Thursday, 4 July 2013


DIASPORA IN “HALF A LIFE” Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, born on August 17, 1932, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, better known as V. S. Naipaul, is a Trinidadian-born British writer of Indo-Trinidadian descent, currently resident in Wiltshire. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990. In 1971, Naipaul became the first person of Indian origin to win a Booker Prize for his book In a Free State. In awarding Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." The Committee added, "Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony." The Committee also noted Naipaul's affinity with the Polish author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad: “Naipaul is Conrad's heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.” His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. Edward Said, for example, has argued that he "allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution", promoting "colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies". This perspective is most salient in The Middle Passage, which Naipaul composed after returning to the Caribbean after ten years of self-exile in England, and An Area of Darkness, an arguably stark condemnation on his ancestral homeland of India. His works have become required reading in many schools within the Third World. Among English-speaking countries, Naipaul's following is notably stronger in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States. Though a regular visitor to India since the 1960s, he has arguably "analysed" India from an arms-length distance, in some cases initially with considerable distaste (as in An Area of Darkness), and later with 'grudging affection' (as in A Million Mutinies Now), and of late perhaps even with 'ungrudging affection' (most manifestly in his view that the rise of Hindutva embodies the welcome, broader civilisational resurgence of India). He has also made attempts over the decades to identify his ancestral village in India, believed to be near Gorakhpur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh from where his grandfather had migrated to Trinidad as indentured labourer. The mention of this is found in his work An Area of Darkness. Writing in the New York Review of Books about Naipaul, Joan Didion said: “The actual world has for Naipaul a radiance that diminishes all ideas of it. The pink haze of the bauxite dust on the first page of Guerrillas tells us what we need to know about the history and social organization of the unnamed island on which the action takes place, tells us in one image who runs the island and for whose profit the island is run and at what cost to the life of the island this profit has historically been obtained, but all of this implicit information pales in the presence of the physical fact, the dust itself... The world Naipaul sees is of course no void at all: it is a world dense with physical and social phenomena, brutally alive with the complications and contradictions of actual human endeavor... This world of Naipaul's is in fact charged with what can only be described as a romantic view of reality, an almost unbearable tension between the idea and the physical fact...” In several of his books Naipaul has observed Islam, and he has been criticised for dwelling on negative aspects, e.g. nihilism among fundamentalists. Naipaul's support for Hindutva has also been controversial. He has been quoted describing the destruction of the Babri Mosque as a "creative passion", and the invasion of Babur in the 16th century as a "mortal wound." He views Vijayanagar, which fell in 1565, as the last bastion of native Hindu civilisation. He remains a somewhat reviled figure in Pakistan, which he bitingly condemned in Among the Believers. In 1998 a controversial memoir by Naipaul's sometime protégé Paul Theroux was published. The book provides a personal, though occasionally caustic portrait of Naipaul. The memoir, entitled Sir Vidia's Shadow, was precipitated by a falling-out between the two men a few years earlier. In early 2007, V.S Naipaul made a long-awaited return to his homeland of Trinidad. He urged citizens to shrug off the notions of "Indian" and "African" and to concentrate on being "Trinidadian". He was warmly received by students and intellectuals alike and it seems, finally, that he has come to some form of closure with Trinidad. Naipaul is married to Nadira Naipaul. She was born Nadira Khannum Alvi in Pakistan and was raised in Kenya. She worked as a journalist for Pakistani newspaper, The Nation for ten years before meeting Naipaul. They married in 1996, two months after the death of Naipaul's first wife, Patricia Hale. Nadira had been divorced twice before her marriage to Naipaul. She has two children from a previous marriage, Maliha and Nadir DIASPORA IN HALF A LIFE: Home away or halfway house is a state suffered by the uprooted, the marginal and the exiled. It is a limbo that women have been long considered to fall in this category but women are not the only sufferers. The displacement and dispossession that immigrants are subjected to, bring them if there were enough into a limbo tic position, the agony of which aggravates when all efforts of assimilation are thwarted. Caught up in limbo the immigrants lose not only their native place but also their identity. All their efforts at assimilation then are directed towards their search for a face, attrition of heritage language striving towards acculturation. Prof. Mohit K. Ray said that quest for identity is going to be a major recurring theme in literature the world over, for some years to come. Quest for identity has a broad spectrum meaning and it has been manifested in various ways in the will to exist despite all odds and to survive all odds. This will take many names and it is very important in fact, one of the most important factors in the life of an individual as well as that of a nation and a race. The literature of diaspora focuses on the dislocation of an individual or race and consequent alienation. Alienation leads to a sense of loss but life consists not in losing but in the rediscovery of self. Naipaul the 'literary circumnavigator' (the Nobel citation from the Swedish Academy, Thursday October 11, 2001.) of contemporary times has this rediscovery as his recurrent theme. Critics have spoken of his feeling of congenital displacement of having been born a foreigner a citizen of an exiled community on a colonised island, without a natural home except for an India to which he often returns, only to be reminded of his distance from his roots. Naipaul's protagonists grow away from their native culture and their growing up depends on their growing away. In a room full of strange faces, even a mirror comes as a relief because therein one can see a familiar face. Half a Life is the story of a race in search of a familiar face in the mirror; the irony however lies in the fact that even the mirror reflects a face which is not recognisable. Through the story of William Somerset Chandran Naipaul presents the ironical existence of diaspora. The theme of dislocation and consequent loss of identity has been a recurring one in the literature of Diaspora Naipaul seems to be a champion of this issue. Ganesh Ramasumair's (The Mystique Masseur) search for roots takes him to various stages of transformation and finally the face that he could discover was that of G. Ramsay Muir. Mohan Biswas's (A House for Mr. Biswas) search for a house is a metaphor for his search for his own place/face in the mirror. Half a life is apparently a record of Willie Somerset Chandran's quest for identity. The novel opens with the beginning of Chandran's search for his roots. Willie asks his father, 'Why is my middle name Somerset?' (Naipaul 2001:1.All subsequent references to this book are from this edition.) This question forms the very essence of a person's existence. The answer to this question brings into light the irony of Willie's existence and at the same time prepares the background of his half-life in half-made societies with people who are themselves leading a life which is half-discovered, half-realised and half-lived. For Willie Somerset Chandran his name is his destiny. Half of his name does not belong to him, it is borrowed from the famous writer Somerset Maugham; his first name proclaims him as a Christian whereas his surname signifies his mixed ancestry. A probing look discovers the man is as much an amalgam of drastically different traits as is his name an admixture of different and even antagonistic streams. William's search for the roots takes him backward because his roots are entwined with those of his father's. His story is set in post-independence India, then in London and then he travels to a pre-independence African country which is closely modelled on Mozambique and then for a brief period in Berlin. The first thirty five pages constitute Willie's father's story, the next hundred and two pages are a record of Willie's struggle for existence in London and the remaining pages (apart from a brief tarriance in Berlin) record his life in Africa which may be appropriately described in Naipaul's term as the bush. Willie's travels bring him too many characters who are leading a half-life as exiles. He feels at home with people who are faceless because of the affinity he has with them. But these are all his chance acquaintances on which he cannot depend whereas his incompleteness begins at home. The son of a half-rebel Brahmin father and a low caste woman who is only a shadow of a person, Willie's negation of self begins in his childhood itself. His awareness of his mother's low caste and the resultant low status of his father instill a sense of shame in