Tag Archives: Colonialism

Abu Ishaque’s Surya-Dighal Bari: Religious Hegemony in the Context of the Famine of 1943 in Colonized Bengal (Published)

Surya-Dighal Bari (The Ill-Omened House), published in 1955, translated into English by Bangla Academy awardee Abdus Selim, is Abu Ishaque’s first and classic novel. Ishaque is considered one the pioneers of modern Bangladeshi novelists. The background or plot of the novel is twofold. First, the time period, this is known as the famine of ‘50. In Bangla year 1350 (1943 AD), a devastating famine stroke this land just four years before the Partition of Bengal and almost five million people died of starvation. This famine was caused by some controversial policies and indifference of the British government. A heartbreaking scenario of this famine reported in “Bengal Provincial Hindu Mahasabha Relief Committee Report of Relief Works” says, ‘The streets of the “Second City of the British Empire” thronged with living skeletons, the emaciated deadbodies frequently found on the pavements of the metropolis, men and dogs fighting for a share of the garbage collected in the dustbins of Calcutta, unattended babies in the villages being dragged away by the jackals are the sights that are never to be forgotten’ (6).  Secondly, the pre and post-Partition Bengal and its impact on ordinary people. The Partition was done on the basis of Hindu-Muslim religious riot the devastating impact of which is still perforating Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. After the partition, people became more dominated by religious fundamentalism. So called Imams and other leaders started to take the opportunity of the ignorance of ordinary people to dominate them. Even in the novel, it is depicted how the ill-omened house is haunted by djinns. And to be safe from them, people have to take Tabij (amulets) or other superstitious precautions. Politicians, who used religious sentiment as their political weapon, are not the characters of this novel, yet they dominate the plot. Readers can smell gunpowder though they don’t see a single gun. The famine emerged during World War II, the country became independent in the name of religion, and politicians were benefitted in various ways. This paper tends to show how insignificant this independence is for the ordinary people. Just within five or six years of independence, Ishaque realized that nothing positive was going to happen in independent Pakistan, a religion-based state. Independence in the name of religion is of no use to the ordinary people; rather, religion becomes another weapon of domination for the ‘independent religious-political leaders’. Politicians didn’t create war for economic- social- psychological freedom of these marginalized people. They wanted to fix up their own geographical border where they would practice power freely. National and international politicians created war and took their own shares. But the inextricable strike of the rodent paw of war descends on those who don’t know the who- what- why- how of the war. They don’t even know who are fighting against whom. The people dying of starvation are innocent and their only fund is some simple- impeccable dreams. One of these dreams is to have enough food for survival. This simple dream becomes an unreality when riot begins, war haunts and famine strikes. This paper also tries to show the true condition of a newly independent East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), where the infamous famine of 1943 has already stricken. It also tries to depict the condition of so called low life marginalized people. Has the controversial Partition of Bengal really benefited either Hindus or Muslims? Has it really freed people of religious, political or economic subservience? These questions are still valid because the devastating War of Liberation of 1971 again left an almost-permanent scar in the soul of Bangladesh. The necessity of the Liberation War proves that a partition on the basis of religion can never bring good luck to a country.

Keywords: Colonialism, Famine, Hegemony, Partition, Religion.

Righting/Rewriting Arab History in Arab American Narrative (Published)

Arab nation is one of the most ancient nations in the world. Their history goes back to The Bronze Age (3200–1300 BC). However, such a history is totally distorted as it was written according to the whims of the colonizers. Arab history has been massively transformed; their culture deprecated and entirely disparaged; their wealth plundered. However, some Arab and Arab-American writers have started a mission to rewrite the deformed history of Arabs. One of these writers is Samia Serageldin, whose novel The Naqib’s Daughter is a rewriting of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. The present article argues that Egyptian history has been defaced by the colonial powers and that Serageldin has succeeded in bringing to light the false claims of the colonists. The article maintains that the novel is a counter-discursive postcolonial novel, in which Serageldin attempts to right and rewrite the history of Egypt from the point of view of Egyptians themselves. The article aims also at analyzing The Naqib’s Daughter in terms of the contemporary political developments in the Arab world and the role played by world superpowers in shaping and reshaping the contemporary history.

