S/words versus S/words: A Bidirectional Reading of the Post/colonial Fictions
The article explicates the polemical schema of the novels produced by the British and the Indian writers apropos the historical event of the anticolonial rebellion/ revolution (1857). Grounded in the idea of creating a dialogue between the colonial and counter discursive texts, the research invokes Richard Lane’s bidirectional approach to explain how conflictual political visions trigger the skewed versions of the great defiance. The novelists of both nations have produced prolific fictional yields to represent the epic event. However, keeping in mind the scope of the study, the researchers have delimited their focus upon two of the representative novels, one for each nation: Louis Tracy’s The Red Year: A Story of the Indian Mutiny (1907) for the English version and Basavaraj Naikar’s The Sun behind the Cloud (2001) for the Indian one. Each of the novels voices the sloganized rhetoric of the respective nation while narrating the colossal clash, that is, Tracy portrays the mutiny as nefarious recalcitrance of the Indian rebels to disrupt the civilizational program and Naikar presents it as an auspicious act of defiance against the exploitative encroachment of the usurpers. A comparison has been drawn between the ideology-ridden discursive patterns of both the belligerent narratives and an intriguing concatenation of the diametric contrasts has been identified. The essential argument of the article is entrenched in the postcolonial and the new historicist notions vis-à-vis the chequered nature of the textual narratives and politicized parlance of the discursive records of the historical happenings.