THE IMPACT OF PARTITION: A STUDY OF AMITAV GHOSH’S NOVEL THE SHADOW LINES

Dhurum Sula Boro
Assistant Professor, Department of English, Missamari College, Missamari, Sonitpur, Assam, India

Abstract
Amitav Ghosh in the novel The Shadow Lines focuses on the partition of India and the subsequent trauma of the East Bengali psyche. In the novel, the partition becomes the locus for the exploration of larger political concepts like ‘freedom’, ‘nationalism’ and for an interrogation of the concept of borders. The partition was meant to solve the problems of social unrest whether on religious grounds or political motivation but the partition has been turning into communal violence between the two major groups Hindu and Muslim. This research article has an attempt to portray the impact of the partition that divide the people into small nations with reference to Khuswant Singh’s novel Train to Pakisthan. The partition affects in the each and every part of human life; it affects on the humanity; it affects in the psychology of the people; it affects on the economy; it affects on the society.

Key words: Partition, Nationalism, Freedom, Border, Trauma

1. Introduction
Amitav Ghosh is a Bengali Indian author, a pioneer of English literature in India; best known for his works in English language. As a novelist, Amitav Ghosh was successful enough in his ambition to win the Sahitya Akademy Award for The Shadow Lines.

The novel The Shadow Lines reflects on the impact of partition that divides people into small nations. The people of the neighboring countries generally have the same cultural backgrounds, have similarities in features, food, dress and thought, but the partition make them strangers and enemies. They now don’t want to know one another unless they come to the battlefield. In The Shadow Lines the partition becomes the locus for the exploration of larger political concepts like ‘freedom’, ‘nationalism’, and for an interrogation of the concepts of border. Ghosh is an essentially idealistic vision of world without borders- the emblems of which in The Shadow Lines happens to be the atlas and the story of Tristan, which are what Tridib bequeaths to his nephew, “Tridib had given me worlds to travel in and eyes to see them with”,(Ghosh, 2014) avers the narrator very early in the novel. Tridib’s legacy was a particular vision of the world where the shadow lines that connected people were infinitely more significant than the lines that divided them. The Shadow Lines is a novel that questions whether states can be geo-politically defined; whether the socio-political shadow line that we draw between people has any validity by itself, or whether it is an absurd illusion. In other words the novel explores the relationship between the modern nation state and its denizens and it exposes the limits of that relationship.

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