the boy but at the same time his resolve to survive forces him into a world of falsehood, a make-believe world. The truth about him was ugly hence he takes to falsehood with impunity and once he presents his projected image before the world, Willie starts living the image. Years ago Willie's father had also projected an image inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's call for sacrifice. He paid dearly when he was forced into marriage with a low caste woman whose very sight breeds repulsion in him. Because of his misplaced ideals he had to marry in haste only to repent it at leisure. Willie does not learn from his father's mistakes and allows history to repeat and even re-repeat itself. Negating history is a sin which brings its own punishment. Willie's father negated history and had to bear the punishment. Even as a child when Willie is asked to write an English composition he pretends he is a Canadian and writes an invented story which is based on the bits of life he has known through American comic books. Instead of narrating his life, he recreates it with such imaginative skill that it becomes unrecognisable even to an insider. In the recreation of his story Willie negates his history. Willie, however, goes on inventing newer lies because of his hatred for his half existence. In attempting to free him from this half-ness, Willie goes on creating worlds of falsehood and gets more stuck up in these creations of his own. Willie hates his parents -- more particularly his father, and this sense of alienation makes him 'a sojourner'. His father soon discovers this alienation and realises that in order to avert more harm the bird must be allowed to scale the skies. He reflects: I used to think that you were me and I was worried at what I had done to you. But now I know that you are not me. What is in my head is not in yours. You are somebody else, somebody I don't know, and I worry for you because you are launched on a journey I know nothing of. (49) Willie goes to London so that he discovers himself, finds out his face but ironically in his search for completeness he loses even the half life that was within his reach. In London for a while Willie is lost, as if in a limbo again. The education that he was getting was absolutely devoid of perspectives. He pursues everything half-heartedly: The learning he was being given was like the food he was eating, without savour. The two were inseparable in his mind. And just as he ate without pleasure, so, with a kind of blindness, he did what the lectures and tutors asked of him, read the books and articles and did the essays. He was if the unanchored, with no idea of what lay ahead. (58) 'The history of immigration' writes Oscar Handlin, 'is the history of alienation and its consequences.... For every freedom won, a tradition lost. For every second generation assimilated, a first generation in one way or another spurned. For the gains of goods and services, an identity lost, and uncertainty found.' (Quoted in Wheeler). Floating in the bottomless sea of multiculturalism, for a while Willie seems to have found his ground when all of a sudden he comes to a realisation that he did not need to rebel for the simple reason that distances from his roots has given him freedom without asking. In search of his identity in a strange world Willie again projects a borrowed, make-believe identity and ventures to live the image once again. “…he adapted certain things he had read, and he spoke of his mother as belonging to an ancient Christian community of the subcontinent, a community almost as old as Christianity itself. He kept his father as a Brahmin. He made his father's father a 'courtier'. So playing with words, he began to re-make himself. It excited him and began to give him a feeling of power.” (61) In the process of settling down in the London life, Willie comes close to a few people, each of whom is leading a half-life in their own way. There is Percy Cato who was 'a Jamaican of mixed parentage and was more brown than black. '(61) Percy is in many ways like Willie. He is ashamed of his background and instead of presenting facts about his life, like Willie he believes in presenting fiction. He tells Willie that his father went to Panama as a clerk when Willie understands he is lying: That's a foolish story. His father went there as a labourer. He would have been in one of the gangs, holding his pickaxe before him on the ground, like the others, and looking obediently at the photographer. (62) Percy loves to dress immaculately. This excessive alertness about fashion seems to take its origin from the need to hide his not so ambitious background. Their fictional recreation of their lives as well as their overwhelming sense of dressing up provides these exiles a kind of shelter from their modest realities. Sexual promiscuity is a factor witnessed in the third world immigrants who move from the parochial society which imposes sexual taboos to a liberal Western world which is not infested with such inhibitions. The process of adjustment in this respect bears before the immigrant, the narrowness of his native background to combat which he indulges in sexual excesses. Willie Chandran is a man doomed to live under a shadow. His cultural background and his awareness of his incompleteness have bred inhibition. Willie may hide himself by projecting a false ancestry but he cannot kill his reality and at all crucial moments his background and his half-ness become apparent and give him away. His sexual frustrations are not his own; they are the frustrations of a society, of a race and of a culture. Willie is divided within himself in his bid to achieve assimilation or acculturation, which is the only option left to the immigrant in order to survive amidst cultural or imaginative schizophrenia, in this sense, a state of divided identity -- divided by culture, history, circumstance. Novelist Nayantara Sahgal defines this colonial schizophrenia in these words: “I am thinking of schizophrenia as a state of mind and feeling that is firmly rooted in particular subsoil, but above ground has a more fluid identity that doesn't fit comfortably into any single mould.” The bohemian culture of Notting Hill is alien for Willie but not being able to define his own culture, he seeks to adapt to the Notting Hill culture in his bid to survive. Whatever freedom Willie attempts to enjoy here is unsatisfactory because it needs crutches for support. Even the girls Willie sleeps with are not his friends but the lovers of his friends. Quite like Eliot's Prufrock Willie keeps planning to declare his love before Percy and the world when June marries her childhood friend leaving both Percy and Willie in the lurch. Perdita who happens to be Richard's friend leaves Willie's side after the frustrated experience of one night. Immigration threatens with the loss of heritage to preserve which an immigrant tries desperately to stick to his heritage food and language. Attrition of heritage language finds an important place in the colonised/immigrant mindscape. Existence is meaningless unless it is expressed appropriately and language is the tool and power of expression. Displacement brings dispossession of this power, which aggravates the sense of alienation. The immigrant is always at a disadvantage in a foreign land and his/her escape depends on the degree of his adaptability to that which is essentially alien. In the process of initiation language becomes the most potent instrument to come to the immigrants' help. But an inability to forget the native language casts a shadow on the immigrant's prospects in his adopted country. None but Naipaul could understand the agony of losing one's language. In his Nobel lecture he revealed candidly the trauma of migration and consequent loss in these words: The world outside existed in a kind of darkness; and we inquired about nothing. I was just old enough to have some idea of the Indian epics, the Ramayana in particular. The children who came five years or so after me in our extended family didn't have this luck. No one taught us Hindi. Sometimes someone wrote out the alphabet for us to learn, and that was that; we were expected to do the rest ourselves. So, as English penetrated, we began to lose our language. (Naipaul. "Two Worlds." December 7, 2001. Released by the Nobel Foundation) While travelling to Ana's African country from Southampton, Willie's mind is occupied by the confusion that such frequent changes in the setting lead to: He thought about the new language he would have to learn. He wondered whether he would be able to hold on to his own language. He wondered whether he would forget his English… Willie was trying to deal with the knowledge that had come to him on the ship that his home language had almost gone, that his English was going, that he had no proper language left, no gift of expression (132). This loss of proper language becomes even more ironical in view of the fact that Willie is an emerging writer and a writer's very existence is dependent on his language. One also remembers that on the publication of his first book Willie was introduced as 'a subversive new voice from the subcontinent' (122). With his remigration to Africa Willie's voice itself becomes a prey to despotic forces. In her effort to overcome the sense of alienation Ana too enrolls herself at a language school in England. The explanation she gives to her family shows the significance of the language issue in the study of diaspora: “I wanted to break out of the Portuguese language. I feel it was that that had made my grandfather such a limited man. He had no true idea of the world.