Colonial Law and Caste Mobility in the Novel Saraswathivijayam

M Dattatreya
2016 unpublished
The paper attempts to problematise the tendency of the postcolonial elite to homogenise their experiences as victim subjects, negating and subsuming the perspectives of the unrepresented/underrepresented cultures and communities. In this endeavour the paper presents the case of Saraswathivijayam, one of the earliest Malayalam novels, which portrays the introduction of colonial rule and dissemination of colonial modernity as ushering in an era of multiple possibilities hitherto denied by the
more » ... o denied by the Indian traditional order to its marginalised communities. The seminal aspect of contradiction and confrontation in the novel Saraswathivijayam is the portrayal of native law as opposed to colonial law. Thus, it throws up many challenges to the politics of the postcolonial elite by showing that colonial consciousness in fact opened up numerous possibilities for everyone involved rather than being an alienating experience, as the elitist perception of colonial encounter dominantly perceives.