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Books shelved as indian-authors: 2 States: The Story of My Marriage by Chetan (shelved times as indian-authors) .. The Great Indian Novel (Paperback). Indian books - 1) Please add only books by Indian authors or books set in India to this list. 2) No non-fiction books allowed. Fiction = novels. Like most of his works, the novel is based on Malgudi, the fictional town in South India. The novel describes the transformation of the.
Ved Vyas tells Ganapathi the scribe that we were not led by a saint with his head in the clouds, but by a master tactician with his feet on the grounds. Tharoor added a sauce to the wit of his imagination, chooses to give a twist to well known aphorism like humanity cannot bear too much reality, by altering it with a tongue in cheek, and colonialism, as the poet said, cannot bear very much hilarity.
A serious deviation from the Mahabharata epic is the story of Ekalavya. Ekalavya of the novel refuses to pay Gurudakshina, the fees the teacher Drona demands from Ekalavya for his having listened to him secretly standing outside the room where Drona taught the Pandavas and the Kauravas. In an amiable anachronism, the Pandavas are credited with a cricket ball, which they lose to be retrived by their teacher Drona. Indian independence and the role of the Mahatma in it therefore occupy a major chunk of the fictional narrative.
Tharoor argues, in keeping with the tastes of the present day readers, the young readers of the day in particular, In the olden days our epic narrators thought nothing of leaving a legendary hero stranded in mid-conquest while digressing into sub- plots, with stories, fables and anecdotes within each.
But these, Ganapathi, are more demanding times. Leave Ganga to his devices and start telling fables about Devayani and Kacha, and your audience will walk in droves Commenting about the elections, Tharoor says there are no victors in such a battle, and ads, this election is not Kurukshetra; life is Kurukshetra and History of Kurukshetra. The struggle between dharma and adharma is a struggle the nation, and each of them in it.
That struggle, that battle took place before this election; it will continue after it. In The Great Indian Novel, the emergency is allegorical represented as the siege of Hastinapur, the kingdom fighting against the Kaurvas.
Tharoor draws a possible allegorical between the myth and history by presenting Priya Duryodhani that was Indira Gandhi who conspires to get rid of Pandavas in every possible way. When Vyas came to realizes that Duryodhani and her minors had been stripping the nation of the values and institutions which had been right to cherish. Hence it presented the emergency, interpreted as an attempt by Indira Gandhi to humiliate the citizens and take the Indian Democracy for granted but India has strong democratic roots and it cannot be replaced by dictatorship for long.
Democracy can never be suppressed. After a temporary hibernation, Indian Democracy rose once again like the phoenix from the ashes. The brutal sentence of a long exile of her five husbands may be analysed with an allegorical reference to the tarnishing of the independence of the major concepts of the democratic government. Tharoor incorporating not only the factual history of the post-Independent times, but also during the independence, include some of his observations on the contemporary politics, by the means of satire, humour, bathos and at times farce.
Tharoor uses the Mahabharata as a device and in some ways an interpretative tool, for structuring the narrative out of the confusing developments of modern Indian history. Tharoor resorts to allegory where conflict between meaning and representation is properly fore-grounded. Tharoor tone of irony and his inclination towards satiric mode of thinking and presentation gives us an idea of his serious observation of Indian traditional values which were preached and practiced by the ancient sages.
Tharoor protests the subjecting of the entire Indian value system to mockery at the hands of westernized Indian intellectuals in conference rooms. The appearance of the archetypal characters and events can be seen in the novel. It might have been Tharoor as well as Ved Vyas who exposes the intricacies of the great epic with its modern relevance to the twentieth century. Here Draupadi Mokrasi stands for democracy.
Tharoor admits that he saw the meaning of Independence come pulsating to life as unlettered peasants rose in the villages to pledge their votes for democracy. Tharoor says that he saw the journalists younger than the constitution; relearn the meaning the freedom but discovering the world that was erased from their note books, and also Draupadi face glowed in the open, the flame of her radiance burnt more brightly than ever.
The multiple events of the novel can essentially be viewed with a binary vision-realistic and imagery, modern and mythological, serious and ironical eventually reflecting the techniques of real depictions and dreams. The plight of people of India lies in accepting their political leaders blindly and with complete faith.
