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NATION AS IDENTITY IN AMITAV GHOSH’S THE SHADOW LINES

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Abstract:

Amitav Ghosh is a Bengali Indian author, a pioneer of English literature in India, best known for his works in the English language. Amitav Ghosh occupies a rather curious place in the landscape of contemporary English language authors from the Indian subcontinent. Freedom from political colonialism came as a refreshing wind to write and historical nationalist issues such as diaspora, migration, refugees, colonial hegemony; socio-economic and cultural issues like east-west encounter, caste and class etc. become the main concerns of Amitav Ghosh. The present paper is proposed to examine Nation as identity in “The Shadow Lines” which as a memory novel, sketches few historical events like the freedom movement in Bengal, the Second World War and the Partition of India in 1947 and the communal riots in Bangladesh and India. In this novel, Ghosh problematizes nation in his search for identity. Further, the text subverts notions of truth-notions that are rooted in cultural, sociological and historical realities while it exposes the arbitrariness of many kinds of lines, borders both personal and political. Although the personal and political are intertwined “Nation” presents itself as a crucial strand on the reader’s sensibilities.

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