Give a post colonial perspective of Bapsi Sidhwa's in Cracking India.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The premise of the novel is one in which Postcolonialism is highly evident.  On one hand, there is the element of how the layers of subjugation and social marginalization are not immediately dissipated with the removal of the Colonial power.  Sidhwa is astute enough to dissect the condition of Partition in exploring how the same behaviors and attitudes of disrespect and intolerance were, in many ways, transferred from the British to the indigenous people.  Sidhwa almost suggests that this was a "parting gift" from rulers to the ruled.  In the proposal of Partition, a Western approach to an Easter problem was posed and Sidhwa's Postcolonial analysis suggests the awkwardness intrinsic in such a condition.  As an author, Sidhwa, herself, engages in a Postcolonial task of reconstructing reality as alternate to what is standard in established history.  The idea of Partition being seen as a historically accepted solution fails to acknowledge the narratives of struggle that took place within it.  In this void, Sidhwa wishes to give voice, representing both a thematic condition of Postcolonialism, but also the role of the Postcolonial author.  The notion of Postcolonial identity is also relevant in this analysis.  Issues of gender and race converge in Lenny, representative of the modern India, unsure of either reality in a world where the oppressive tendency of the British ended up unearthing tensions and revealing latent hostilities.  Lenny's own betrayal of her Ayah to the Ice- Candy Man helps to illuminate how the issues of social and political identity are so very difficult for the modern Indian state, forced to live in the imposed world of Partition without a sense of clarity ore understanding about each.  In this, a dominant Postcolonial narrative is evident, a realm where honor, betrayal, hope and despair all converge into one amorphous and complex mass.


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