The prime minister ruled like a goddess and her own conceptions grades black and white: Tharoor has parodied some characters and the places in the novel. India helped freedom fighters of Bangladesh and as a result Bangladesh got freedom from Pakistan. Jayaprakash Narayan, a former freedom fighter, leader of the Janta Party is represented as Jayaprakash Drona. He opposed the rule of Indira Gandhi. One important similarity between Drona and Jayaprakash Narayan is that both of them were experts in their fields.
Drona was expert in the art of archer while Jayaprakash Narayana was an expert in art of politics. He came out to defend and strengthen the institutions of democracy which were being ignored by Indira Gandhi. The narrator fictionals a character from The Mahahharata who more or less presents the picture of Jayaprakash Narayana in the novel: At last the people rose. Or, as always in India, some of the people rose, led by an unlikely figure who had stepped from the page, so it almost seemed of the history books.
Jayaprakash, Drona emerged from his retreat and called for a People's Uprising against Priya Duryodhani The narrator also points out towards the Jayaprakash movement in the novel which was led and supported by Drona. The movement was also supported by almost all the non-left political parties which had been trounced in They found a popular leader emerging in the movement. These parties believed he would enable them to acquire credibility as an alternative to Congress.
The narrator has given an insight into this movement that Drona's uprising was a peaceful one but it was not really an uprising but a mass movement. It was, however, a movement that rapidly caught the imagination of the people and ignited that of the opposition.
Drona preached not only against the whole monopoly of national evils, including which the Prime Minister had campaigned in the election. The narrator has also mentioned the internal emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi. Censorship on the press was imposed, too, under the Rule of 48 of the Defence and Maintenance of Internal Security of India Act of The newspapers were not allowed to publish inter-alia reports which affected India's relations with foreign powers.
The newly appointed Information and Broadcast minister, Vidya Charan Shukla, warned all foreign correspondents in New Delhi that they were subject to expulsion from the country if they failed to submit their dispatches and broadcast script for censorship.
Democracy was shattered during the period of Indira Gandhi, and political unrest in the countrynwould lead to total anarchy. The ruling parties now decided that Indira Gandhi should be taken to the court and face a law suit for her actions during her emergency regime. Indira was accused of making umiecessary amendments in the constitution. The parties tried to restore those rights again. The narrator also describes the episode of Indira Gandhi being trialed by the court for making the changes in the basic form of the constitution.
The same was happening in Pakistan as well. Indira Gandhi was also facing the same charges though in a modest way. Indira had to face the legal trials. The narrator makes an ironic commentary on the judiciary of India and asserted that'the law could not do any harm to the people in high offices.
Since everyone who had lived in India for the last three years with his eyes open knew she had subverted the constitution, it did not seem to be a charge that required much proof Yet the chosen means did not serve the choicest ends: Pakistan was once again looking for an opportunity to launch a fresh attack on India as Pakistan had seen the outcome of Indo-China war, The Kamistanis, too, saw the haze of transience around his eyes. They began their preparations soon after he had unassumingly assumed office, and seized the first tactical opportunity to make their second grab for Manimir.
In , the main issue of Indo-Pak war was Jammu and Kashmir. The main cause of this second war between India and Pakistan was the Rann of Kachchh which is a marshy place between the Sindh provincial border and the former Kathiwar states. Now, it is under the possession of India. Pakistan claimed that the Ran was an arm of the sea and consequently the frontier should be drawn in its centre but India, accepting the old border line between Sindh and Kathiwar states, held that it had been the international frontier since Their dispute led to the war.
Pal prayed from dusk till dawn, and then gave the order for counter-attack. Our army had learned its lessons from the Chakra humiliation, and hits back so hard that our troops were just seven kilometers from Kamistanis most populous city. Laslut, when another cease-fire intervened.
The narrator has also described the victory of the Janta Party and its celebration in an Indian way. The celebration of the victory of the election is like a national festival in the country. Somebody shouted. The chant picked up the variety, and rhythm like Drona Zindabad! Yudhishtir, Zindabad! Janta Front, Zindabad! The novel projects out to be powerful weapon in the favour of both the nation and the individual. Dharma is a spherical whole that can be understood from varied dimensions.
Dharma as Tharoor conceded is multi-dimensional. One can examine this Dharma running through our mythological and history and although it is entirely dissolved in our body politic. Tharoor seems to portray its crystallized political dimension in the depiction of the emergency, skillfully representing the blend of mythic space surpassing the decades of modern history.
Tharoor accomplishes the portrayal of the struggle during the emergency through the canvas of Mahabharata. It aptly reshapes the nation spaces. Narrating history in a postmodern ambience itself proved to be a herculean task ultimately overcome by Tharoor.