Keywords: Colonialism, Egypt, French invasion, history, rewriting

Pictures of Persuasion: Hong Kong’s Colonial Travel Posters (Published)

Hong Kong Baptist University recently purchased one of the world’s finest collections of vintage Hong Kong travel posters. The collection, which includes approximately one hundred posters dating from 1930-1980, is significant in many ways. These pictures of persuasion “offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand”. The posters provide a glimpse into evolving mid-century commercial art and the visual languages of Western modernism. Perhaps more importantly, however, they offer a valuable historical and social perspective on Hong Kong’s self-conception and its image in the West during the city’s late colonial period. The posters touch on many important historical themes, including a defence of colonialism, Hong Kong’s local and overseas identities and the ways people shared a now-lost urban environment. Hong Kong’s colonial travel posters belong to the collective memory of Hongkongers and the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Keywords: Colonialism, Commercial Art, Hong Kong, Identity, Travel Poster

On Colonial Nostalgia Case Study: Algeria (Published)

The colonization of Algeria lasted for one hundred thirty-two years. The war that broke up on November 1, 1954, cost much blood, 1.5 million people killed. At this juncture, the colonized regarded Western colonialism, in general, French one, in particular as a system with undeniable damaging effects. In these recent years, however, there has been much talk in progress, both in the settler country and in the formerly colonized. This talk is about a presumed positive role. In other words, a new political discourse and a new literature aiming at justifying and sanctifying the role and the impact of colonialism is coming to the fore. The colonists, having never given up yearning for Paradise Lost, are seeing to rehabilitate what they consider a distorted image of colonialism. Their main argument is grounded in the fact that it had unquestionably been beneficial not only to them but also to the natives. In short, the argument lies in that the civilizing mission proved a success. Likewise, in Algeria, a population, mainly young, born after independence, and which can only guess the far reaching consequences of such a system, is led to think that its embrace would have enabled it not to miss the rendez-vous with modernity. To put it simply, the widespread idea among these youth lies in that having driven the colonists out of the country has affected the country in all domains. This article looks at this colonial nostalgia with Algeria as a case study. This has been done by examining the writings of pros and cons concerning this nostalgia.

Keywords: Algeria, Colonialism, Nostalgia

Anatomy of Rebellion: Insurgency, Insurrection, and Militancy in Nigeria (Published)

Transitional societies face a myriad of problems which include incessant conflicts. Some scholars and international financial institutions believed that neoliberal economic growth and policies in support of them would reduce poverty and end conflicts. While not disputing the role of economic growth in a country’s development, this paper takes the view that a holistic approach that recognizes good governance can do more to promote sustainable peace and development. The methodology for this paper was content analysis of official documents, articles and other written sources. The paper observes that the absence of good governance has provided a fertile ground for some of these conflicts to emerge such as insurrections, insurgencies, and general insecurity of lives and property. It concludes that a developmental model that takes cognizance of this can provide the best option for emerging societies in need of lasting peace.

Keywords: Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Colonialism, Development, Governance, Insurgency, Insurrection, Militancy, Rebellion

The Impact of Colonialism on the Development of Marketing in Nigeria: A Dyadic Analysis (Published)

For about a century, the British colonial masters took full control of the political, economic and even the social life of the people called Nigerians today. This paper traces the impact of colonialism on the development of marketing in Nigeria. It takes a look at the pre-colonial marketing practices of the nation-states and kingdoms and the development or otherwise of marketing during the era of colonialism in Nigeria. It points out that what the colonialists did or failed to do to develop marketing theory and practice in Nigeria. It adopts a theoretical review of related literature and also took a position on this topic that while the colonialists had set-up some institutions, they did very little to strengthen the institutions and develop human capital in the country. The article makes far-reaching recommendations that will help enrich marketing theory and practice, strengthen marketing institutions and contribute to the general well-being of the people and the nation as a whole.

Keywords: Colonialism, Development, Indirect rule, Marketing, Nigeria, Segregation.

Arevenge Endeavor (And) Unconscious Desire: Psychoanalytic Study on Mustafa Saeed in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North (Published)

Season of Migration to the North is first written in Arabic language by the Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih and later translated into more than fourteen languages. As postcolonial novel it reflected the conflict between the West and East. Despite Sudan is an Africa country, East stands for the Arab culture that dominates the Sudanese Muslim Majority nation. Many studies endeavored to explain the ambiguity that usually dominates this novel especially the main character Mustafa Saeed. This study aims at analyzing the main character by adopting psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud and later theorist like Carl Jung to explore Mustafa Saeed’s interracial sexual relations with western women. It is also attempted to find out why did Mustafa behaved differently in Sudan and London? To test whether his childhood wormless upbringing impacted his sexual relations as defense mechanism as claimed by Freud that childhood experiences crucially contribute to adulthood personality or he deliberately seduced Western women sexually as a revenge for the Western exploitation for Africa. Through the critical analysis it’s apparent that Mustafa exploited English women sexually as a means of revengeful reaction to Western exploitation of Africa; but it’s also his loss of maternal care and love in state of sexual fixation towards all women especially his feeling of a vague sexual yearning when Mrs. Robinson embraced him for the first time despite he was only being a boy of twelve years old.

