WHAT POSTCOLONIALISM IS ALL ABOUT : AN INDEPTH STUDY BY VINEET PANDEY
“Divide et impera ,
Fac et excusa,
Si fecisti, nega.”
The three most powerful political maxims out of which “Divide and Rule” is the most cited in India for having colonial aspects in itself.
Every second indian child of 50s, 60s or 70s was well acquainted with the phrase “Divide and Rule” for its colonial nature and the reason for many “Third World” countries being post colonialist especially India and Africa.
But what happened to a country which never ever faced continuous socioreligious riots before the rebellion of 1857 suddenly faced the most treacherous partition and the rule of the British Raj for almost 200 years and the tag of post colonialism which often lead many scholars to search for its
“Authenticity in Ethnicity.”
What happened to the countries like Australia, Canada, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and their crisis for identity not only culturally, religiously but also politically, economically and psychologically?
I, Vineet Pandey, 8 timesNET, 17 SET and 2 JRF from SahityaClasses will address all regarding post colonialism and postcolonial literature with special concern and references to NTA NET JRF Exam.
Let’s comprehend few basic and minute details like what postcolonial countries are; the ways of colonization; postcolonial theories and how Vineet Pandey in his Delhi based Sahitya Classes deconstructs postcolonialsim with its concepts in Vineet Pandey style.
Edward Said in his essay “Commonwealth Literature does not exist”In Imaginary Homelands states the fact that“Postcolonial countries” when named as “commonwealth” never shared the equal wealth but the torture, exploitation,
feeling of lost identity and racial as well cultural subjugation either through language replacement or religious conversion.
The use of language as the means of power and colonial education to impact the cultural imperialism and white supremacy is very much apparent when an Indian boarded on a flight or a person living in the urban cities prefers to use “only English” not only for he is an anglophilic but also empirically engraved with the notion of “Exotic Otherness” or the writers writing in the language of the colonizer to lament and willing to reach to a large number of audience most of the time for “financial stability” just inculcates the mind-set of psychologically being “colonized” even if one is physically “free”- the prominent feature of Thomas Babington Macaulay’s“Minute Upon Indian Education.”
Chinua Achebe and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, African authors, being exceptions revolted against the very idea of “Western Exoticness” and preferred to cry in theirown native language “Igbo” , “Swahili” and “Gikuyu”- A resistance known as “Abrogation” in its postcolonial sense.
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o in his most famous work Decolonizing the Mind: the Politics of Language (1986) in African Literature accused the
“English departments of propagating the colonial education”.
In his two other worksThe Black Hermit (1963) and The River Between (1965) he basically threw light on “Linguicide” and “Glottophagy”.
Chinua Achebe on other hand in Things Fall Apart(1958)records the trauma, his use of the “untranslated Igbo words” and the questions raised on the identity crisis, gender and racial, historical effect after colonization.
Characters like ‘Dr Aziz’ in A Passage to India(1924) by E M Forster, ‘Bishan Singh’ in Toba Tek Singh (1955) by Sadat Hassan Manto, ‘Nazneen’ in Brick Lane (2003) by Monica Ali, ‘Mustafa’ in Season of Migration to the North (1966) by Tayeb Salih, Caliban and Prospero in TheTempest by William Shakespeare, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad and Changez in The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) by Mohsin Hamid have been the colonial victims of either class and race segregation, dislocation, identity crisis, a self-rebellion between faith and belief, cultural comparison, Inequality, language loss resulting in historical and cultural paradox in representation who when examined and studied through the lens of “postcolonial” delineate a deeper understanding of how the colonized took use of the colonizers and then left them with an undying pain to seek for the centre or the base amidst and within all the chaos.
Vineet Pandey’s videos on YouTube recorded in his offline class in Sahitya Classes Delhi dealing with post-colonialism simply and profoundly explain some concepts of Postcolonialism and how Vineet Pandey simplifies these concepts for the aspirants of NTA NET JRF Exam can also be glimpsed through but here using the same reference of Vineet Pandey’s YouTube videos and the quotations he has used, anyone can understand postcolonialism in a very easy manner.