It can be distinctly noted that while attempting to interpret the complicated events of the tale of the twentieth century Indian politics, obviously requires a rounded conception for its complete and comprehensive understanding. It contains the history of almost a century. The political figures of national and international importance make this epic a worth reading.
The epic cannot be dissociated from the ancient past of India. It has rich elements of mythology. The novel also states the political development of postcolonial India. The novel is also a political satire as it satirizes the key political figures and institutions. Gandhi is truly the hero of this epic. Gandhi the father of the nation without whom this epic would have been incomplete.
The novel is a wonderful blend of history, myth and fantasy.
Myth is a system of hereditary stories of ancient origin which were once believed to be true by a particular cultural group and which served to explain in terms of the intensions and actions of deities and other supernatural beings, why the world is as it is and things happen as they do, to provide a rationale for social customs and observances and to establish the sanctions for the rules by which people conduct their lives. An abiding characteristic of the Indian mind has been discovered connections between myth and reality.
Characters from the Ramayana and Mahabharatha are perennial contemporaries for Indians who acknowledge the continuing influence of the two national epics on their private and public lives.
The Great Indian Novel was like Mahabharatha, a revised, re-written, re-read text. Shashi Tharoor has taken the Mahabharata as a blueprint and filled it with a contemporary cast for his witty send-up of pre-and post-independence India. He has reconstructed the major strands of modern Indian history in the form of an epic spoof.
Like the epic of Vyasa, the novel is divided into eighteen books and its narrative is presented in a multi coloured style and in a digressive manner.
In other words, the text is born out of a written transcription of an oral narrative. Tharoor, while expressing his gratitude towards this master narrative, says that the Mahabharta has come to stand for so much in the popular consciousness of Indianess: The epic truly encompasses the country. Tharoor has no hesitation in seeking parallels from the great Indian epic.
Acknowledgeing the great indebtness to the Mahabharata, the author says: Many of the characters, incidents, and issues in the novel are based on the people and events described in the great epic the Mahabharata. Tharoor has transformed the ancient myth of the Mahabharata by using it to recreate history and politics of modern Indian. The Mahabharata has been a source of imagination to all artistic genres down the ages.
It cannot be considered as just as a text but it is a tradition. The complex and many storied plot of this enormous epic, largely in oral tradition have been handed down generation to generation. The central theme of the epic is the clash between two branches of the same family, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, over a disputed patrimony but the story and its characters have a great impact on the minds of the people that they have become an integral part of their lives.
The principal characters of Mahabharata have been conceived as a major institution of India. Bhima represented as an army, Arjuna as a press and Draupadi as democracy.
The marriage of Draupadi and Arjuna has a symbolic connotation. The modern Arjuna is a journalist, a representative of the Indian press. The political events of the twentieth century on the basic structure of the Mahabharata, he takes man liberties with the original story and its characters.
Tharoor was very innovative in his experimentation from the very outset. As the text opens, the modern Ved Vyasa is anxious to find a scribe for his story of India. His scribe, Ganapati, whom Tharoor had been found that the Shrewd and intelligent eyes, though which was staring owlishly. According to K. The superimposition of the political events of the twientieth century on the basic structure of the Mahabharata is made plausible be variations in stylistic levels and tones.
Incidently, the original book has eighteen chapters and the war also lasts for eighteen days. Tharoor has preserved to figure eighteen episodes of this novel. Tharoor uses myth to manipulate a continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity, which according to T. Eliot says that, A way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and significance to the immense panorama of futurity and anarchy which is contemporary history.
Instead of narrative method, it can be mythical method also. It is, Eliot seriously believes, a step towards making the modern world possible for art Eliot Tharoor uses the myth elaborately to function as the proto-type. Villainous advisors like Shakuni; self-seeking and arrogant politicians like Priya Duryodhani, whose unwarranted greed for power brought about untold misery and suffering to the people.
Tharoor uses the mythic setting as a parallel to the modern age. Tharoor makes a bold and creative use of the mythic setting to render in his novel mythic Indianess. His re-narration of past as present is not devoid of excesses in modification of the original text, but he also invented some of the very striking analogies. For instance, his Karna appears with the cause, half-way through the narrative as Gangaji ends the Mango-salt match.
In keeping with the view, the narrative design of the Mahabharata. After introducing the narrator, the story moves on to describe the love of Shantanu, king of Hastinapur.