… In his mind because of the Portuguese language, all the rest of the world had been strained away. And I didn't want to learn South African English, which is what people learn here. I wanted to learn English English.” (154-155) Willie fails to see his future in London when he has completed his studies. His immigrant, wanderer soul takes him to Ana's African country. From Asia Willie had come to Britain in search of an anchor but failing to find one he traverses to Africa which seems to bear more affinity than the West. Thus drifting away from one place to another, from one continent to another, Willie feels he is going to lose his language. Language has ceased to exist as a set of signifiers for Willie. Before he has completed thirty three years on this planet he has been forced by circumstances and his wanderlust to change three languages making him so confused that he does not know how to express himself. Quest for identity pushes the 'subaltern' towards silence. The very basis and grounds of Willie's attraction to Ana is his want of wholeness. In Ana Willie discovers a kind of reciprocity. It is her half-ness that strikes a bond with Willie. While reflecting on Ana's admiration of his book Willie thinks: 'It was possible that she belonged to a mixed community or stood in some, other kind of half and half position' (124). Strangely this half-ness of Ana makes him forget his own lack. Her company allows him room to breathe, to push back the shadow of inadequacy which otherwise looms large on his life. The third person narrator says, 'and what was most intoxicating for Willie was that for the first time in his life he felt himself in the presence of someone who accepted him completely. At home his life had been ruled by his mixed inheritance. It spoilt everything.' (125) Willie's fate as a flotsam becomes even worse in this African country where he expected to belong. The narrator/novelist's description of Willie's arrival in Africa is quite limbo tic. Though this description is modelled on Mozambique Naipaul refrains from giving this country a name. This anonymity is intentional and it is a device to intensify the sense of limbo. One only knows that Willie arrives 'at a little low built concrete town.' (134) and he decides that he shall not make an abiding stay here, 'I don't know where I am. I don't think I can pick my way back. I don't ever want this view to become familiar. I must not unpack. I must never behave as though I am staying' (135). Walking in the streets in this town he feels he is 'walking as if in wilderness' (134). Willie becomes a 'No where man'; he does not belong anywhere. Lack of the sense of belonging makes him indecisive and despite initial reluctance he stays for eighteen years. Describing his lot to Sarojini (Willie's sister) he remembers that in Africa instead of succeeding in finding a place for himself, he had lost whatever little autonomy he had in London. In London at least he was known as Willie Chandran but in Africa he becomes simply 'Ana's London man.' (145) The loss of identity, sense of alienation and exile is the lot of the mixed, unpedigreed class. The stigma of being a second rate citizen hangs around Willie like the albatross (The Ancient Mariner) around the ancient mariner's neck. The mariner however, got respite due to the slimy creatures in the sea; Willie gets temporary relief due to some slippery substance which awakes him to the futility of all his efforts in a half-made society. In Africa Willie gradually finds some solace in the realisation that he is not the only one bearing the burden of the albatross, there are many like him who are infested with a sense of double exile. He discovers he is in a half-and-half world (160) with 'half-and-half friends' (162) who had come to reconcile with their position as 'people of the second rank' (160). There are the Correias, Ricardo and the estate manager of Carla Correia -- Luis and his wife Graca. These people are living a Caliban like existence in Mozambique. There are the Noronhas however who are pure Portuguese -- the colonisers. The Correias are exploited by a Portuguese great man as Caliban was used by Prospero. He was taught language, Correias are given the taste of money and of glamour that money can buy. They are used as scapegoats and once they have served the cause of this great man they are shown their right place as second rank citizens. This great man remains anonymous because the name does not matter; he represents the empirical forces. In Berlin describing the plight of Correias to Sarojini Willie says: To destroy a Portuguese like himself would have been to break caste, according to the code of the colony, and to become disreputable. There was no trouble at all in throwing a man of the second rank into darkness, someone from the half-and-half world, educated and respectable ands striving, unusually knowledgeable about money, and ready for many reasons to do whatever he might be required to do. (174) Despite all adverse circumstances Willie still feels much at home among the Africans. 'In Africa I had after a while let those London lies drop; in our half-and-half group they seemed to have no point' (179). For a while at least Willie seems to have come to terms with his past, with himself. The dilemma that lack of the sense of belonging infuses is ironically the lot of the coloniser as well. Graca, the beautiful wife of Luis, stays back in Africa when the Portuguese leave the country. Graca is pure Portuguese but she is a third generation migrant. Her grandfather had come to Africa with the coloniser and he had stayed back. Now Graca has been born and brought up in Africa so she belongs here but her children go back to Portugal where they have to give documentary proof of their Portuguese identity. Loss of identity is then, an inevitable evil of colonisation which afflicts both sides -- the coloniser as well as the colonised. Willie comes to see this plain truth in time and decides to call it a day. For years he has allowed himself to become easy victim to slippery substances but on a rainy day when he slips after having spent eighteen years in Africa, he comes to realise that at forty-one, its high time to stop making a fool of himself. He wants to emerge out of the shadow of the image of 'Ana's London man', which was thrust on him without his knowing. He is resolved that there are not going to be any more slips for him. Resolutely he tells Ana: 'I mean I've given you eighteen years. I can't give you any more. I can't live your life any more. I want to live my own.' (136) Ana is in the same boat and she knows the agony too well. She has herself been leading a borrowed life. She tells Willie: 'Perhaps, it wasn't really my life either.' (227) Willie's rejection of a vicarious existence has been seen as 'coming of age' of Naipaul's hero. The protagonists of Naipaul's fiction may be different persons but there may be sensed a thread of continuity in their fate and their limbo tic status. Willie in Naipaul's twelfth novel may be in many ways different from Mohun Biswas in A House for Mr.Biswas, Ganesh Ramsumair in The Mystic Masseur and Ralph Singh in The Mimic Men but essentially they are all one as they present different aspects of the same cultural mindset. Naipaul once said, 'all my work is really one; I'm really working one big book'. All his major protagonists suffer the tragedy of displacement and expatriation from their land. Separation from land leads to disorder and the forlorn spirit's search for land is concomitant with its search for order. There is a host of writers whose theme revolves around the anguish and pain of diaspora but what makes Naipaul truly great is his sensibility. His fictional characters are moved not as much by anguish as by angst. His first hand experience of the same gives him an edge. His works derive their strength from his own life and the Swedish academy has very correctly recognised this in its Nobel citation: 'his authority as a narrator is grounded in his memory of what others have forgotten the history of the vanquished.' (Thursday October 11, 2001) REFERENCE: • Naipaul, V.S. Half a Life. London: Picador, 2001. • Wheeler, Thomas: The Immigrant Experience. Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1971. • Sahgal, Nayantara. "The Schizophrenic Imagination." From Commonwealth to Post-Colonial. Ed. Anna Rutherford. Sydney: Dangaroo Press, 1992. CHAPTER – II DE – COLONIALISATION IN THE MIMIC MEN "The Mimic Men" (1967) presents and examines a newly independent country in the Caribbean, the island of Isabella, with a pessimistic view: the previous colony has now become independent but the formerly colonized people of the island are unable to establish order and govern their country. The colonial experience has caused the colonized to perceive themselves as inferior to the colonizer. Colonial education and cultural colonization have presented the English world, with its rich culture, as a world of order, discipline, success, and achievement. As a result, the natives consider their own culture, customs and traditions, religion, and race to be inferior to those of their master and try to identify themselves with the empire. Since they are far away from their original homeland, their own original traditions and religions have become meaningless to them, and thus, they cannot identify themselves with those remote rules and codes. However, as they are different from the master in cultural, traditional, racial, and religious backgrounds, they can never successfully associate themselves with the colonizer either. They suffer from dislocation, placelessness, fragmentation, and loss of identity. They become mimic men who imitate and reflect the colonizer's life style, values, and views. As these psychological problems cannot be solved after independence is achieved, independence itself becomes a word but