Kamala Markandaya Imperialism

1601 Words7 Pages
The basis of imperialism is established by depriving nations of their true identity, self-confidence, and independence. Dominance is best put as power and influence over others. This idea of dominance is bewildering. Who would have thought that holding more power than another individual would exist in this world when we were all created as equals from the start? Being seen as more “powerful” because one’s skin color is lighter than another or because one has more wealth is preposterous. Imperialism involves a far more powerful country taking over a weaker, less powerful country while exploiting the people as well as the resources. Author, Kamala Markandaya thoroughly captures the effects of imperialism along with dominance within the world…show more content…
Great Britain was a powerhouse during the time period of this novel. Since Kenny is one of the only white men living in Rukmani’s village, he has power and respect. He acts superior to the villagers and feels as if they are not worth his utmost respect. Kenny is the one who helped Rukmani have her first male child. Kenny feels as if the villagers need his help and are too ignorant to ask for it. For example, when Kenny sees Rukmani struggling to buy food to make ends meet he gets frustrated and says “ Times are better, times are better, Times will not be better for many months. Meanwhile you will suffer and die, you meek, suffering fools. Why do you keep this ghastly silence?” (43). Throughout the novel, Kenny’s constant complaints about the Indians being weak and fools shows how little respect he has for them and strongly shows a case of dominance. Likewise, when Britain came to India, they had absolutely no respect for the Indians and felt far superior to them. A big reason for this had to do with racism. The British did not want to socialize with the Indians because they were colored. They forced Indians to grow cash crops and purchase their goods. Meanwhile for the Indians, life did not get any better. For example, back in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Britain craved power and wealth and would do…show more content…
However, that is not necessarily true. In the novel, Nectar in a Sieve, the villagers in Rukmani’s village were constantly exploited. For instance, when the tannery arrived, the villagers’ lands were taken from them. This once, peaceful village now had boisterous and distracting construction work going on which is something none of the villagers asked for. One would suppose that imperialism would be in the favor of the people and would benefit them, but that is the exact opposite of what occurred in Nectar in a Sieve. The British that came to India in the novel, made prices of goods extremely expensive and the Indians were forced to buy the British goods. Also, several Indians lost their jobs as several Indians could not even afford to purchase anything. The execution of imperialism took advantage of the Indians. For example, as the tannery became majorly successful and powerful, the British men running the tannery decided to take advantage of Rukmani and her family in order to take their land for the benefit of themselves. When Nathan, Rukmani’s husband tells her that the tannery is buying their land she replies, “They can't...It is our land; we have been here thirty years” (130). This excerpt from the novel shows how Rukmani is helpless and ultimately she can do nothing about the situation. Taking advantage of others is one of the main factors of dominance

More about Kamala Markandaya Imperialism

Open Document