Tharoor zests it with humour and parody. Thus, Myths for the modernists and post-modernists proffered artistic method and poetic prop. Hutcheon says that these f-ictions self- reflexive, contradictory, working Within conventions in order to subvert them and, incorporates all three of these domains: Fictions that can be labelled as postmodern historiographic metafiction have appeared on the Indian scene both before and after independence.
In The Great Indian Novel has its intertextuality, that uses real events historical and political , dominant mythologies and epics as the Mahabharata and thoughts of real personages as intertexts. As the novel formally begins at the end with the news of the death of Priscilla, it ironically ends at the beginning with the continuation of the same news. Verily Ved Vyas says, the end is the arbitrary invention of the teller, but there can be no finality about his choice.
Historiographic metafiction may be defined as an inverted yet improved model of the convention historical novel.
In historiography metafictional works problematize history, by portraying historical events and personalities only to subvert them. They attempt to re-write and re-present the past in fiction so that the past can be opened up to the present; by this they prevent the past from being conclusive and teleological; such metafictional works posit no single truth, but truth in the plural.
Also, such truths are relative to the specific place and culture Balaswamy Historiography metafiction differs from the historical novel in many ways. According to George Lukacas, the historical novel deals with history by presenting a microcosm which generalizes and concentrates through a protagonist, a type who synthesis the general and the particular.
It usually relegates historical personalities to secondary roles, for the historical novel is primarily concerned with fiction, rather than history. The historiographic metafiction differs from its predecessor in all these respects. There is a desire in these novels to close the gap between the past and the present and also a wish to rewrite the past in a new context. A very significant aspect of postmodernist metafiction is its constant act of parodying, which is done not to destroy the past, but both to enshire the past and to question it.
In it lies the clue to understand the postmodern paradox. Along with paradox, self-reflexivity or self-consciousness is another vital characteristic of postmodernist metafictions. It is acknowledged and indicated by the literal translation; the novel adapts and adopts the ancient Indian epic the Mahabharata.
Tharoor has taken the ancient epic as the basic framework and filled it with a contemporary cast of political characters for a serious and ironical reconsiderations and representation of recent Indian history. Tharoor uses a single myth to basically emphasize the same postmodern tendencies.
Tharoor employs his pre-text for the purpose of parody, irony and moreover, for breaking the illusions about the past. The kind of intertextuality provided by the Mahabharata helps Tharoor to use and abuse the intertextual echoes, inscribing their powerful allusions and then subverting that power through irony.
Tharoor has displayed a shrewd matching skill in making the characters of the Mahabharata walk, talk, act, procreate and die in the contemporary setting of India, before and after her independence. The intervening books or chapters of The Great Indian Novel teasingly oscillate between the epic story and contemporary history. The re-presentation of the historical personages of Indian history will suffice here.
The parodic and subversive element immediately creeps in when the narrator adds parenthetical observations: Gangaji tried not to sound pompous while saying this, and nearly succeeded. The note of irreverence and parody always follows the accounts of the various heroic achievements of Mahatma Gandhi.
These attempts of subversion or puncturing of established images, with no malevolent intentions, are strictly in line with the historiographic metafictions canons of installing the past only to contest it. Dhritarashtra, the blind ruler of Hastinapur, represents the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, the idealist who was blind to many realities around him.
In the portrayal of Dhritarashtra, Tharoor pours in enough subjectivity in true postmodernist manner that robs away any offensiveness. Pandu, true to his mythical counterpart, rebels against the authority of Gangaji and decides to strike it alone by fleeting to Germany and Japan that was contemporary history. The single minded obsession of Karna to be free from the hegemony of the Hindus paves the way for the formation of Karnistan Pakistan.
Looking briefly at the other questions, Priya Duryodhani equal to thousands sons as Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi. Tharoor indulges here in another fashion of the postmodernists: The most inverted and subverted character, was Draupadi Mokrasi, result of the union of Dhritarashtra and Lady Georgina Drewpad, wife of Viscount Drewpad who presided over the partition of the country, born on 26 January , so cleverly referred to as Draupadi Mokrasi by the narrator.
The subversions of the epic framework have been freely, creatively, meaningfully done. The introduction of Krishna, another mythical figure from the epic, as the local secretary and MLA of the Kaurava Party in Gokarnam in Kerela, going under the name, Dwarakaveetile Krishnankutty Parathasarathi Menon, raises a few amused ripples came to know the antecedants of the novelist.
