The concerns for the country, the homeland and a case of the diaspora literature – an opinion

The world will go on. This is, at least, one thing that everyone believes or (at least) the ones with a sane mind do believe it. Yes, there is no limit to one’s foolishness and there is none for conscious ignorance too. However, without waiting for our grand concerns and schemes, the world goes on. Somebody’s parents or grandparents or great grandparents went or were taken by force to some other countries a hundred or two hundred years ago. Their life went on. The country they left went on. Still, the concerning part is that they seldom cared about returning to their homelands when the conditions permitted and today, the opportunist grandsons and granddaughters or daughters and sons are writing about the immigrant experience that they seldom had to suffer… hypocrites!

This might be one grand view about the works of so-called diaspora writers who write about missing their homeland (which, by definition, could only be ascribed as the land of origins). Authors like Jhumpa Lahiri and Amitav Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry and Salman Rushdie and so on and so forth… all those who have settled themselves high and grand on the foreign soil often want to put forth their ideas and opinions in front of the Indian audience. Every now and then. However, today, when they have power and political recognition, what stops them from coming back and settling in their ‘homeland’? Taking care of the issues about India physically and doing ‘something’ to feel ‘right’? This might be too much to ask, though.

However, it is in the true nature of things and demands. If you care about something too much and too frequently, it is the best thing to do that you do it right. Armchair activists seldom indulge in real activism. Diaspora puppets seldom try to change the condition and reach the real land they miss so often…

Well, cynicism aside, the genuine attempts and concerns must be honoured and had been honoured as well. V. S. Naipaul, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, came back and settled in India just to taste what his motherland had to offer. He wrote about Indians with an Indian heart and a longing that was so genuine that he could not resist visiting and settling in India, anyhow. What did the likes of Amitav Ghosh do? Exhuming the dead ghosts and playing the politics of convenience and asking questions that are nowhere near the writers’ purposes… (who am I to decide it, by the way?)

Just thought to share the flip side of much-hyped diasporic literature and sentiments that are only there to make money, win awards and batter your so-called homeland… just read the works by these diaspora authors and you will understand how the game of feeling bad for being in an alien land goes on…

The works of very few authors could reach the levels that were touched by the authors like V S Naipaul and to an extent A K Ramanujan. All others, for me, were plain opportunists.


These are my personal opinions based on too much study and readings.


By Gunjan for Intellectual Reader

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