Pragmatics of Silencing: “The Ghosts of Mrs Gandhi” and “The Greatest Sorrow: Times of joy Recalled in Wretchedness”

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Pankaj Sharma, Nikita Babbal


The reality that since its inception, religion has been primarily used for political gains and wars between various countries cannot be overlooked in literary works. An individual born into a particular religion thinks his or her religion superior to other religions of the world and often many times finds the other's religious beliefs as purely false beliefs. This psychology and the underlying political motivations result in a mass democide and exodus sponsored by the dictator or the government. The Indian political class has shown a strong penchant for an increasing minority of disgruntled communities, resulting in the democide and exodus of Hindus from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, the effects of which were created as a Sikh democide in Delhi and other parts of India in 1984. Ghosh's essays "The Ghosts of Mrs Gandhi" and "The Greatest Sorrow: A Moment of Rejoicing in Wretchedness" portray the ethnic cleansing, loss and longing, physical suffering, and emotional grief of the Hindus and Sikhs Miffed with government’s false assurances and manipulations, the literary writers are the only hope for justice to Sikhs and Muslims. Ghosh’s essays have tried to unearth this conspiracy of silencing others and attempts to remove silence on ethnic cleansing and exodus of minority religious class. An attempt to study the ground reality and present historiographical account from the ground zero about the collapse of the system.

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