Apart from its vast, mythical structure, The Great Indian Novel displays many shrewd and delightful practices of intertextuality. Many titles of its eighteen books incidently styled on the eighteen chapters of the Bhagwat Gita and eighteen books of the Mahabharata by their whimsical and clever references to other literary texts conform to the postmodernist conventions: Kaye; the Koestler novel Darkness at Noon is parodied in the title of the tenth book Darkness at Dawn. The narrator of the story Ved Vyas, scribe is Ganapathi, as the epic has it.
The whole narration is done in first person to the narrate present, Ganapathi, with countless intrusions by the narrator, diversions, reminiscences, harangues, etcetera that puts the novel undoubtedly in the metafictions class. Its self-reflexivity is demonstrated at the beginning of every chapter, most markedly in the last episode of Yudhishtir entering heaven.
The narrator lapses from prose into poetry and metre, again self-reflexivity, declaring that the subject under discussion requires sometimes sophistry, some other times bathos. The Great Indian Novel thus incorporating many elements of the historiography metafictions works problematizes the recent Indian history. The narrator in The Great Indian Novel presents may or may not be the presentation of what really happened.
The narrator was participant in some events, an ex-centric participant, but claims to know what happened in places where he was not present. The narrator purportedly present in such places, that maintains. The last march of Yudhisthir is dreamt out by the narrator elaborately.
In his dream, Yudhishtir follows the footsteps of his epic counterpart for most part, and then suddenly subverts at the most important moment. In characteristics postmodernist fashion, Shashi Tharoor also does not aspire to tell the truth. The work is not a fiction; rather it blends the political history of India with one of the most powerful myths the Mahabharata, which the nation adores.
The novel has made it more effective and the tone of satire which gives an analysis of the situation. The Great Indian Novel, a fictional work that takes the basic story line of the Mahabharata, the epic of Hindu mythology, and recasts it in the context of the Indian Independence Movement. The title of the novel was a translation of the great epic the Mahabharata and according to Tharoor, an appropriate paradigm in which to frame a retelling of Indian history.
Tharoor not only makes reader laugh but also makes them aware of the various nuances of the political culture and history of their nation, which one quite often tends to overlook. The novels satire does not leave anyone untouched as he pokes fun at both the British as well as the Indians. Tharoor weaves the history of the twentieth century Indian politics with the Mahabharata with such dexterity and care that at the same time delights us and leaves us surprised at his wit.
In the novel, characters are parodied from the times of Indian struggle for independence. The conversational tone of the narrator Ved Vyas, the expression of Ganpathi, the scribe, makes it all the more a lucid narrative. Beneath the flow of satire but through the lines it demarcates the myth and reality. The characters of the novel can be co-related to the characters in the epic and almost all the characters are allegorical in nature.
The famous political leaders of the Indian independence struggle. Ganga Datta, the epic hero, is more famous Bhishma because he took a vow to celibacy so that his father could marry the girl of his choice. Gandhi also advocated the celibacy and like Bhishma, had an influential role to play in the politics of India.
The author presents Gandhi in a very humorous way and tells, A nation was rising, with a small, balding, semi-clad saint at its head.
Gandhi has such an impact on the masses which no other leader would be able to have for generations to come. Gandhi broke the law and showed the injustice of law. Gangaji represents Gandhi preached the path of truth.
Tharoor tells that Gangaji believed in truth, it was his truth he believed in; and by extension the actions he undertook were founded on the same belief.
Dhritarashtra is the caricature of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was often termed as a blind idealist. Gandhari, the Grim his wife is none other than Kamala Nehru, who suffered silently due to many infidelities of her husband.
Nehru, in The Discovery of India, opens up his heart on this matter, and confesses that: I was thought of the early years of our marriage when, with all my tremendous liking.
I was almost forget her and denied her, in so many ways, that comradeship which was her due. I was worked to utmost of my capacity and my mind was filled to the brim with the subject that engrossed me. I gave all my energy to that cause and had little left to spare Nehru Pandu suffered from a curse and could not indulge in sexual intercourse and therefore his wives had to take the help of a spell to beget sons.
Tharoor points out Indira Gandhi to be a director and a ruthless political authoritarian. Morarji Desai, the fourth Prime Minister of India proved quite ineffective against the tyrannical dictates and policies of Indira Gandhi and Yudhishthir, the eldest son of Pandu, who is an honest, just and wise man represents him.
