2009-10 AM Fictions of India - Expert Group on History

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Expert Group on History


cf. page 46: Indian Mutiny 1857-8 Indians first war of independence Result: housecleaning of the Indian administration, the direct rule

cf. page 108: The Big War 1878-1880 Second Afghan war The first of three Interventions of the British Empire in Afghanistan to save their supremacy and stop the Russian expansion = Great Game

The Great Game was an expression for the battle between Great Britain and Russia for the dominance over Central Asia during 1813 - 1947. It came into mainstream consciousness becasue of the novel.


Events in (Indian) history with parallels/connections in the novel:

Chapter Plot History The perforated sheet Adaam Aziz returns to Kashmir (5) Ghandi returns to India in 1915 Mercurochrome Aadam examines his future wife through a perforated sheet (26) Sees her face when she has a headache (28) They marry and move to Amritzar Public and peaceful mourning over the continuing presence of the British (37) April 13th 1919: peaceful protests, Aadam sneezes and stumbles, rescued by his nose WWI

End of WWII Protests against the Rowlett Act

Jallianwallah Bagh massacre. Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer and his troops open fire on unarmed croud Hit the spittoon Public optimism, cause: Mian Abdullah’s Free Islamic Convocation. Assassinated, end of optimism (50) His secretary Nadir Khan flees and finds shelter in Aadam’s house (62) Under the carpet Marriage of Mumtaz and Nadir Khan (72) Mumtaz’ illness coincides with…

Matrimony fails 1946: Mumtaz marries Ahmed …atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 1945) Failure of “Quit India”-movement A public announcement Mumtaz / Amina falls in love with her husband little by little (87) Tick, tock August 15th: Birth of Saleem (156) Mary Pareira switches the real son of Amina and Ahmed with the son of Vanita and William Methwold (157) “Birth” of India