2009-10 AM Fictions of India - Expert Group on Nation (India)

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Expert Group on Nation (India)

Group: Representations of India


- Crowded societies composed of very different ethnic and cultural groups that live in mixed communities or close proximity

- Less social tension between these groups than between single individuals (cf. Lurgan Sahib‘s hatred on Kim) or between different nations (cf. British vs. Russians in the Great Game)

- British colonial power ensuring harmony?


- High social tension between outcastes and upper castes

- Most prominent example: Bakha touches an upper caste member by accident (cf. p. 46)

- Outcastes forced to announce their approach when they leave their colony

- Social exclusion of other minorities apart from low-caste Hindus (e.g. Mohammedans)

- Injustice and discrimination exerted by upper castes

- Few exceptions (eg. the high-caste Hindu Charat Singh, cf. p. 105-110))

- Counter-movements (Only the Ghandian movement is portrayed in the novel!)

- Role of British colonial power in this conflict?

Midnight's Children

- Multiple ethnic and social groups

- At the beginning of the novel: relative peace between those groups

- Considerable change of this relative harmony as the plot unfolds

Group: Similarities and Contrasts in Kim and Untouchable

Kim and Bakha are symbols for the ongoing national change (Modern India)

- Kim is not in a caste and therefore behaves freely

- Bakha is trying to life like a British

Discussion result:

- are Kim and Bakha passive or active acting towards the national change?

- is their way of acting determined by the caste system?

Discussion result:

- The topic of Nation is closely connected to the term „Caste System“.