Basic Concepts in Postcolonialism (For NTA NET JRF Exam):-
COLONIZATION:- Making its subjects “better” since the colonizers assume the colonized to be “uncivilized” with the use of Imperialism, Colonial Education, Socioeconomic and religious background, Power structure, thought process and genetic structure.
IMPERIALISM: – Mostly synonymized with “colonization” but differs when it comes to approach. Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White man’s Burden” is often accredited for its imperialist attitude where the word “burden” is legitimized as “responsibility”.
WHITE SUPREMACY: – The belief that “White is the best.” Can be understood from the misquoted first line of the poem “The Ballad of East and West” (1889) by Rudyard Kipling
“East is east and West is west andnever the twain shall meet…”
Dr Aziz’s statement in the court for Adela Quest in A Passage to India by E M Forster “My personal letters were read publically just because one WHITE lady had a doubt” also exhibits the concept of white supremacy.
AMBIVALENCE: – Adopted by Homi K Bhabha in its colonial discourse this concept brings out a very complex relationship between two subjects (Colonizer and colonized) who neither completely like each other nor fully dislike as well but both reach to a point where attraction and repulsion are found crossing paths.
Changez in Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid gives a glimpse of it when he talks about his nativity showing his authenticity still accepting the fact that he loves America.
“Ah! Seems I’ve alarmed you .Don’t be scared of me because I’ve beard, I love America.”
HYBRIDITY: – Used by Mikhail Bhaktin in its linguistics approach as something having “multivoices” but Homi Bhabha studied it from the postcolonial perspective and termed it as something “upgraded” since not only one but more than one culture, religion, language, Literature or race comes together to form something new.
Vineet Pandey can eat Pizza as well chapatti with tea is an example of hybridity in Vineet Pandey’s style.
Creolization and Pidgin also come under the category of hybridity especially linguistic hybridity.
Bishan Singh in Toba Tek Singh by Sadat Hasan Manto uses three languages showing the mixing of India and Pakistan whenever he is overwhelmed
“Upar di gur gur di annexe di bedhiyana di moong di daal of di Pakistan and Hindustan of di durr phitey mun”
Is one of the best examples of creolization.
CHUTNIFICATION: – A term used by Salman Rushdie in Midnight’s Children using the words from Hindi and Urdu and mingling them with English so that a different literary taste can come out of his novels shows his hybridity both in language as well experimentations thus coming with the phrase
“We all are translated men.”
BUTLER and CLERICAL or BABU English of Madras and Calcutta presidency fall under the kind of pidgin where they do have some grammatical formations but usually leave auxiliary verbs, participles, articles out because of it being spoken and used by the language 1 speaker without any proper training of language 2.
In Vineet Pandey style “Just for the sake of the work carried out.”
DISLOCATION: -Dislocation has to deal with the concept of Identity loss in postcolonialism- the feeling of being in-between of the subject concerned.
SPACE AND PLACE: – In Third Space theory and used by Homi Bhabha in postcolonial sense the word “space” has three different discourses and according to the use of the discourse or in other word “place” the meaning and the context of the word space keeps on changing.
In Vineet Pandey style, Space is where you are comfortable or where your heart is and place is where your body is comfortable and where your mind is.
FURTHER READINGS OF SOME TEXTS AND AUTHORS TO GRASP POSTCOLONIALISM IN AN EXTENSIVE WAY: – (Recommended by Vineet Pandey, Sahitya Classes, the best expert for NTA NET JRF in India for English Literature.)
- Orientalism(1978) by Edward Said (For being the foundational text in postcolonial theories)
- Can the Subaltern Speak?(1988) by Gayatri Spivak.
- Postcolonial Theory- An Introduction (1998) by Leela Gandhi.
- Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) by Barack Obama.
- Provincializing Europe (2000) by Vivek Chibber and Dipesh Chakrabarty.
- In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures by Aijaz Ahmad.
- The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literature (1989)
Thanks for reading.
Vineet Parbhat Pandey
8 NET, 2 JRF, 17 SET
UGC NTA NET JRF
Sahitya Classes, Delhi.