Royals into Exile: A Study of Amitav Ghosh’s ‘The Glass Palace’
Authors: Dr. Chanchal Kumar
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The present study is an endeavor to explore unrevealed history of the colonial discourse in Burma, life in Burma before and after the British invasion and the exile of the Royal family of Burma. Amitav Ghosh is a contemporary Indian-English novelist like Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Mukul Kesavan, Shashi Tharoor, Allen Sealy, Gita Mehta etc. Amitav Ghosh combines his professional and social skills with literary writing and creates works of arts, concerned with history, anthropology, Diaspora, nations, and civilization. The perspective of colonialism is always there as a guiding principle. Amitav Ghosh’s standing in the realms of literature is truly unparalleled and it seems that his concern with history is to provide an insight into human nature, human emotions, feelings and thoughts etc. In The Glass Palace, Ghosh attempts to claim the history of certain individuals, groups (families) that were dislocated in the wake of Burmese exodus in the last part of the 19th century as a result of British imperialism. The novel presents the accounts of unnecessary and forceful exile of the royal family of Burma. Amitav Ghosh has masterly recreated and retold the colonial history of India, Burma, and Malaya serving under the colonial regime. Ghosh primarily highlights the histories of teak and the rubber trade in Burma and Malaya, the Burmese Royal Family, the banishment of Burmese royal family, the British Indian army, the Indian National Army, Indian Freedom Struggle, Konbaung Dynasty in Mandalay, the Second World War, Indian colonial and postcolonial history etc.
Key Words: History, Colonialism, Exile, Dislocation, Anthropology, Diaspora.