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Potheri Kunhambu (Author)
Synopsis If we put the experience of lower castes at the centre of our understanding of colonial modernity then we are faced with the unresolved dilemma of belonging, which continues into independent India. The simple dichotomy of inner and outer, tradition and modernity collapses since lower castes are excluded from the inner space of tradition itself. Their access to colonial modernity is mediated through their entrapment in the domain of a tradition within which they can only be subordinate or outcaste. On the other hand, it is this very modernity that allows them access to the knowledge of that which subordinates them. Tradition for them is, otherwise, not only a scarce resource but an inaccessible one. From Phule to Ambedkar, the ambivalence towards colonialism stems from this existential dilemma. Potheri Kunhambu’s novel, Saraswativijayam, celebrates English education for untouchables as a means of escaping subordination. He is only too conscious of the radical possibilities opened up for lower castes by colonial modernity. Throughout the novel there is at once an agonized engagement with Hindu tradition as well as the overwhelming recognition of the futility of a constructive dialogue with it. Tradition subordinates, modernity frees.
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Bibliographic information

Title Saraswativijayam
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st Ed.
Language: English
isbn 8188434019
length xii+116 p.