Chotti Munda and his arrow
I had but one arrow , says Chotti Munda, the hero of this epic tale. A magic arrow that stood for the pride, the wisdom, the culture, of their society, a society threatened with inevitable disintegration as its traditional structures crumbled under the assault of national development . The wide sweep of this important novel encompasses many layers. It ranges over decades in the life of Chotti the central character in which India moves from colonial rule to independence and then to the unrest of the 1970s. It probes and uncovers the complex web of social and economic exchange based on power relations. It traces the changes, some forced, some welcome, in the daily lives of marginalised rural community. And at its core, it celebrates Chotti, legendary archer, wise and farsighted leader, proud role model to his younger brethren. Written in 1980, this novel is also remarkable for the manner in which it touches on vital issues that have, in subsequent decades, grown into matters of urgent social concern. It raises questions about the place of the tribal on the map of national identity, land rights and human rights, the museumi zation of ethnic cultures, and the justification of violent resistance as the last resort of a desperate people, amongst others. In the words of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, This is the novel where Mahasweta articulates tribal history with colonial and postcolonial history. . . After Chotti, the text of tribality frees itself from the burden of a merely Indian history. . . Chotti Munda repeatedly dramatizes subaltern solidarity: Munda, Oraon and the Hindu outcastes must work together. Today such a solidarity has a name: Dalit. Mahasweta Devi is one of India s foremost writers. Her powerful fiction has won her recognition in the form of the Sahitya Akademi (1979), Jnanpith (1996) and Ramon Magsaysay (1996) awards, the title of Officier del Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres (2003) and the Nonino Prize (2005) amongst several other literary honours. She was also awarded the Padmasree in 1986, for her activist work among dispossessed tribal communities. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is the Avalon Foundaion Professor in the Humanities Department at Columbia University and the author of many books, including A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - mausergem - LibraryThing
This is a historical novel depicting the adivasi struggle (one of the aboriginal tribes) of north east in the twentieth century. The novel was originally written in Bengali and later translated in ... Read full review
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adivasis Amlesh archery arrer arrow asks Basmati Bharat Birsa Birsa Munda Bisra bonded labour boss boys brother caint Chadha Chhagan Chhagan says Chotti Munda Chotti says Chotti smiles Chotti village Chotti's wife comes d'ye Daroga Dhani Munda didn Diku Dukhia e'en ever'thin everything eyes fair folks forest give bonded goes Gormen happened Harbans Harmu hear India je-hell keep Khurana kill Koel Kurmi Lala Lala's land Latehar Lemme look lord Mahasweta Mahasweta Devi maize moneylender Motia Mundari language Mungri Narsingarh Naxal nothin Oraon paddy Pahan police polis Puran Ranchi rupees says Chotti Shankar shoot Singh Somchar station stay Sukha Swarup talk tell thana there's thing Tirath Tirathnath Tohri tomorra tribal trouble untouchables What'll What's word ye say Ye won Ye'll Ye're Yeah Youth League zamindar