Divided Home, Divided Identity: A Postcolonial Study of Alam’s Own House
Keywords:Postcolonial, Partition, Nationalism, Hindu and Muslim, Divided home, Divided identity, Inter faith
One of the outcomes in Postcolonial era is the inherited multiple identities of individuals and their respective communities. Torn apart in the Partition, the domestic and social spaces of millions of people across the border got blurred and diluted. It is exemplified more evidently when it comes to religious identity, both Hindu and Muslim. Seen from this perspective, the looming tension and growing vulnerability of members of both religions in Post-Partition Dacca and Kolkata have always been trapped in divided home and divided identities. Alam’s Own House by Debyendu Palit is one such short story that quintessentially addresses the crisis of home and identity across two cities, Dacca and Kolkata that have been the worst affected in the Partition. Telling from third-person point-of-view, this short story vividly narrates the mental tensions of the lead characters through portrayal of interfaith love, communal tensions, residential crisis, and more evidently the gradual realization of cultural differences. Nationhood and belongingness in Postcolonial Indian subcontinent are entangled with the divided home and divided identity. Alam’s Own House faithfully reflects all these issues.
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