not a real experience. Without the colonizer, the colonized see themselves as lost in their postcolonial society that fails to offer a sense of national unity and identity. Ralph Singh, the narrator of "The Mimic Men", is a forty-year-old colonial minister who lives in exile in London. By writing his memoirs, Singh tries to impose order on his life, reconstruct his identity, and get rid of the crippling sense of dislocation and displacement. In other words, Singh is the representative of displaced and disillusioned colonial individuals, and colonization is depicted as a process that takes away their identity, culture, history, and sense of place. Thus, the novel considers the relationship between the socio-political and the psychological consequences of imperialism (Thieme 1987: 113). This means that to read the novel just for its politics is to destroy its emphasis on the psychological problems of colonial people (King 1993: 72). In his room in a hotel in a London suburb Singh reevaluates his life in the hope of achieving order, as the place in which he is born is associated with chaos. As he says: “to be born on an island like Isabella, an obscure New World transplantation, second-hand and barbarous, was to be born to disorder" ("The Mimic Men", 118). Singh does not follow any chronological order in his writing but he constantly moves backwards and forwards, writes about his childhood and adulthood, his life in Isabella and in England, his political career and marriage, and his education to give shape to the past and his experiences, and to understand himself. Therefore, according to Richard Kelly, Singh is the centre of his small world, and his childhood, political carrier, and educational background. By presenting different times, places, and situations, he tries to put the parts together to complete the puzzle and rewrite his life. He considers the notions of colonisation, decolonisation, history, culture, race, and politics, to write his own story and to give meaning to his existence. Hence, the novel presents Singh’s desire to learn “what it means to be a colonial subject in a postcolonial society” (Cudjoe 1988: 99). The constant shifts between the past, the present, and the future may also reflect Singh’s internal chaos; as John Thieme has suggested, this technique is suitable for presenting “social and psychological disturbances” (1987: 114). However, the irony is that in his search for order, Singh is unable to follow a chronological pattern to impose order on his writing. Still, at least, writing becomes an activity by means of which he can find the reasons for his failure. From what he writes we can learn, like him, how colonial experiences have affected and shaped his life and personality as what he says cannot be reduced to what is being said explicitly; like thought itself and behaviour, it bears the weight of the other, the other of which we are all unaware or which we half refuse (Lemaire 1977: 40). As he is born to disorder, Singh longs for a sense of control over his life and, therefore, he turns to writing which becomes a “means of releasing” from the “barren cycle of events” (White 1975: 180). As Kelly has pointed out, it is through the expression and presentation of the events that he can reduce the pain of being a displaced colonial man: the act of writing his memoirs provides him the final solution to his sense of dislocation, for through writing he is at last able to take control of the fragments of his past and shape them into a spiritual and psychological autobiography. (1989: 90) As a child, Singh responds to his sense of abandonment by dreaming of India, the homeland, and of his origin. He reads books on Asiatic and Persian Aryans and dreams of horsemen who look for their leader ("The Mimic Men", 98). He creates an ideal and heroic past which is in conflict with the real-life condition in Isabella. For example, he goes to the beach house owned by his grandfather and one day he sees the death of three children who are drowned in the sea while the fishermen do nothing to save those (The Mimic Men, 108-109). At that point he realizes that Isabella cannot be the ideal landscape he is searching for. As Thieme has observed, the beach scene refers to the myth of Perseus who was saved from being drowned in the sea by Dictys, a fisherman and a hero, who presents a contrast with the passive and selfish Carib-African fishermen. Hence, Singh’s experience on the beach makes him too aware of the distance between Isabella and his true, pure world (1987: 117). Moreover, he is completely shocked when his father sacrifices Tamango, the race horse, although he is aware of the symbolic significance of such an act in Hindu tradition. As Donald A. Mackenzie has explained, the aim of the sacrifice is to secure prosperity and fertility (1985: 90-91). Although Singh idealizes his Hindu past and culture, he is in fact unable to understand Hinduism and thus, as Thieme has observed, when the horse is killed, the ideal past collapses and the concrete experience shocks the child (1987: 133). In other words, this sacrifice causes Singh to see an Indian world that is in contrast with the noble and ideal realm of imagination (Hughes 1988: 74-75). Hindu rituals have lost their meaning in Isabella as the people have lost their connection with India, its culture, customs and traditions. Thus, as Bruce King has claimed, by leaving India and going to the Caribbean islands, the Indians are doomed to isolation and dislocation: The process of losing one’s Indianness started with leaving India. That was the original sin, the fall. After that Indian traditions could only either decay into deadening ritual or become diluted, degraded and eventually lost through outside influences and intermarriage with others. (1993: 68) Hence, Singh suffers from “genetic” dislocation which, according to Rob Nixon, refers to the condition of the East Indians in the Caribbean. They crossed the kalapani, black water, and thus, they lost their Indianness (1988: 4). Moreover, Singh, as a member of an ethnic minority on the island also experiences “ethnic displacement” which refers to his status as an Indian in Isabella (Nixon 1988: 6). By idealizing the past, Singh wants to reconstruct history to establish his identity; however, he realizes that such a task is impossible and, therefore, he becomes disillusioned. Like Singh, his Chinese friend, Hok, reads books on his own origin, China, and idealizes his past and is humiliated when it is discovered that he has black ancestors. Browne, Singh’s black revolutionary friend, also fantasizes his origin and his room is full of pictures of black leaders. Thus, according to Dolly Zulakha Hassan, each boy is in fact obsessed with his own racial origin and the ethnic group to which he belongs and the novel, therefore, implies that the emotional security and a real sense of identity are unachievable in heterogeneous societies of the Caribbean (1989: 253). As a result of his psychological need for identity and fulfilment, Singh becomes a politician. He tries to achieve order, meaning, and success as a political figure. In other words, Singh needs a real view of himself and of the world around him so he participates in politics. Singh’s political career is then potentially a means by which he can satisfy his ego. He refers to his political activity as a “drama” and examines its effects on himself but he does not concentrate on his people or on the shoe shops, filling stations, and schools that are established on the island with his help. Singh’s obsession with naming clearly shows his psychological need for power and ownership: So I went on, naming, naming; and, later, I required everything - every government building, every road, every agricultural scheme - to be labelled. It suggested drama, activity. It reinforced reality. It reinforced that sense of ownership which overcame me whenever I returned to the island after a trip abroad ... ("The Mimic Men", 215) By naming roads and buildings, Singh reinforces the reality of his power and political career, and by renaming himself, he redefines his own reality (Nightingale 1987: 100-101). However, the irony is that by changing his name, Ranjit Kirpalsingh in fact has changed the very identity for which he is searching so desperately. In his attempt to define himself through his political activities, Singh realizes that he has become separated from his people and has to play a role to preserve his position. He feels incomplete because he is aware of the meaninglessness of his role as a colonial politician. To him, politicians in Isabella seek power and order without knowing the real meaning of those concepts: Having no gifts to offer, they seldom know what they seek. They might say they seek power. But their definition of power is vague and unreliable. ... The politician is more than a man with a cause, even when this cause is no more than self-advancement. He is driven by some little hurt, some little incompleteness. He is seeking to exercise some skill which even to him is never as concrete as the skill of the engineer ... ("The Mimic Men", 37) Singh is very well aware of the fact that the “drama” has not brought peace and order to the island but only created a dramatic illusion of order, and that island society still suffers from social and racial unrest and from economic problems. Under such conditions the government decides that the nationalization of the sugar estate, owned by an upper class Englishman called Lord Stockwell, is the only way of solving the economic problems and uniting people. Consequently, Singh is sent to England to carry out the negotiations. However, he fails to persuade the English to help his government and is also humiliated by one of the English