Translating Realism into Fiction: Gandhi as a Development Communication Strategist
It is impossible to discuss Indian writing in English without encountering Mahatma Gandhi. Whatever Gandhi’s influence may have been on political and economic spheres in India, there is hardly any doubt that he has left a deep impression on Indian literatures. He is a mine of themes for writers and commentators though he himself has never worked on any literary genre. Gandhi insisted on high thinking and simple living which was highlighted by the Indian authors of his time, who in their novels portrayed the real picture of the then-society from various sides, thereby portraying the influence of Gandhi on Indian villages, society and culture. Gandhi was a great development strategist. His social activities were development oriented and his idealism democratic, rural and homogeneous. Almost all contemporary writings and representations in Indian languages, translated Gandhi in various forms. He had been mythicized, transmuted and translated. Their writings represent events which distinctly correspond to the actual historical occurrences and teachings that Gandhi in real life encoded during his visits at various places. His communicative methods and participatory techniques had not only made him the ‘Mahatma’ (great soul) but he was also transformed into a cult figure. This gives us a chance to re-visit Gandhi and contemporary Gandhian fiction in the light of new historicism, which reads literature and contemporary history in parallel. My paper aims at studying the major Gandhi novels of Indian pre-independence era with reference to Indian history in parallel where Gandhi proves himself an excellent development communication strategist, bringing about social development and change by dint of his charisma and communication techniques. My paper will also analyze the dexterity of the novelists in translating of historical events into fiction, that too in a language that is foreign to them keeping the Indian flavor and elements intact.
Keywords: Mahatma Gandhi:Father of the Nation (India), Development Communication Strategist, Indian English Literature, Assessment and Representation
Dr. Koyel Chakrabarty
Lecturer in English in BRCM College of Engineering and Technology, Department of Humanities