Azadi has 62 ratings and 7 reviews. Rishi said: I picked it in a second hand book shop and got big time lucky:) The story begins with the place Sialk. Indian novelist, born in Sialkot, formerly in India and now in Pakistan, educated at the University of Delhi and the University of Nottingham. Since he has. Chaman Nahal was 19 when partition took place. When the most unrelenting sight on both sides of the Radcliffe Line was of roads dotted with.

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Author Chaman Nahal talks about his book ‘Azadi’

The paper is an attempt to study Azadi in the postmodern perspective and to attempt the application and utility of the post-modern critical concepts like historiographic metafiction to historical novels. It is not only a recreation of a historical event but an imaginative revisioning of a historical epoch.

Indian freedom movement and the consequent emergence of the two states, Pakistan and India, acquired a huge dimension in the history of South Asia.

The focus of the novel is the socio-political concerns of the era. It leaves an impact of being more than a historical novel in which historical sense and reality enter into the sphere of art imperceptibly. The heroic effort to throw away the foreign yoke was an epic struggle covering the first half of the twentieth century. The struggle was long and grueling. It caught the imagination of the entire nation, no less the Indo- English writers.

No significant writer could escape the impact of the mighty movement sweeping the country.

Historians and literary artists have traditionally played significant roles in all national revolutions of the world. Not only do they reach the minds of the people through their writings, they also subject every institution of the society to a specific political philosophy.

The paper also attempts to study the same in the light of the Western postmodernist theory as a work of historiographic metafiction in which historical sense and reality enter into the sphere of art imperceptibly. Historiographic metafiction is a term originally coined by literary theorist Linda Hutcheon.

Historiographic metafiction is a quintessentially postmodern art form, with reliance upon textual play, parody and historical re-conceptualization. It is a kind of postmodern novel which rejects projecting present beliefs and standards onto the past and asserts the specificity and particularity of the individual past event. Since the documents become signs of events, which the historian transmutes into facts, as in historiographic metafiction, the lesson here is that the past once existed, but that our historical knowledge of it is semiotically transmitted.

Chaman Nahal – Wikipedia

Finally, Historiographic metafiction often points to the fact by using the paratextual conventions of historiography to both inscribe and undermine the authority and objectivity of historical sources and explanations. An attempt to analyse Azadi in the postmodern perspective will help to appreciate his craftsmanship better and to judge the utility and feasibility of applying the Western critical concepts like historiographic metafiction nahql historical novels.


It chooses the issues of the past not nostalgically but critically, it contains a deliberate contamination of the historical with didactic and situational elements, and above all, private experiences are elevated skillfully to public consciousness.

For historical fiction to carry a deeper meaning, it must succeed at the realistic level first.

Through the fortunes of one single family, that of Lala Kanshi Ram, the writer portrays a vivid picture of the evils of imperialism. The announcement comes and the people listen to the news of partition with bated breath.

The feeling of hostility naturally runs high all over the north western and eastern regions of India. The situation in Sialkot worsens, and events take place with monstrous rapidity and suddenness. In the sickening climate of communal bittereness and hatred, even the pure and profound Arun-Nur love relationship ceases to be a private love affair and acquires communal or political overtones.

This stay however turns out to be brief and deluding, for what happens to them in the course of their journey to the Indian border is incredibly painful and humiliating.

The people of the Punjab in general and of Sialkot in particular who were until then only Punjabis and who spoke a common tongue wore identical clothes, and responded to the weather, to the heat and the first rains, in an identical manner, suddenly become conscious of their religious and ethnic roots, of their being Hindus or Muslims, of their belonging to the majority or minority communities.

The feeling of hostility naturally runs high all over the north-western Index Copernicus Value: In the Muslim-dominated city of Sialkot, which was until a few days ago a picture of peace and amity and co- operation among the Muslims and the Hindus and the Sikhs, all being the children of the same soil, the Muslims celebrate the news of partition and the creation of Pakistan with the bursting of crackers and illuminations and processions.

In their own turn the Hindus and the Sikhs think only of how to defend them- selves against the impending attacks of the frenzied and fanatical mobs of Muslims. Not unnaturally, the division of the country on a blatantly communal basis does bring about a psychological wedge, an emotional and spiritual rift among the civil police and military personnel of undivided India.

Everything looks so confused, so uncertain, so tense and grim. In this sickening climate of communal bitterness and hatred even the pure and profound Arun-Nur love-relationship ceases to be a private, personal affair, and, almost in spite of them, it comes to acquire communal or political overtones. With the influx of the Muslims into the city, crying hoarse their tales of woe and destruction at the hands of the Hindus on the other side of the border, communal tension mounts up in Sialkot and what were at first only sporadic acts of murder and looting and arson subsequently explode in massive and organized violence by the Muslims.


A sizable majority of the Hindu families of Sialkot shift to the newly set up refugee camp for safety, and those residing in Bibi Amar Vati’s two houses on the Fort Street do also move there on August 2,under Lala Kanshi Ram’s leadership.

Chaman Nahal Biography

This lull in their lives, however, turns out to be only brief and deluding, for what happens to them in the course of their journey to the Indian border is incredibly painful and humiliating.

The pointed reference to the Mahabharata and Kurukshetra is an ingenious hint at the destruction and chaos that nearly engulfed India at the time of partition. Life is indeed a self- perpetuating phenomenon. Lala Kanshi Ram has seen both the Hindus and the Muslims committing enormous crimes in the name of religion.

He has ceased to hate the Muslims.

The assassination of Gandhi by a Hindu is a convincing confirmation of his opinion. Azadi has three parts: Each one of these titles bears tremendous psychological significance, and taken together they do form a meaningful sequence. It is, perhaps, not at all difficult to see that from the lull of suspense and stupor, the novel gets into the storm of communal orgy that leaves its visible impact, as aftermath, on the last part of the book.

The novel is replete with morbid silences, frightening noises and graphic descriptions of human indignity and brutality. In a sombre drama of mass murders and mass rapes, we encounter a number of characters among which Lala Kanshi Ram stands apart. He is painfully conscious of the fact that freedom or Azadi has been achieved at the cost of enormous sufferings and hardships to people.

He fhaman years of blankness and desolation ahead. Abbas’s Inquilab, Attia Azadu Sunlight on a Broken Column, Ahmad Ali’s Twilight in Delhi and Manohar Malgonkar’s A Bend in the Ganges, but it may be said unequivocally that Chaman Nahal’s Hahal is an epoch-making book nahwl describes not only the terror and tumult that accompanied, in fact, darkened, the attainment of freedom in but does also envisage man’s Azadi or freedom from beastliness, from moral, psychological and spiritual malady.

It addresses the historic event not just nostalgically but also critically. Individual consciousness is deftly raised to public consciousness through the projection of characters.

The novel is an imaginative revisioning of the historical nshal possessing features of the post-modern form labeled as historiographic metafiction.

Freedom song – Society & The Arts News – Issue Date: Jul 16,

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