Friday, May 17, 2013

Shame (1983) As Fantasy/ Historical Extravaganza/ As a satire/ Political novel

Shame (1983)
As Fantasy/ Historical Extravaganza/ As a satire/ Political novel

Q- 1 Do you consider shame is and is not about Pakistan OR. 2. In shame Rushdie  uses fantasy to comment on Indian and Pakistan political history” – comment OR Rushdie in ‘SHAME’ slips into “ nonsense” but only to achieve his political exposure in an effective way concerning Pakistan “ Discuss OR do you do consider “shame  as a political and historical novel about Pakistan ? Comment OR. comment on the political, cultural and social dimensions of “shame”.

v  Introduction:
            With just six novels like ‘Grimus’, ‘Midnight’s Children’, ‘Shame’, ‘The Satanic Verses’, ‘The Moor’s Last Sign’ and ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feed’, Salman Rushdie (1947) has established himself as one of the best novelists of the world. Through his Post modern novel ‘Shame’ about Asia and Pakistan, Rushdie has emerged as a major novelist delineating the contemporary scene on the Indian sub continent. He also ranks among the world’s best contemporary novelists like Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass, John Irving and V.S. Naipaul. His ‘Midnight’s Children’ was awarded ‘The Book Prize’. His novels are nothing but the manifestation of a world-wide trend by which authorities have made all form of arts, a classic target or censorship. Yet
“ Despite all controversies regarding his fictional writing he remains a writer who deserves respect a writer of uncommon talents.”

v  Rushdie’s satirical venom
            As reported in ‘The Time of India’ 30th June Issue of 1988, Bothe novels ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘Shame’ Salman Rushdie’s satirical venom applied with merciless come to the politic reportage of scenario countries. And both are supremely grotesque vehicles from linking fanciful family tale and murky political history His ‘Shame’ particular contains number of stories fact of history of Pakistan. And each story is some how  interlinked with each other. Commenting about his own novel Rushdie says,
            “It seems to be that everything in my books has to do with politics and with relationship of the individual and history.”
            Here Rushdie follows the great fantastical and satirical tradition manner like Gunter Grass, Melville, Cracia Marquez, Joyce, and Beckett

v  Historical and Personal Realism about Pakistan
            Shame is a novel of historical and personal realism about Pakistan, the other divided part of British India since the partition. The novelist considers its history ‘a disaster’ or ‘a failure of identity’ which is focal point in the novel. It is a crude mixture of history, politic, sate and allegory, all combined in on. Apparently it deals with the fate and fortunes of the two families of Raza Hyder (an image of General Zia) and of Iskander Harappa (an image and fictitious figure of Zanab Zulfikar Bhuttto). Essentially it is a tale about life of men and women in Pakistan. The theme of it is repression of sham that breeds violence and still more shame writ large in social and history of those people. The shameful environment he has chosen for his subject in this novel that makes political expose of Zia Ul Haq’s Pakistan ‘a sort of modern fairytale’. 

v  Political situation in Pakistan:-
            Shame is about what happened to the other half of the sub-content after 1947. It depicts the contemporary political situation in Pakistan. The main plot of the novel revolves around the lives of Omar Khayyam Shakil and Sufiya Zinobia. In the sub-plot, the novelist describes the relationship between the two important architects of Pakistan’s history Raza Hyder and Iskander Harappa based on General Zia and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
            The society in Pakistan is by and large repressive. It is a society which is authoritarian in its social and sexual code which cruses its women beneath the intolerable burdens of honour and proprietary. For example Iskander Harappa once told his daughter,
‘As a nation we have a positive genius for self-destruction. We nibble away at ourselves, we eat our children, we pull down anyone who climbs up.
 It is beset with careerism, cops, politics revenge, assassinations, execution, blood and guts. According to Rushdie, Pakistan is the peeling, fragmenting palimpsest, increasing at war with itself. It is nothing but a failure of the dreaming mind. It is against the background of this sort of political atmosphere that the character and events in ‘shame’ act and react. Hyder’s first son is still born, strangled by the hollow cord of history. While the second child a daughter is retarded by incurable brain fever

v  Cultural Climate:-
            The heroine Sufiya Zinobia represents ‘Disorder of Pak society. She is a product of the cultural climate. Her violence seems to be blind and pointless, but is also illustrated well known historical truth about dictatorship rule in Pakistan. The novel portrays a girl who suffers excessively from the emotion of shame.  Individually speaking, it does not happen so in normal conditions. At times she represent mob violence, a rumour, a beast the collective fantasy of oppressed people and a dream born of her rage. Referring to the character of Sufiya, Rushdie remarks, Here you have to make connection between shame and violence. If you push the people too far and if you humiliate them too much then a kind of violence bursts out of them I wanted to enclose that idea inside one person Sufiya. 

v  Relationships between an individual and the historical force
            Here Rushdie tries to highlight transcultural relationships between and individual and the historical forces. About Pakistan’s history he bitterly remarks, It is history was old and rusted. It was a machine, nobody had plugged in for thousands of years, and here all of a sudden. It was being asked for maximum out put. One again Rushdie passes very bitter remarks against Pakistan’s filthy history, ‘Well, there is a few voices saying if this is the country we dedicated to God, What Kind of God is it that permits but these voices were silenced before they had finished their question kicked on the shin und table, because there are things that can not be said no. it is more than that; there are thing that can not be permitted to be true.
v  A Fictionalized Picture about Pakistan:-
             What we see in the novel is a fictionalized picture of the novelist’s ideas about Pakistan. Some fact about characters and events of history the country ‘Q’ (Pakistan) are fictionalized by Rushdie. He has tried to fictionalize the facts of the prevailing political situations in Pakistan. Pakistan is drawn as a country of shame. The failure of Pakistan in its political and cultural dream has turned into a nightmare. The soldiers and dictator like Ayukhan, Yahya khan and Gen. Zia take to politics in alliance with fanatic and so called Mullah and Imams. White Politician like Iskander indulges in murders. The scene of slapping of Genera Raza by President Iskander symbolizes the tend of Pakistan’s political supremacy.  The women are free in the matter of sex. Sufiya Zinobia is the shame incarnate and the darling child of the Present of Pakistan.

v  Understanding of time and history:-
            Thus ‘Shame’ is not an anti-Pakistan book only; it deals with the question of correct understanding of time and history. This is what is important. Like T.S. Eliot, Rushdie believes that ‘the historical sense involves a perception, not only the past, but its presence. The consciousness of history is a sense of the timeless as well as of the temporal. That way, Rushdie does not underrate the value of past. He says, “What you were is forever who you are.” Most of what matters in your life takes place in your absence.” In “Shame”, he says, “Men who deny their pasts become incapable of thing them real.” In this way he combines diverse element like history and fantasy, fact and fiction, and transforms them into a new creative whole which acts as a work of fiction.

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