gfiles magazine

February 10, 2012

BOOK REVIEW social commentary

social commentary
A beautiful tragedy
The story of a Third World country trapped in neo-colonialism
HE novel, Subarnadweepa, was published in Odia in 1994. This was the time of liberalisation of Indian economy, the beginning of neo-colonialism and a new kind of socio-economic disparity when some people became rich while others were thrown out of their low, but stable status. The translation of this modern classic has been published in 2011 as The Golden Island.
The Golden Island is a tiny island, with ambiguous reasons for its existence and is very different from India. Yet this allegorical country is a modern mythology of neo-colonialism, a fact that did not strike me when I was reading the novel. It struck me a couple of days after I finished the book and wanted to read it again.
When I was reading the book, it had quite a different ambience: an esoteric serendipitous country, whose beauty flows through the rapid chain of events, across landscapes and quaint people, and a cascade of cultures and mores. Occasionally, it made me angry: the rapacious neo-colonialists, the exploitation, a political economy indifferent to people in a democracy and an economic disaster.....READMORE

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