 per person.
Desert Camping – What fun it will be to enjoy camping amid the Thar Desert. Desert camping in Rajasthan is a popular activity to enjoy. Watch the sun setting behind dunes, hear stories of bravery of kings from locals. The most popular places for desert camping in Rajasthan are Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Pushkar.
Camel Safari- Stroll around in the nooks and corners of Rajasthan on camelback. Camel Safari is a popular attraction in Rajasthan. The most fun place to enjoy camel safari in Rajasthan is Bikaner.
Other things to do in Rajasthan are Dune Bashing, ATV riding, Safari in Ranthambore National Park, Camping in Mount Abu and Trekking in Aravalli hills.

5. Manali

Nestled in the mountains, Manali is a beautiful hill station situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Due to its cool weather and pleasant surroundings, Manali is ideal for adventure enthusiasts, couples and family picnics. One of the major attractions here is Zipline that is 525 m long.

Other adventures to enjoy in Manali are Camping, River Rafting, Paragliding, Bridge Crossing, River Crossing, Rappelling, Rock Climbing, etc.

6. Auli

Situated in the lap of Himalayas, Auli is a small town located in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand. Auli is also a world-famous ski-destination in India. It recently gained popularity among tourists. Try out your Skiing skills on the slopes of this man-made ski destination of India. Other attractions to enjoy in Auli are Auli Ropeway, Gurson Bugyal, Auli lake and Chattrakund. Choose from full-fledged Auli tour packages to make most out of this destination.

7. Jim Corbett

If you love nature and wildlife then Jim Corbett is for you. Located in the state of Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett National Park is an amazing place to visit. The park has rich flora and fauna. Jim Corbett is home to many wild animals and species of birds. This place is popular for tiger sighting.

Thousands of tourists from India as well as from foreign countries visit Jim Corbett every year for wildlife corbett Safari. Get a closer look at wildlife here on Open-Jeep Safari.

8. Bir Billing

Situated in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley, Bir is a small village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Also known as “Paragliding Capital of India”, Bir-Billing is a popular place for adventure seekers in India.

Catch the bird-eye view of Bir Valley covered with snow while paragliding from the highest paragliding site in India. Paragliding also serves as a major attraction in the valley.

9. Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers National Park is situated in the Pithoragarh district of state Uttarakhand. It is also a renowned world heritage site. The park has a rich biodiversity. Trek into the valley of flowers and enjoy spectacular views of Hathi Parvat, Sapt rishi peaks, Hemkund sahib and various other small river streams and snow-capped mountains.

The surroundings of the valley ensure you’ve got a memorable trip.

10. Sikkim

Located in the north-eastern part of India, Sikkim is a least populous state in India. Sikkim is popular for its gorgeous waterfalls, alpine meadows and virgin forests. Also known as “Land of Lepchas”Article Submission, Sikkim has proximity to the Himalayan ranges which makes it a popular trekking destination. Its surreal landscapes and mountain ranges are what people entice about.

You should not miss out on the chance of climbing mountain peaks here!

RALPH ELLISON’S THE INVISIBLE MAN

An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.

His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an “invisible man”. People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing.

The boy’s dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.

This is Ellison’s first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style.