Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children: Re-visiting India’s Past

Safia Sahli Rejeb

Abstract


This paper explores the ways in which Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1980) re-visits the political history of post independence from the British Empire in 1947 including significant moments such as the Partition of Pakistan India and Indira Ghandi’s state of Emergency.  What is significant in the literary text is Rushdie’s ability to fictionalise history, fantasize his depiction of historical reality and combine history with politics through the portrayal of the individual, Saleem Sinai the narrator, in relation to the larger historical context that fashions the Indian society. Midnight’s Children creates a history of India that is extremely heterogeneous and diverse, replete with stories, images and ideas- a multifarious hybrid history.  By re-visiting the past of India, and re-writing one’s own history, one which allows for the infinite variety of experiences, cultures and perspectives that make up our world, Rushdie’s novel clears up a place in the historical record for those the suppressed and the silent voices of history.


Keywords


History, Rewriting the past, Hybridity, India.

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