What are the main points to be noted while doing a Postcolonial criticism of an Indian novel?

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lprono eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a really broad question as we should be equally careful to make "Postcolonial criticism" and "Indian novels" homogeneous entities. Postcolonialism is a diverse and pluralistic critical formation, while Indian novels treat many different themes. However, the plurality of postcolonial studies could be a good point of departure to address the question. A postcolonial reading of a novel should begin by working out how it uses a rhetoric of difference to revolt against the assumption of the dominant (white, European) culture. How does the novel under study subvert the stereotypes about Indian people and society? How does it criticize the state of "subaltern subjects" that colonialist policies have imposed on Indian citizens? As Edward Said and other postcolonial critics have stressed, Western discourse has represented the Orient as the Other for so many centuries that they have succeeded in passing off as realities myths regarding the Orientals' laziness, deceitfulness and irrationality. You should also analyse how the novel represents power relations between the West and India and how it reacts against the marginalization of non-Western traditions