River Of Fire Summary

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The Novel as a Nation and Nation as a Novel A Study of Hyder’s River of Fire (Aag ka Dariya) Aratrika Bose 05021600916 M.A Final The concept of nation is more often than not constructed by narrations of dominant discourse or history as it is called. History always documents the teleological macro narratives of battles and invasions foregrounding the side which conquers and wins. There is no space for the minorities or in other words marginalised groups are created precisely through this one sided narration of chronological tales that makes history his-story and lends it a linearity that is rather rigid and misleading. Instead Aag ka Dariya calls for a historical narrative pieced together from the fragment. The novel's use of narrative…show more content…
To rise above such demarcations that threaten to bind women in definations Hyder presents the voices of other women who refused to be silent. We observe them through Kamaluddin’s travelogue. One important story that goes into Kamaluddin’s travelogue tells about Razia, a female Muslim monarch who wanted to abolish the tax paid by Hindus in lieu of military service. She is eventually assassinated and people believe that it was politically motivated. Razia’s “enlightened policies” were not approved of by the ministers of her cabinet, the real agents of history. Another important piece of information about her is that she referred to herself as Sultan, not Sultana. This also shows the fact that the real loci of history, such as politics, are such that a woman must present herself as “manly” in order to fit in. Kamaluddin records the story of another queen, Bibi Raji, who removes her beloved son from the throne because of his inhumane deeds and his despotism. She brings her younger son, a musician, to power in his place. When the first son begins to wage war against his younger brother, the Queen herself plays a role in the slaying of her violent son. In that sense, I think, Hyder’s female characters produce a strong postcolonial critique of the condition of women in pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial India. These three historic eras have their own ideologies and material conditions with regard to women. In his travelogue, Kamaluddin describes Champavati as a highly intelligent and beautiful young woman. More importantly, as a fellow student of Kamaluddin she engages in erudite conversations with him and freely befriends other men. This is revolutionary as it is fifteenth-century India. The nature of relationships between men and women undergo a dramatic shift when the British colonialists arrive

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