Then there is Mohammad A. Desai was a fanaic who hated Hindus and wanted a separate state for the Muslims. Another major political leader who finds mention in the novel is Jayaprakash Narayan who is termed as Jayaprakash Drona.
Desai was the socialist leader of India who fought for the farmers and tried to bring many social reforms. Vidur was one of the best bureaucrats that India could have and played a pivotal role in bringing the princely states under the canopy of one Indian state.
The names of the political characters which have been presented from a different perspective have pun in them. Tharoor makes us laugh with his use of very anagrams of real places and the events. The march proved very crucial in the struggle for independence. The name itself when reduced to D. Mokrasi forms the word Democracy. Draupadi Mokrasi, wife of five Pandavas. Democracy thrives on public opinion and the freedom of the citizens. It has a beauty on its own but due to exploitation by various political leaders, democracy in India has suffered too many setbacks and as pointed out by Tharoor, it loses it beauty during the dictatorial reign of Indira Gandhi.
Tharoor tells that democracies that turn authoritarian go a step beyond arrogance; they claim to represent a people subjugating themselves. The democracy sustains on elections but elections are a great Indira tamasha which are conducted at irregular interval and various levels amid much failure. Even the elections, the democratic process, Godmen and even Tajmahal are not spared. Tharoor tells Taj Mahal, which is the motif for Indian on countless posters and is a tomb, the burial place of a woman who suffered thirteen times the pain of childbirth and dies in agony at the fourteenth attempt, makes it all the worthier a symbol of India, the land of beauty and grandeur amidst suffering and death.
Tharoor magnificently writes about the childrens describe about Gandhi as Gandhi was important because Gandhi was the father of our Prime Minister. Another suggests that he was an old saint who lived many years ago and looked after cows. Gangaji Gandhi was a character in the Mahabharatha and the student declares that, he was so poor he did not have enough clothes to wear. The principles he stood for and the way in which he asserted them were always easier to admire than to follow.
While he was alive, he was impossible to ignore. Once he had gone, he was impossible to imitate. The independence was got after paying a heavy price of loot, carnage, rapes, murders and riots. It was a rebirth of the nation but this constant rebirth is never a simple matter of the future slipping bodily from the open womb of history. Instead there is rape and violence, and a struggle to emerge or to remain, until circumstances bloodily push tomorrow through the parted, heaving legs of today.
Tharoor in a very subtle way brings out the pathos of the partition with help of example of childbirth. It is not easy to handle newly independent India.
There was a vast difference between the India which was perceived by political leaders and the India of the present day. Tharoor tries to emphasizes through this novel.
This story, like that our country, is a story of betrayed expectations, yours as much as our characters. There is no story and too many stories; there are no heroes and too many heroes. What is left our matters almost as much as what is said Tharoor tries to shake the people from slumber of thoughtlessness and casual approach towards their nation.
The novel takes a tour of the past political history of India. It represents the mythic structure. It has taken a multidimensional form and impressions like the magical realism, intertextuality, metafictionality, the presence of deconstructive markers and practices. Tharoor employed this method as it enabled him to merge myths, fairy tales, legends and contemporary realities into a single component. In the words of M. In his structural complexity, Tharoor represents the political history of India of the twentieth century through the mystical story of the Mahabharata.
Tharoor revisits the past with objectivity and irony that attempts to draw analogy between the mythical events and the contemporary political history by re- presenting the past in the present. It reflects the characteristics of the historiographic metafictions that problematic the history.
Tharoor makes Ved Vyasa dictate his story, thoughts and memories at length to Ganapathi, an amanuensis, in eighteen books. Some episodes are taken from the myth to represent the events of the twienth century political history.
The defeat of Hidimba by Bhima stands for the liberation of Goa from the Portuguese rule and the episode of tearing off the body of Jarasandha into two by Bheema reflects the formation of Bangladesh from Pakistan. In the original episode of Bheema-bakasura wrestling match, Tharoor replaces Bheema by Sahadeva. It represents the defeat of India in the Indo-China War. Tharoor burlesques the epic characters as men and women in the narrative.
Bhishma of the Mahabharata is renamed as Gangaji who reminds as Gandhi in every word and action. The common trait of the two is an obsession with celibacy. The blind Dhritarashtra is pictured as Jawaharlal Nehru. Queen Gandhari, mother of Kauravas, gives birth to Priya Duryodhani equal to the strength of hundred evil sons. Priya Duryodhani represents Indira Gandhi. Bhima were the army and Arjun were the press. Shishupal is Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Draupadi Mokradi represents democracy.
