Shashi Tharoor's Riot: Perspectives on History, Politics and Culture

Paras Dhir
2009 Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities  
History, politics and culture have always been a dominant preoccupation of the Indian-English novelists. This compulsive obsession was perhaps inevitable since the genre originated and developed from concurrently with the climactic phase of colonial rules, the stirrings of nationalist sentiment and its full flowering in the final stages of the freedom movement. In this paper an attempt is made to examine Shashi Tharoor's Riot as a multilayered narrative that sheds light on many contemporary
more » ... ny contemporary issues on history, politics and culture of India. "If there was ever a time when writers could refuge from politics in the world of imagination, then that time has long past", says Bill Ashcroft, "The world is richer and yet more people are poorer than any time in history. Neither writing nor criticism can avoid the call to justice forced on the world by the mushrooming of neo-liberal political and economic power." 1 Yet few writers have accepted that challenge as resolutely as Khushwant Singh, V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Chaman Nahal, Nayanatra Sahgal, Arundhati Roy and Shashi Tharoor. In this paper an attempt is made to examine the perspectives on history, politics and culture in Shashi Tharoor's Riot. "Riot skims the anguish of isolation and the social mores of Indian society bringing back once in a while the historic crutches of suspicion and divisiveness that we have been left with" 2 , opines Uma Nair. A reading of Riot makes it clear that Tharoor seems to be living his life on
doi:10.21659/rupkatha.v1n1.02 fatcat:wwnv7na4and5zdnp565binfaku