Keywords: Colonialism, Psychoanalytic criticism, interracial sexuality, oedipal complex

Representation Of Changing Indegenous Values In Pakistani Society: An Analysis of Raffat’s Poetry (Published)

This study deals with the post colonial analysis of Raffat’s poetry and it shows how he used hyberditity, mimicry, of colonialism, imperialism and effect of colonial era and colonizers on the native culture, education and their historical roots. His poems show deep glimpse of colonial effects and he highlights them through symbols and similes and other literary forms. This study aims to analyze Raffat’s portrayal of the colonial experience touching upon the issues of colonial ideology and the link between culture and imperialism, mimicry, hybridity and the representation of changing indigenous values of Pakistani society. The study aims to establish its intention that Raffat’s poetry plays an integral role to unveil the condition of Pakistani people after colonization.

Keywords: Colonialism, Culture, Eastern Images, Hybridity, Indigenous, Mimicry, postcolonial

Imagery as a Character Delineation Technique for the Analysis of Loss of Identity in Desai’s “Clear Light Of Day” (Published)

Desai is famous for creating an intense atmosphere in her novels. Being an Indian Feminist writer, her novels deeply reflect the social and cultural background of Indian society. She, being a literary writer, has mastered in delineating various techniques in her novels that distinguish her from her contemporary female writers in literary world. As an eminent figure in the world of Literature, she has employed similes and metaphors in order to find out loss of identity issues in postcolonial era. This paper aims to draw attention of the readers to the hidden underpinnings in her novels.

Keywords: Colonialism, Identity Crisis, Imagination, postcolonial

Neo-Colonialism is a Stage Designed by Colonial Powers to give the Colonized an Illusion of Freedom: A Neo Colonial Analysis of Things Fall Apart (Published)

This research paper aims at exploring how neo-colonialism is an indirect survival of colonial system. The assumptions of Nkrumah and Young along with the supporting views of Sarte and Bhaba regarding neo-colonialism have been used as a major theoretical framework for this paper. The novel Things Fall Apart (1958) has been chosen to show that neo-colonialism is in fact killing of two birds with one stone. It shows that how white men indirectly started working on colonizing the minds of people. The new globe order does not allow the direct rule therefore specific local bourgeoisie class plays the role of middle man in transferring the nation’s wealth and resources to the ex-colonizers.

Keywords: Colonialism, Indirect rule, Neo-colonialism, Young


This paper is an endeavor to explore the damaging role played by comprador//bourgeois class in the fate of newly independent states by applying postcolonial theorist Fanon’s (2004) inferences about colonial legacy and its practitioners, the comprador elites. Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes (2008) is a critique of General Zia’s dictatorial regime when he abused the institutions of army and religion in the name of Islamization and played havoc with the political and constitutional set up of the state. Hanif dismantles Zia’s sham religiosity and exposes how he kept his people oppressed, deprived and in confusion sustaining an aura of serving the ideology of the people and the state.

Keywords: Colonialism, bourgeois, colonial legacy, comprador, neo-colonial, postcolonial


This research paper aims at exploring how neo-colonialism is an indirect survival of colonial system. The assumptions of Nkrumah and Young along with the supporting views of Sarte and Bhaba regarding neo-colonialism have been used as a major theoretical framework for this paper. The novel Things Fall Apart (1958) has been chosen to show that neo-colonialism is in fact killing of two birds with one stone. It shows that how white men indirectly started working on colonizing the minds of people. The new globe order does not allow the direct rule therefore specific local bourgeoisie class plays the role of middle man in transferring the nation’s wealth and resources to the ex-colonizers.

Keywords: Colonialism, Indirect rule, Neo-colonialism, Young


Literature is not just a piece of writing, which only entertains. It also performs some other functions such as teaching moral lessons and healing souls. Literature has turned out to be a medium of appending contemporary or conventional realities through the exposition of the socio-cultural and political experiences of a given society; since it (literature) is a product of a particular human society. A creative art is designed to x-ray life, with a view to display human experiences, feelings, imaginations, observations, predictions and suggestions for realistic purposes. Literature is one of the major weapons for class and/or societal struggles. This paper focuses on societal issues raised in Sembène Ousmane’s God’s bits of wood Marxist theory of violence is our theoretical framework in evaluating the writer’s preoccupations. As its purpose, the paper makes it bold to validate the fact that art and society are two interlocking entities. It is obvious that the oppressed in Sembène Ousmane’s God’s bits of wood are well mobilized and they behave as true agents of positive social transformation. They are very effective in the reconstruction agenda demonstrated in the novel. The paper ends by identifying the fundamental systemic challenges, which confront African societies during the colonial period and even now in the perceived global village and the writer is seen as one who embraces his environment and time very religiously in his artistic creation with a view to solving some common societal problems. Literature, therefore, is capable of activating and promoting the expected development in human societies.

Keywords: Art, Capitalism, Colonialism, Development, Protest