ministers in the meeting: His manner indicated clearly that our game had gone on long enough and he had other things to do than to assist the public relations of colonial politicians. ... I said, “How can I take this message back to my people?” ... He said: “You can take back to your people any message you like.” And that was the end. ("The Mimic Men", 224) Moreover, Lord Stockwell refuses to talk seriously about labour problems and sugar estate; instead he treats Singh like a child and says that he has got nice hair. Both the minister and Lord Stockwell, the representatives of the imperial power, impose their superiority on Singh who is reduced to a child. Hence, by refusing to consider Singh as a political figure or acknowledge the importance of his task, they in fact, push Singh to an inferior status, and finally to a sense of political dislocation and failure. Without any help from the English, Singh is unable to find any solution to his country’s problems, and thus, nationalization becomes a word and finally Singh faces his “private loss” as he cannot act without the master’s approval or help: My sense of drama failed. This to me was the true loss. For four years drama had supported me; now, abruptly, drama failed. It was a private loss ... ("The Mimic Men", 221) Isabella’s lack of a political awareness makes its politicians absurd characters who suffer from their own insignificance and displacement. With no political reality there is no real sense of identity and without that the island politicians suffer from non-existence as politics does not have any real meaning on the island that has been controlled, ruled, and exploited by the empire. Therefore, without a real political history of their own, colonial politicians are used as political stooges by the super-powers. Singh also suffers from dislocation and alienation because of his educational background. As a victim of the colonial education system and curriculum, Singh has always been encouraged to imitate the empire and to become a "mimic man": My first memory of school is of taking an apple to the teacher. This puzzles me. We had no apples on Isabella. It must have been an orange; yet my memory insists on the apple. The editing is clearly at fault, but the edited version is all I have. ("The Mimic Men", 90) Moreover, Singh’s colonial education has taught him that the mother country, England, is the symbol of order. When he studies English culture and history, he feels that his own culture, if there is any, is inferior to that of the colonizer. Hence, Singh’s colonial education has caused him to become a homeless man with no self-image. Singh keeps asking himself whether he is the product of his colonial education. He both recognizes and criticizes colonial mimicry, but he also knows that he cannot help being a mimic man as he is “a specific product of a particular socioeconomic formation called colonialism” (Cudjoe 1988: 100). In his attempt to find his identity and the ideal landscape, Singh goes to London only to realize that the city does not promise anything to an East Indian colonial subject as he can never identify himself with it. In London, Singh realizes that he can never be an Englishman in spite of his public school education, and that one can be English only if he is born in England. Thus, Louis Simpson has pointed out that the West Indians can only face dislocation in the metropolis: The descriptions of the immigrant’s life in "The Mimic Men" show how disillusioning that life could be. Nothing would have prepared the West Indian for the English climate or the dreariness of living in a boarding house. Confronted with greasy wallpaper and a gas meter into which you had to feed shillings to keep warm, he would have had long thoughts. (1984: 574) Singh does not find a complete solution to his psychological problems. Hence, his writing reflects moods of displacement, disillusionment, and sadness. Alienated from his own society, Singh travels to different places to overcome his feeling of isolation but he is aware of his "imminent homelessness" ("The Mimic Men", 249). Although Singh cannot completely solve his psychological problems, he reaches a conclusion through writing his memoirs. He realizes that his experiences and his feeling of abandonment and displacement cannot be separated from his colonial backgrounds ("The Mimic Men", 50). Without a real and identifiable historical background, Singh has become desolate and that is why he constantly tries to impose order on his past, present, and future. To Robert Morris, Singh’s final state is a real "final emptiness”as he has lost everything at the age of forty (1975: 66-67). However, to Hena Maes-Jelinek, the very emptiness refers to his detachment from the events and proves that he is now ready to start a new life (1967: 513). In other words, he is now aware of how and why he finds himself in the condition of a homeless citizen of the world, and concludes that he has achieved a new perception of himself. In conclusion, Singh examines and analyses the colonial and postcolonial periods, historical, cultural, and political backgrounds, economic problems and psychological conflicts and finally concludes that writing can be de-colonialisation itself. He realizes that colonial societies like Isabella suffer from lack of cultural, historical, and racial homogeneity. Although he fails to reconnect himself to India, the homeland, or to connect himself to London, the metropolis, by writing his memoirs, Singh finally takes control of his sense of dislocation as he realizes that there is no ideal place with which he can identify himself. His final detachment is an expression of a “distance from any clear-cut national identity or notion of home” (Nixon 1988: 3). Hence, in "The Mimic Men", “home” can never ultimately be more than the books he writes or, perhaps more precisely, the action of writing them” (Gottfried 1984: 443). REFERENCES: 1. Cudjoe, Selwyn R. "V. S. Naipaul: A Materialist Reading". Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1988. 2. Gottfried, Leon. “Preface: The Face of V. S. Naipaul.” "Modern Fiction Studies" 30 (Autumn 1984): 443 . 3. Hassan, Dolly Zulakha. "V. S. Naipaul and the West Indies". New York: Peter Lang, 1989. 4. Kelly, Richard. "V. S. Naipaul". New York: Continuum, 1989. 5. King, Bruce. "Modern Novelists: V. S. Naipaul". Hong Kong: Macmilllan, 1993. 6. Lemaire, Anika. "Jacques Lacan". Trans. David Macey. London: Routledge, 1977. 7. Mackenzie, Donald A. "India." London: Studio, 1985. 8. Maes-Jelinek, Hena. “ S. Naipaul: A Commenwealth Writer?” "Revue des Langues Vivantes". 33 (1967): 499-513. 9. Morris, Robert K. "Paradoxes of Order: Some Perspectives on the Fiction of V. S.Naipaul." Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1975. 10. Naipaul, V. S. "The Mimic Men". Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969. 11. Nightingale, Peggy. " Journey Through Darkness: The Writings of V. S. Naipaul". St.Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1987. 12. Nixon, Rob. “London Calling: V. S. Naipaul and the License of Exile.” 13. "South Atlantic Quarterly" 87: 1 (1988): 1-37. 14. Simpson, Louis. “Disorder and Escape in the Fiction of V. S. Naipaul.” 15. "Hudson Review " 37:4 (1984): 571-577. 16. Thieme, John. "The Web of Tradition: Uses of Allusion in V. S. Naipaul’s Fiction". Hertford: Hansib, 1987. 17. White, Landeg. "V. S. Naipaul: A Critical Introduction". London: Macmillan, 1975. CHAPTER – III CONCLUSION AND OBSERVATIONS V. S. Naipaul stands as the master of the novel and a creative craftsman of such surpassing talent that Pritchett Britain’s leading critics call him “the greatest living writer in the English language”. Naipaul portrays his minute observations in the first chapter about diasporic elements which are well-knit in his novel ‘Half a Life.’ He narrates in a room full of strange faces, even a mirror comes as a relief because therein one can see a familiar face. Half a Life is the story of a race in search of a familiar face in the mirror; the irony however lies in the fact that even the mirror reflects a face which is not recognisable. Through the story of William Somerset Chandran Naipaul presents the ironical existence of diaspora. The theme of dislocation and consequent loss of identity has been a recurring one in the literature of Diaspora Naipaul seems to be a champion of this issue. Ganesh Ramasumair's (The Mystique Masseur) search for roots takes him to various stages of transformation and finally the face that he could discover was that of G. Ramsay Muir. Mohan Biswas's (A House for Mr. Biswas) search for a house is a metaphor for his search for his own place/face in the mirror. Half a life is apparently a record of Willie Somerset Chandran's quest for identity. The novel opens with the beginning of Chandran's search for his roots. Willie asks his father, 'Why is my middle name Somerset?' This question forms the very essence of a person's existence. The answer to this question brings into light the irony of Willie's existence and at the same time prepares the background of his half-life in half-made societies with people who are themselves leading a life which is half-discovered, half-realised and half-lived. Naipaul depicts the intricacies of colonial world in the second chapter where man’s search for his identity of home and nation takes the pivotal importance. The colonial experience has caused the colonized to perceive themselves as inferior to the colonizer. Colonial education and cultural colonization have presented the English world, with its rich culture, as a world of order, discipline, success, and achievement. As a result, the natives consider their own culture, customs and traditions, religion, and race to be inferior to those