The wide sweep of this novel ranges over decades in the life of Chotti, the central character, in which India moves from colonial rule to independence and then to the unrest of the s. And at its core, it celebrates Chotti, legendary archer, wise and farsighted leader, proud role model to his younger brethren. Although rooted in India, the novel addresses some of the most burning concerns across the world and is essential reading for those who ponder the con-temporary human condition. It makes the text awkward to view.

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Start your review of Chotti Munda and His Arrow Write a review Shelves: colonialism , folks-of-subaltern-studies , historiography-loggerheads , history-of-revolutions , marx-our-father-other-left-leanings , partition-lit , protest-protests-protests , rise-of-hindu-right be still heart, bestir too As he waits he mingles with all time and becomes river, folklore, eternal.

What only the human can be Younger when I first saw this, the mother of the boy I had dragged into a hospital read this in the cafeteria while he was recovering. Chotti Munda o Tar Teer. No one reads about Birsa, she said, would lend it to me later, she said. But she didnt and I didnt have the courage to buy it after.

There is a story behind a river giving him a name. Stories grow around him all the time. Mahasweta Debi? Of the khunkhatti? The ink dries and dries. One could read her Marx within this in the middle, as Chotti observes and grows into social consciousness. But he comes by it through the song of legend and by kin. Mahasweta Debi writes of asthirata, of udbeg. It is the reckless and helpless stirring and learning. So she wrote, not all, but some.

It begins with stories, weaves it in and out of this book. So it does. The Diku is the cultural conflation of all that is alien, foreign, and often — landowning moneyed Hindu.

It exposes epistemological violence with a kind of blindness, an inevitability that is already past. When Chotti speaks of his thatched dignified reality it takes on a kind of new potentiality. No one opens. How he slept with a gun under his pillow in the 60s. Now he has time.


Chotti Munda and His Arrow

So they turn significant events into story, and hold them as saying, as song. But this is a history that has often gone untold. Which means that he is almost fifty when the Indian state comes into being on August 15, Dikus never thought of the adivasis as Indian. They did not draw them into the liberation struggle. Among the stories told here, then, is the story of India; what the novel refuses is the way in which allegory enforces an identification between character and reader and nation. However much it imitates the myth-making tendencies of folklore, and despite or even because of its keen interest in the workings of culture and power, the history told in Chotti Munda and His Arrow is posthegemonic.



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