In the narrative Gandhi serves as the crucial connecting link between the past and the present by immersing himself increasingly in the great works of the past and the present, reading Vedas and Tolstoy with equal involvement, studying the innumerable laws of Manu and the eccentric philosophy of Ruskin. Gandhi at the age of fourty five takes a decision to cultivate like Bhishma. Gandhi prefers simple and natural life. During freedom struggle, Gandhi Ganga Datta was instrumental in bringing out a chance in the politico-economic life of India.
Gandhi inspired everyone to participate in the freedom struggle. The entire country marched after Gandhi. It was the gloomy day in the history of freedom struggle. The tragic incident has a lasting impact on succeeding generations. The incident compelled the veteran poet Rabindranath Tagore, a Noble Prize winner, to renounce his Knighthood as a measure of protest. It converted loyalists into nationalists and constitutionalists into revolutionists.
Gandhi returned the Kaiser- I-Hind medal given him during the Boer war and determined to fight for complete freedom. Tharoor relates Britishers instigation of communal feelings between the Muslims and Hindus. Tharoor explains that there was a period when peoples of different religious cooperated with one another to maintain peace before the advent of the British. Ved Vyas says that the British civil serpents contaminated it and explains to Ganapathi that religion has nothing to do with our national politics.
Tharoor exposes the power hungry nature of Nehru and Jinnah. Nehru does not comply with Gandhiji when the latter advises to offer the premiership to Jinnah in order to keep India united. Tharoor draws analogy between Indira Gandhi and Duryodhana, the villain in the myth Mahabharata.
Tharoor named Indira Gandhi as Priya Duryodhani and presents the regime in terms of anarchy and autocracy. Duryodhani gained popularity of the poor by proclaiming her commitment to democratic pedigree and socialist convictions.
Tharoor bring out the hypocrisy of the politicians. In the General Elections people voted Priya Duryodhani to power many times despite the pathetic condition of the poor in the rule. Jayaprakash Narayan appealed to the police and military officials to disobey the illegal rule. The opposition mounted pressure on the P. Duryodhani accused them of treason. Kuldip Nayar, a celebrated journalists, explains that: Under emergency powers, the centre could give any direction to any state, suspend Article ninetieth of the constitutions or suspend the whole range of fundamental rights.
Courts could be ordered not to entertain any suit seeking to enforce these rights and so on. Powers would be sweeping 35 The Emergency period would be considered the blackest period in the history of Indian Democracy.
It strangled the freedom of the press and the civil liberties of the people. Mohan Dharia, a Member of Parliament criticizes. Duryodani violates the democratic principles of the nation countermanding the constitutional rights of the people.
Tharoor compares the misuse of power to the episode of disrobing Draupadi in the myth, which reflects denunding the dignity of freedom of the Indians. Arjuna of the myth stands for the press in the narrative.
The marriage of Arjuna to Draupadi is the union of the democracy and the press, the voice of the people. Arjuna is expected to be the savior of the nation from the shackles of the tyrnny. Ved Vyas describes the Indian election scene as a great tamasha. On 18th January, the emergency was lifted and the general elections were announced.
Dice play here symbolizes the general elections held in the aftermath of the Emergency. Tharoor says irolly that the dicnice looked as if they had been made with paper, the material of ballots.
Ved Vyas asserts that the present election scene was different from that of the epic war Kurukshetra, a struggle between dharma and adharma. The war of Kurukshetra results in tragedy, suffering, futility, death and there were no real victors.
Everyone loses at end. The struggle between dharma and adharma is a struggle of the nation, and each of them in it, engages in on every single day of their existence. That struggle, that battle took a place before its election and it will continue after it because the traditional dharma failed to bring the disillusionment out of the contemporary bleak society.
Ved Vyas holds that the ancient politics and epic battle like Kurushetraa were intended for noble causes whereas in modern India, politics is motivated by moneymaking and selfishness and explained the Indian society to Ganapathi.
The Great Indian Novel, thus, represents the recent political history in the guise of mythical story. Tharoor superimposes the political history of the twentieth century India over the political and religious struggle of the Mahabharata. The Great Indian Novel consists of dexterously integrated every changing thematic structure. It was transformed into historiographic metafiction, which provides an opportunity to the novelists to use history as a base and revisit the past with objectivity and irony.