of their master and try to identify themselves with the empire. Since they are far away from their original homeland, their own original traditions and religions have become meaningless to them, and thus, they cannot identify themselves with those remote rules and codes. However, as they are different from the master in cultural, traditional, racial, and religious backgrounds, they can never successfully associate themselves with the colonizer either. They suffer from dislocation, placelessness, fragmentation, and loss of identity. They become mimic men who imitate and reflect the colonizer's life style, values, and views. As these psychological problems cannot be solved after independence is achieved, independence itself becomes a word but not a real experience. Without the colonizer, the colonized see themselves as lost in their postcolonial society that fails to offer a sense of national unity and identity. In the third chapter, Naipaul’s book about India, entitled “India: A wounded civilization” is based on his personal experiences on his visit to India in 1962 and 1975 respectively. Though this book may be regarded as travelogue Naipaul’s experiences and observations are based on his personal study, encounter and feelings but the journalist’s eye for significant details, his art of selection and his aesthetic approach it projecting his views and visions regarding India’s social cultural and political scenario bring them to the category of this new genre. Apart from its innovative form and style on this book essentially present the author’s visions and views on India which have been received with great controversy. Naipaul’s journey to India has found a sensitive account in three of his travelogues. His travelogues are significant, because India is the land of his forefather: “We may have a feeling that V.S. Naipaul’s journey to India has something nostalgic about it”. V. S. Naipaul, who was born in a Hindu Brahmin family in Trinidad in 1932 felt repelled by the Society of Trinidad, he summed up as” fairly simple barbarous and limited.1 At the age of eighteen he left Trinidad and went to University College, oxford where, he read English and was able to break out of the constricting moulds of both orthodox Hinduism of India, the land of his ancestors and limited means and opportunities at his home. But this also meant being initiated into the European cultural rhythms of life and we find Naipaul poised between two sharply opposed worlds. There he grew into a consciousness Marked by a dichotomy. The orthodox Hindu faith of his ancestors, who came to Trinidad as indentured labourers and the rationalism of the west both imported and neither was native Trinidad. Naipaul’s argument in India: A wounded civilization focuses on many points only fleetingly examined in the first book and in particular centres round an evaluation of Hinduism historically, socially, intellectually, and politically. Naipaul finds Hinduism at the core of the Indian predicament. According to Naipaul Hinduism leaves man prepared for defeat and with drawl rather than independence and action. Encouraging withdraw from the physical and social world Hinduism. Hinduism inhibits the development of the individual and produces indifference to social ills; above all, Naipaul observes, Hinduism’s great flaw is that it provides no idea of a contract between man and man. Naipaul, here, seems to be developing the thesis that the real emergency of India is not political but psychological. Since the stumbling block which prevents progress in the post independence period is the fatalistic acceptance induced by the Hindu doctrine of “Karma” He says: ....... the Hindu killer, the Hindu calm, which tells us that we pay in this life for what we have done in past lives: So that everything we see is just and balanced and the distress we see is to be relished as religious theatre, a reminder of our duty to ourselves, our future life. (IWC: p.25) - 2. Naipaul regards the Hindu Concept of ‘Karma’ as a Parlay sing, defeatist philosophy which prevents western style individual self realisation and progress. Naipaul sees that the adherence to this doctrine of issues the crucial reasons of the Indian failure. In the first book on India also Naipaul is preoccupied with the doctrine of “Karma” which he equates with colonial mentality, a state of mind characterized by its passive acceptance. It is ‘Karma’ that keeps Sweepers as Sweepers, insuring ‘degrees of degradation’ (An Area of Darkness, p.50) through its emphasis on the fundamental justice of the caste system. It is ‘Karma’ that enmeshes Indians in a cyclic view of history which Naipaul sees as medieval (An area p.67) and which he illustrates by reference to Manohar Malgonkar’s novel ‘The Princes’ (1963). It is Karma that reins forces the inequalities of post independence society by implying that they are part of the divinely ordained scheme of things. Naipaul links the advent of caste system with Hinduism. The division of Society into four main categories further divided into thousands of sub-castes, culminated in the establishment of yet another category, the untouchables, Naipaul finds fault with Gandhi for being “against Untouchability but not against the caste system” (Iwc p.155). According to Naipaul Gandhi has failed to import into India the racial consciousness that marked his South African Campaign. He blames Gandhi for having failed to provide an ideology for an independent India, for turning against modern industrial world in favour of cottage crafts and village rule, and above all for subsiding into Mahatmahood. The difficult lessons of south Africa were simplified and Simplified in India; ending as a holy man’s fad for doing the latrine cleaning work of untouchables, seen only as our exercise in humanity ending as a holy man’s place for brotherhood and love, ending as nothing (Iwc p.156) I bid 3 Naipaul dismisses Vinoba Bhave also as “Ganhdi’s Successor, is more a mascot than a Mahatma” (IWC p.159) Bhave, along with Gandhian politicians, typifies for Naipaul the fatuousness of Gandhi’s followers with their daily stint at the Spinning wheel, their garb of homespun cotton their anti-intellectualism and their political capitalisation of their past association with the Mahatma. Naipaul’s second significant and powerful nonfiction novel is India: A wounded Civilization (1977) based on his fourth visit to the sub-continent in 1975 during the Emergency. This is a sustained diatribe against what Naipaul calls the “Wounded Civilization” that the author painfully observed in his ancestor’s homeland, Although more balanced and matured than An Area of Darkness, India A wounded Civilization may be regarded in many aspects as a confirmation of the former as Naipaul one again takes up most of the problems like Brahminism, Hindu religion, Gandhian philosophy and other aspects which he had discussed in the earlier look. Naipaul detects the all pervading influence of the doctrine of ‘Karma’ in the Indian psyche He find sit in complacency of a Rajasthan Prince: in the perpetuation of beggar, in the Indian attitude to history an the past and in literary works as diverse as the novels of R. K. Narayan the plays of the Marathi dramatist, Vijay Tendulkar and U. R. Anantamurthy’s Kannada novel Samskara ‘Karma’ as he sees it, arrests all growth and guarantees the ossification of the wounded civilization which is slowly destroying itself. He writes: The turbulence in India this time hasn’t come form foreign invasion or conquest: it has been generated from within. India cannot respond in her old way by a further retreat into archaism (India p.18) However Naipaul seems to appreciate the Hindu concept of “Dharma” as “the right way ........ which all men must follow according to their natures ...... At its noblest it combines self-full filament and truth to the self with the idea of action as duty action as its own spiritual reward ....... it touches the high ideals of other civilizations” (Iwc p.169). As Srinivas K. Sastry has rightly observed the book is a “Sensitive and painful response to the reality of India: the difficulty and despair, the nearness and the distance the strangeness and the distress are all amply evident throughout the book”. Sastry insightfully comments that “Naipaul in a period of thirteen years has travelled from an “are of darkness’ to a wounded civilization; and the outcome is an accretion in his sense of the depth and distress of the Indian reality, more conscious and more reasoned”.5 (Ibid - 96-97). After writing The Enigma of Arrival in 1987, Naipaul Undertakes a third book on India. The book is different from the other two books in tone and content. In India: A million Mutinies Now Naipaul’s voice is almost relegated to the background and only his meetings with various people and his recording of their experience of life come to surface. Naipaul seems to hold an attitude ever since The Enigma of Arrival. It is in The Enigma of Arrival that he has given clear expression to his new out look He comes to attach importance to the idea of change in man’s life rather than to the idea of decay. He further releases that only through this attitude to life can one learn to bear the destruction of things one has known or one has grown up with. He finds a process of change going on all around him. The same attitude dominates his India: A million Mutinies Now published in 1990. The book has been praised to be full of warmth and humanity like Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas. Adherence to Karma and the belief in the Hindu continuity which this entails upon are, as he sees it, antipathetic to the novel’s “westerns concern with the condition of men a response to the here and now.6 (Ibid 18-19). According to Naipaul “Karma” which encourages passive acquiescence in one’s lot on the grounds that it is fundamentally, a just payment for one’s behaviour in past incarnations. In commenting On Anantamurthy’s Samskara Naipaul raises the crucial question analogues to the individual Calvinist’s dilemma for the believer in karma: ‘men are what they are, what they have been made by their previous lives’. But how does a man know his true nature his form.7 (Ibid p.107). His account of the plot of Samskara makes it quite clear that it is possible to be mistaken’. Anantamurthy’s hero, the Acharya the leader of group of Brahmins, has always believed himself to be a man of goodness but a sexual lapse forces him to revise his opinion of his karma. During a period of picaresque wandering, he undergoes a series of pollution before deciding to return to the Brahminical brotherhood and confess his sins. Naipaul’s interpretation, that the novel reveals the stultifying effects of caste and Karma Seems, as Margaret Nightingale has pointed out, rather limited. The Acharya’s journey is of genuine spiritual growth and self discovery which remains within the Hindu tradition; it is as surely a spiritual allegory as denial Defoe’s account of Robinson Crusoe’s regeneration and equally well suited to the novel form. Naipaul’s remarks on Narayan are also very revealing. He discusses two novels, Mr. Sampath (1940) and The vendor of Sweets (1967) where Mr. Sampath is concerned he records how, on first reading the novel he had mistakenly taken it to be a social comedy. Naipaul comments that Narayan’s novels are purely social comedies. Therefore he said I had one taken them to be than religious books, at times religious fables and intensely Hindu.8 (Ibid 21). Briefly his view is that Narayan’s hero Srinivas is a “Contemplative idler who ventures into the active world by setting up weekly news paper in Malgudi the fictional south Indian town which Narayan has been peopling for nearly half a century how. When he is forced to close the paper, Srinivas becomes involved in the making of a film. Finally after a vision of the Millennia of India history which assures him of the cosmic harmony underwing the apparent confusion of life. He deserts the commercial world for treat “Compounded of karma” non-violence and a vision of history as an extended religious fable.9 Naipaul concludes, “The novel I had read as a novel was also a fable, a classic exposition of the Hindu equilibrium.10 Further Naipaul considered ‘The vendor Sweet’ is subjected to a Similar kind of analysis, only now the hero, Jagan, is seen as a reflection of the bewilderment of post-Independent India where the old equilibrium has collapsed. He too encounters the active world and he too eventually beats a retreat. There is, however as Naipaul sees it, a fundamental difference between his withdrawal from the world and that of Sriniva’s, His retreat is a travesty of the renunciation which ushers in the Ban Rasta. The third ashrams (or stage) of the ideal Hindu life: Naipaul comments here: Jagan’s flight is not like Sriniva’s withdrawal, and is the opposite of the calm renunciation which Hinduism prescribes, when the house holders, his duties done. Makes way for his successors and turns to a life of meditation that act of renunciation, implies an ordered, continuing world, chaos has come to Jagan’s world; his act is an act of despair; he runs away in tears.11 In India: A Million Mutinies Now, Naipaul is reborn into a new persona; accepting himself and his talent. He listens to characters as they recount the narrative of their own lives, and he refrains from offering overt authorial judgement. As we observe that his writings on India show interplay of his preoccupations remain constant, while the response they produce is subject to change, here his life functions as a primary source of Material in all his works. In India: A wounded civilization now, he defines the problem it poses. India is for me a difficult country it isn’t my home and cannot be my home and yet I can not reject it or be indifferent to it. I cannot travel only for the sights I am at once to close and too far. Narasimhaiah is all the more bitter to note Naipaul’s views on religions expressed by him in India: A wounded civilization According to Narasimhaiah Naipaul had no regard for religion. He has consistently rejected religion. He is pleased in A wounded civilization that “a hundred years (From India) had been enough to wash me clean of my religious attitudes” I had not thought that religion was such a filthy thing that he could dismiss it with relief while what he really needs to do is to expiate a pettiness. He is not in need of reminding that washing will not clean memories any more than it did poor Lady Macbeth. Was he unaware of the irony of such a remark what with its unmistakably Shakespearean overtones the image “clean’ conveys? In a wounded civilization he dwells on the “Forgotten Empire” of Vijayanagar at length only to assert ‘Religion has decayed: popular Hinduism had decayed into barbarism” Mr. Anantamurthy provides the stick for Naipaul in his widely known novel Samskara Where a meat eating Brahmin living with his untouchable mistress was denied the rite of cremation by his caste while I have know of such men being censured and even excommunicated by Swamis and Village headmen, I haven’t heard of such inhumanity as denial of cremation to a dead man and the body allowed to rot for three days’ in a small village community in south India. But Naipaul was looking out for just this kind of material he has a newspaper man’s nose of stench. The artistic accomplishment of Samskara in clearly beside the point for Naipaul and Anantmurthy cannot feel placated by the Emphasis Naipaul places on its theme.12. C D Narasimhaiah “Naipaul: A case of Bizarre Reputation”, The Functions of Criticism in India 144-45. But as we studies that Naipaul mentioned in Anantamurthy’s “Smaskara” a Brahmin meat eating man sexual contact with a untouchable mistress was rejected the final rite of cremation by Brahman’s it is really true even today happening in the India. Similarly as we observed that not only Brahmin but also other communities having sexual contact with a untouchable woman, same thing happening. Narasimhaiah also takes Naipaul to task for wrong analysis and under-standing for R. K. Narayan’s and Vijay Tendulkar’s literary works He thus observes: If Anantamurthy endeared himself to Naipaul with the Stereotypes of Hindu society held to ridicule by the western Sociologist and the Indian writer with the reformist read. R. K. Narayan and Vijay Tendulkar, the Marathi playwright, seem to have rubbed Naipaul on the wrong side. Tendulkar talked of the serenity rather than the ‘horror’ of the river bank in his play ‘Vultures’ and so he goes. Naipaul’s grievance against R. K. Narayan is the lack of what he calls “Social enquiry for in his novels a novel by definition is a social enquiry for him. Even so readers of Narayan and the Indian novel in English should know that if Naipaul had said this against Raja Rao there might well be a semblance by truth because of Raja Rao’s over welcoming metaphysical preoccupations.13 India: A wounded civilization in different pages. 1) Social inquiry is outside the Indian tradition, Formal politics became on affair of head counting. 2) The crisis of India is not political it is not economic, it is part of a larger crisis, that of a decaying civilization. 3) Dudia is without ideology that that was the failure of Gandhi and India together. 4) The scientist returning from abroad regains the Security of his caste identity and security of his caste identity and the world is once more simplified.14 What is Naipaul’s unique treatment of India is the intimacy with the subject matter. India: A Million Mutinies Now represents a departure from the techniques of the earlier works, in that it is not governed by an overweening authorial voice which issues judgements and directs responses. It is published in 1990. The book has been praised to be full of warmth and humanity like Naipaul’s A House for M. R. Biswas. After about twenty seven years from his first visit to the land of his ancestors he begins to find a country that has changed enormously. He finds the Indian civilization on its turn and the power of religion is being altered. During his Journey towards east, west, north and South of the country he finds people carrying on with their own individual battles. He finds mutinies everywhere and a tradition of self sacrifice quite alien and surprising to the west is being set. By and large Naipaul finds the absence of a racial and Community identity which has been relevant and necessary in the Multi racial Trinidad Society. In India Naipaul finds people with no such comfort and feeling. The idea of an Indian community which has been a continental idea and which made sense only when the community was very small, a minority, and isolated, made no sense in the torrent of India. In India with its hundreds of races and millions of people the continental idea is no comfort at all, He finds people holding on so smaller ideas of who and what they were (are) : they find stability in the smaller groupings of religions, clan, caste and family. All over India he finds people living more on their nerves. And “develop a different attitude to authority.15 When the Bombay stock-market boomed Papu, a twenty nine years old stock-broker succeeds in making more money that it was possible for his father all his working life. But still Papu lives with his doubts and fears about charity and social service, and his own genuine feeling for the poor. He would rather prefer to live like a hypocrite up to the age of forty and then divert his attention to social work. He