Bharti Mukherjee On How Indians Are Exploited Abroad (Based On Tamurlane)

In “Tamurlane”, Mukherjee focuses on the illegal immigrants at the ‘Mumtaz Bar B-Q’. In this story she speaks of the violence that Indians are subjected to in Toronto. On the other hand, in “The Visitors”, Vinita is a young Bengali wife who is caught in the horns of conflictual dilemma of being transfixed between two worlds.


At the end, she breaks down as she is not able to cope with the confusion arising from cultural collision. Analyzing the characters in Darkness, we find that the theme of conflict at the personal level is linked to conflict at cultural level. This conflict is often expressive of fragmented, splintered and disintegrating characters on the one hand and of those immigrants who are fairly well-adjusted to the new country on the other. In that way the movement of narrative shuttles between personal and cultural contexts and thereby it becomes a movement from conflict to compromise per se.


According to Bharati Harishankar "major conflict…that immigrants face occurs while defining themselves according to the national identity of their adopted culture and ethnically through their ancestry” (‘Intersexions, 165). This also includes generational conflict of course. The values that have guided an individual in the parent culture have to be redefines in the context of the adopted culture. It is this subtle tension which differentiates Mukherjee’s works from the other conventional writing. In other words, despite having to pass through a lot of struggle, her characters do envince optimistic note. Mukherjee has also echoed this note in a statement:


“I like to think of why characters as conquerors. They are all minor heroes because they have the guts to sail the oceans and make new lives. They are not failures even though they have disappointments. Adventure can dent you in many ways, but the bruising is a trophy”.


In addition, the plights of these immigrants are also heightened by the adverse effects of racism and sexism. They have to face the racial oppression in the new world. Mukherjee’s short story for example “The World According to Hsu” best illustrates this fact. Ratna the protagonist of this story, is too much afraid of living in Toronto. In Toronto she was not Canadian, not even Indian. She was something called, after the imported idiom of London, a Paki. And for Pakis Toronto was hell. 


Article Posted By : ceorahulgonsalveslView All Articles

CEO and founder of with a keen interest in HR and Marketing

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Keywords :
Bharti Mukherjee , plight of immigreants abroad , immigrants issues , Darkness


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