What proves Major Callendar's ignorance of Indian life?

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

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To a great extent, Major Callendar's ignorance of Indian life is demonstrated with his own sense of being.  Major Callendar is shown to have the faintest notion of what it means to understand Indian life.  He is ignorant of it and his place within it.  He fails to understand the basic elements of Indian responsibility to authority, when he summons Aziz to his home early on in the novel and then leaves him there without message.  He does not recognize that he is an inhabitant in someone else's home and believes in the British notion of making himself a "little God" in a nation where there are over a million people and that many deities.  Callender does not recognize the subtleties in Indian life and how British rule disrupts these nuances.  Callender is shown to be a figure that is not necessarily sympathetic to Indian life, oftentimes making disparaging and ignorant remarks about it.  He represents the essence of the British Status Quo, in which individuals are able to colonize a nation without knowing anything about it.  To this end, Callender is shown to be ignorant of Indian life.  Perhaps, it is because of this reason that he ends up being replaced in Chandrapore.


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