even doubts his idea of social work and thinks that he should try to help people to help themselves but not to feed them for ever.16 What Naipaul observes in people like papu is a growing sense of Materialist attitude. They go to temples, churches, etc. where they need something (p.57)17 at the same time people follow religion since there is no harm in following it. Mr. Raute, a top Shivasena leader thinks that religion helps in infusing confidence and building character of persons and people (p.43) He also observes that pious feeling towards the poor is no longer a sufficient response. Naipaul further observes that the politicians and gangsters are ganged up together leading to the “criminalized political scenario Homespun clothes, once the clothes of the poor, now no longer worn by the poor, are worn only by the men to whom the poor had given power (p.193)18 The gangsters at the top the dons could be famous public figures could be courted by political parties and film people could put their money into the making of films. But the men below, the men in the middle were doomed. They couldn’t withdraw from life, they couldn’t hide, they all knew that they would be one day die from police bullets. They had fallen as children for the life of crime. They became Criminals because the life style of a criminal fascinated them. Naipaul also observes that the traditional role of a pujari is slowly changing and the modern pujari has to Shape his profession according to the needs of the busy life and people of Bombay. While elaborating on the divisive movements like the Perriyar movement in the south and the Sikh terrorist movement in the north Naipaul says that these are stages in general awakening. In the long process of awakening, everyone in India awakened first to his own group or community. But these movements, narrow and sectarian in nature were only temporary. They in fact, fortified and strengthened the Indian union. People ultimately succeeded in revolting against these parochial tendencies. Therefore, India is now, for Naipaul, a country of a million little mutinies. All Mutinies, supported by twenty kinds of group excess, sectarian excess, religious excess, regional excess: the beginnings of self-awareness and the beginnings of an intellectual life. Today in India according to Naipaul it exists what did not exist two hundred years before a central will, a central intellect and a national idea. The Indian Union is greater than the sum of its parts: and many of these movements of excess strengthened the Indian state, defining it is the source of law and civility and reasonableness. In Naipaul’s view the Indian Union has given people a second chance calling them back from the excesses: the destructive chauvinism of the Shivasena, the tyranny of many kinds of religious fundamentalism the filmstar corruption and racial politics of the south, the pious Marxist idleness and nullity of Bengal, Excess is now felt to be excess in India. All these Mutinies are helping to define the strength of the general intellectual life, and the wholeness and humanism of the values to which all Indians now feel they can appeal Therefore these Mutinies are not to be wished away. They are part of the beginning of a new way for many millions part of India’s growth and part of its restoration. With India: A million Mutinies Now Naipaul succeeds in making a kind of “return journey to the land of his ancestors. Though there is no indication in the book to tell us about the decrease in his separateness from India, there is ample evidence in the book to show some appeasement in his attitude to India. His reasoned analysis of the problems of India slowly gives way to his sympathetic understanding of Indian Society and how slow were the processes of restoration and regeneration in the country that had been destroyed by endless invasions and plunders. Naipaul’s sensibility and concern towards the people of India finally enables him to enter into the materialistic world of its people, He understands that it is she faith of the people and their belief in the oneness of their culture that keeps different people and cultures united. Naipaul understands further that “faith” is only one of the few aspects of old India which has not been destroyed even after the years of subjugation and plunder. This aspect of India certainly brings out Naipauls’ sensitivity and profound concern for the country and its people. Naipaul even though mentioned and met M. P. Prakash, the non-Congress Minister, Government of Karnataka. He said that one Sunday morning M. P. Prakash invited him to have breakfast. This invitation to breakfast gave a touch of the specialist industrial fair, of drama and American rush to the politicians’ life. And in fact, this early morning time was when ministers and politicians of importance were very busy. Suppliants rising and getting ready in darkness, went at dawn to wait outside a great man’s house just as in ancient Rome ‘ client’s first duty in the morning was to ran to the house of his patron to add the crowd there, for the sake of the great man’s dignity (p.181). Prakash wasn’t among the top crowd-pillars. He had a more sedate reputation as an educated and competent Minister, a shrewd and serious politician, yet capable of detachment some one little out of the ordinary in the state politics. Naipaul liked the non-congress, State Government of Karnataka Minister M. P. Prakash. Naipaul highlighted, Prakash, true to his character, didn’t keep us waiting. Almost as soon as he had been told, we had arrived. (p.182) An almost as soon as we had sat down at the table Mrs. Prakash appeared, in a blue sari, and began serving us the ritualized duty of the conservative Hindu wife, personally to serve food to her husband that Naipaul appreciated. Therefore he explains that he broke off and, lifting a side dish, said, ‘Everything in this house has been provided by the government. Every cup. Very plate. How can a man give up this life? He was referring not to himself, but to others. It is in the social fibre, as I say. In the old days the Maharajas used to get their land revenue. But in addition to that people would go after them and collect the gifts like, gold, ornaments, fruits, coconuts. They would all these things on a plate and the plate would be of brass or silver according to your states. The present day Maharajas are the Ministers. Indira Gandhi was a Maharani. “Buying religious favours is another equivalent. There again you have different levels of gifts. Some people might give only a coconut. Do you know the story about the temple at Tirupati? It was the Story I had heard from Kala. Prakash said: you give money there to help Lord Venkateshwara to repay his loan from Kubera. He borrowed the money to get married (p.184). Thus Naipaul expressed his views on India and rattled for a while after listening to M. P. Prakash, a statesman of his own stature who can throw his insights into the Indian political life. In the fifth chapter Naipaul is buried in the inferential world where he bound to search for identity of his own in the area of darkness that is very inevitable to him. In today’s post-colonial world construction of “nation” is incomplete unless the voice of its diasporic ‘citizen’s is part of its conceptual framework. The creative writer who is also an emigrant treads on a very fertile cross-road between immediate homelands his family history and the compulsions of migration as he draws the picture of his home country. By questioning the identity of India beyond geography and place, the point of view of the emigrant helps to broaden the frame work within which India is defined. Through a reading of V. S. Naipaul’s An Area of Darkness, we will argue that Naipaul’s world-view strikes an ambivalent relationship with his experiences in India and Afro-Caribbean women in the US. Carole Boyce Davies identifies this urge; “Migration creates the desire for home, which in turn produces the rewriting of home. Homesickness or homelessness, the rejection of home or the longing for home become motivating factors in this rewriting. Home can only have meaning once on experiences a level of displacement from it”. A certain sense of both nostalgia and pain accompany a migrant’s thought of home. I encountered the name in frequently but with a degree of regularity; he was mentioned as a curiosity, an Indian who was not quite an Indian, and his name was uttered with a mixture of disapproval and mischief as if it were a contraband item. Amit Chaudhuri on his childhood recollections of Naipaul, a third generation India, born and brought up in Trinidad, Naipaul’s world is bounded by the mechanics of colonialism. This can be traced one of Naipaul’s soft quoted images of man in colonial society. “A derelict man in a derelict land; a man discovering himself, with surprise and resignation, lost in a landscape which has never ceased to be unreal because of the scene of an enforced and always temporary residence; ....... from where there could never more be escaped”. This emotion is the forerunner of one of the very early pictures of India that Naipaul remembers having, “India lay about us in things : in a string bed or two, grimy, fettered, no longer serving any function ...... in wooden printing blocks never used because printed cotton was abundant and cheap and because the secret of dyes had been forgotten”. Thus, Naipaul’s quest for identity is an unending voyage for the research scholars as far as his novels are concerned with great empathy of insights and perceptions. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Adams, Robert Martin. "V. S. Naipaul." Hudson Review 33 (1989): 474-78. 2. Allen, Walter. "London Again." 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