Tharoor presented the deteriorating ethical values in politics that contemporary Indian history with great skill. Tharoor has evolved his own views and images view to present the segment of life in a way he desires.
The material of the novel may be a fantasy, a realistic documentation, or an autobiographical revelation, but it is the style and art that makes it relevant to life and art.
Shashi Tharoor is that novelist, perform the greater task of handling down things and make the memory of great epics last in their distinct way. Tharoor use myth and history purposively literature acquires simultaneously with the present. This is done with a will to performance. In The Great Indian Novel, Tharoor seeks to highlight the ancient principle of Dharma as preached and propagated by the original text of Mahabharata which is considered to be the fifth Veda and occupies a monumental place in a Vedic studies.
Tharoor argued the case for restoring dharma to its place in Indian public life. Mahabharata is a house hold word in India. Tharoor is deeply engaged in universal problems, and is worried about the destiny of man.
Tharoor as a novelist artifices his own strategies to present a segment of life in the way he desires. Tharoor performs the greater task in his novel The Great Indian Novel. The experiences in the context of contemporary socio political conditions, exploiting the mythical patterns present in ethics like Mahabharata.
Tharoor thus provides the subjective framework for representing the variegated complex cultural and political environment of Indian society. The assurance of the Gandhi Nehru era having gone, and that social evils and individual weaknesses are exposed rather bluntly.
Thus Tharoor highlights the contractedness of narrative history as well as fiction, in the tradition of the epic and the oral narrative. The subjective account of India, which Tharoor presents in The Great Indian Novel, covers a much longer time period from the nationalist movement to the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Thus the protagonists of his novels are host of imperial historical figures from the pre and post- Independence eras. The novel is called apolitical allegory of selected episodes from the ancient epic Mahabaratha.
It has displayed a mistrust of interpreting the past and has countered the crushing burden of tradition and history. Tharoor in this novel also highlights economic asymmetries to produce stark cultural discontinuities. Its relation to contemporary modernist movements in the traditional media as well as social and economic modernization, its ability to offer mass audiences a market based cultural horizons in which the experience of modernity including its traumatic as well as liberating effects could be very well seen in the novel Show Business.
Tharoor explores the Bombay movie industry; explains the culture of this industry. Through this chapter it is seen that the Indian film industry is by far the largest in the world-making twice as many films as Hollywood.
An India that denies itself to some Indians could end up being denied to all Indians; and so Indians films communicate the diversity that is the basis of the Indian heritage, by offering all of us a common world to which to escape, by allowing us to dream with our eyes open.
Arriving at its apex of irony, according to Tharoor the life of movie is both lampoons and celebrates, pain and pleasure which mix until the final fade out. It won the Vodafone Crossword Book Award. The Economist named Maximum City as one of its books of the year for It was also shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.
Rabindranath Tagore — Gitanjali This collection of poems by Tagore was originally published in Bengali in August and had poems. The poems are mostly of a spiritual bent, though some of the pieces also have a hint of nature. This collection won the Nobel prize for Tagore in The story talks about the changes brought into the lives of people living in a small town of Assam by the militants.
The plot revolves around the life of a girl who is married to a district collector. The natural surroundings and characters are described very well and give a great insight into the life of a small town in Assam. The book touches upon the human angle and brings out the sense of reality and horror. The way Singh has described a village where a peaceful and loving community transforms into one driven by hatred and fear is remarkable.
The description of the characters gives a lift to the book and makes it all the more interesting to read. Published in , the book has also been translated into Tamil and has been adapted into a film with the same name. Nayantara Sehgal — Rich Like Us Rich Like Us is a political fiction novel set during a time of political and social change between and the mids. Sehgal won the Sahitya Akademi Award for English for this book.
The backdrop is set at the time when Indira Gandhi declared martial law in India. The book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in The book was published in , and received great reviews.
Ramanujan — The Collected Poems The book is a collection of poems that includes poems out of the three books he published during his lifetime. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in for this compilation. He was awarded Padma Shri in Nirad C. Published in , the book describes the life of the writer from the time he was born in in Bangladesh to his youth in Calcutta.
It has received global acclaim over a period of time. Winston Churchill considered it one of the best books he had ever read. Like this article? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact thebetterindia. About the Author: Born with a hobby to travel, talk, express and write, Shreya gets to do all of that and is even paid for it! Interested in rural development and social issues, she dreams of actually bringing a change in society and writing a book of her own one day. When she is not preaching others about a better India she is busy watching movies and playing video games.
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