Midnight's Children

by Salman Rushdie

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Where did Aadam Aziz first live in Midnight's Children?

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In Midnight's Children, Aadam Aziz initially lives in Kashmir, a disputed province with a large Muslim population. Dissatisfied by what he sees as Kashmir's provincialism, he moves to India, where he becomes a supporter of a progressive, secular state.

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Aadam Aziz originally hails from Kashmir, a province whose ownership is disputed over to this day by India and Pakistan. Aadam is a Muslim, just like most of the people who live in the province, but after hitting his nose on the ground when he kneels down to pray, he loses his faith, vowing never to bow down before man or God again.

Aadam, with his distinctive blue eyes, is unmistakably a Kashmiri. Yet he doesn't feel as if he truly belongs in Kashmir; it is culturally impoverished, a place where most people have a very narrow view of the world. For someone with a Western education like Aadam, Kashmir is backward and provincial, too small and insignificant for someone of his intelligence and cultural refinement.

It's no surprise, then, that Aadam should move to India, which he finds much more cosmopolitan and therefore more to his liking. Aadam fits in quite well with his new surroundings. He becomes committed to the establishment of a secular, independent state in which everyone will be able to practice their religion without persecution or harassment.

Though Aadam freely admits that he's not much of a Muslim, he still throws his support behind Mian Abdullah, otherwise known as the Hummingbird, the leader of the Free Islam Convocation, an organization fighting against what it sees as the dogmatism of traditional Islam.

In supporting the Free Islam Convocation, one could say that Aadam Aziz has exchanged one faith for another. In his soul, Islam has been replaced by the “virulent disease” of optimism.

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