India and the Contemporary World-II

Book: India and the Contemporary World-II

Chapter: 8. Novels, Society and History

Subject: Social Science - Class 10th

Q. No. 1 of Write in Brief

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Explain the following:

Novelists in colonial India wrote for a political cause.

The history written by colonial historians has always projected Indians as weak, divided and dependent on the British. This was Indians as independent minded and the novel provided them with opportunity to give shape to their desires.

The nationalist wrote for the political cause of nationalism. Nationalism implies many concepts which have been brought out in following examples written during the colonial era:

(1) Pariksha Guru reflects the inner and outer world of newly emerging middle classes. The characters in the novel are caught in the difficulty of adapting to colonized society and at the same time preserving their own culture and traditions.

(2) Bhudeb Mukhopandhyay’s (1827-94) Anguriya Binimoy (1857) was the first historical novel written in Bengal whose hero Shivaji engages in many battles against a clever and treacherous Aurangzeb. The imagined nation of the novel was so powerful that it could inspire actual political movements.

(3) Bankim’s Anandamath is a novel about a secret Hindu armed force that fights Muslims to establish a Hindu kingdom. It was a novel that inspired freedom fighters. The novel helped in popularizing the sense of belonging to a common nation.

(4) Potheri Kunjambu, a ‘lower-caste’ writer from north Kerala, wrote a novel called saraswativijayam in 1892 mounting a strong attack on caste oppression.


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