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In search of post-racial fiction

Elephants in the room!

Elephants in the room!

The Help has its heart in the right place, and its “White” imagining of the Black women’s voice springs from an authenticity which only a personal experience could have supplied. In a moving afterword, Stockett reveals how she never understood the silent suffering of her own Black maid until long after her death which happened when Stockett was 16.

However, the book must be accused of borrowed characterisation. Consider Aibileen who matches every stereotype one may harbour about Black people, not seeing the irony of her observation when she meets one of the White kids, now grown up, she tended to:

“And how I told him don’t drink coffee or he gone turn colored. He say he still ain’t drunk a cup of coffee and he twenty-one years old. It’s always nice seeing the kids grown up fine.”

This description, and many such, made me uncomfortable, because they play into the mythologised image of the long-suffering Black — the gentle sacrifice, the immense capacity for self-denial. Why are Blacks, unless they drive the plot, so devoid of ill will in novels about racism? How does Aibileen stand being good to the children she raises, knowing fully well that they will grow up to become dyed-in-the-wool racists? (via In search of post-racial fiction).

This observation I like. Elephants in the room! Very similar to the myth of the ‘non-violent struggle for Indian independence.’ I wonder how much this works.

When tribal women came out and take on the might of the Indian State, one thing you can be sure of! India(ns) does not believe in non-violence – at any cost. There is point beyond which, Indians will not look at the cost and price – but only the value.

Lalgarh proved that!

Dealing with bow and arrow – The Lalgarh imagery

June 21, 2009 4 comments

This must mean something ...

Clearly, it would be extremely difficult for the largely urban and Western-educated ruling class—the current UPA government has the largest number of MPs who studied in American and British universities — who are also among the richest in the country (300 crorepatis in the Lok Sabha, mostly businessmen) to relate to axe-wielding women who seek justice and honour in the rough backwoods of the country. And it matters little what the political persuasion of the rulers is. States ruled by parties as different from each other (or perhaps not) as the Congress, the BJP, the CPI(M) or the BJD are all struggling with the problem of alienation and extremism. (via Latha Jishnu: Dealing with bow and arrow).

There are more where they come from ...

For nearly 40 years, India’s Naxalite problem is known, recognized – and unresolved. This extract above by Latha Jishnu in Business Standard, summarizes the problems and history well – and connects to this interesting document from India’s Planning Commission.

These are the Santhal tribesmen, who made the British Raj look weak in the knees. These are frugal people who have little to lose – and they will not let anyone take away what little they have.

The Big Government in India and the Big Business in India are cosying up to loot these poor tribals. Indian media is so besotted with English speaking politicians and ‘phoren educated ministers, that they fail to notice the disconnect between India’s poor and non-Westernized masses, who will not submit.

There are more ... where they come from ...

There are more ... where they come from ...

When so many women come out in the open, with bows and arrows, one thing is clear.

There are more where they come from.

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