Solutions_Mid Term Exam_Sept. 2018

Demonstrate with illustrations how Salman Rushdie in Shalimar the Clown delineates Kashmir as a land of Sufi Culture known as Kashmiriyat finally succumbing to radicalising forces (~100 W; 10 M). 

Kashmiriyat is evident in:  

  • Dussehra celebrations (Noman Abdulla’s comments: playing both Ram and Budshah & Pyarelal’s comments)
  • Pyarelal as Chief Waza (mixing of cuisine)
  • Worshipping at the same shrines
  • Boonyi and Shalimar’s marriage


  • Stimulated by Indian Army’s occupation of the place
  • Iron Mullah’s speech
  • Rising disenchantment of the youth as well as counter-insurgency measures
  • Pyarelal Kaul’s disillusionment with Kashmiriyat

Comment on the symbolism used in the flag of Sri Lanka. In what way, it makes a comment on the nature of the ethnic background of the population of the country? (~50 W; 5 M) 

Flag of Sri Lanka:

  • Lion: Symbol of authority and royalty in Buddhism. Derived from the Lion flag of king Vijaya who conquered Sri Lanka in 443 BCE
  • Crimson Red and Yellow: Buddhism
  • Bo/pipul Leaves: Buddhism (Earth, Fire, Water and Air; or kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity)
  • Saffron: Hindu (Tamils) population
  • Green: Muslim community

The flag makes an explicit statement of the dominance/majority of the sinhalese community in Sri Lanka.

Critically compare VD Savarkar’s Nationalism based on Hindutva theory and Tagore’s idea of Nationalism as “Against the Nation.” (~100 W; 10 M) 

VD Savarkar’s Hindu Nationalism: 

  • Hindutva: PitrabhumiPunyabhumi
  • Converted population having India as Pitrabhumi (nation of origin) non-Hindus as having their Punyabhumi elsewhere (Saudi Arabia or Palestine)
  • The Hindu nation derived from religious homogeneity

Tagore’s “Against the Nation”: 

  • Nation – (Western conception of the nation) promotes: selfhood; greed; homogeneity; colonial attitude; exploitation and violence
  • It’s a commercial and political enterprise
  • Not fit for Indian heterogeneous scenario

Comparison: Savarkar’s nationalism is organic or romantic nationalism promoting parochial identification with the nation whereas Tagore keeps the human aspect at the centre and believes in critical scrutiny of national belongingness etc.

Comment on the Relationship of Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims based on your reading of Agha Shahid Ali’s “I See Kashmir from New Delhi at Midnight” and Siddharth Gigoo’s In the Garden of Solitude. (~100 W; 10 M)

Agha Shahid Ali:

  • mourns the departure of Pundits: “Who will protect us if you leave.”
  • Shah Hamdan: the shared shrine of worship

Siddharth Gigoo: 

  • The friendship of Ali and Lassa (Illustrations from letters)
  • Love-hate relationship
  • Militancy germinating suspicion

What kind of speeches do Maulvis use to radicalise the youth in Kashmir? Elaborate based on your reading of Shalimar the Clown and The Collaborator? Why do such speeches succeed? (~100 W; 10 M)

The Collaborator:  

  • Indian Army torturing Kashmiris; the reason for this miserable condition is Allah’s anger against people who have been following Kafir’s ways; solution follow the religion pray five times a day; Evil forces will be punished

Shalimar the Clown:

  • Iron Mullah: Two sets of enemies: Indian Army and People of Pachigam who have gone Kafir’s way

A brief comment on how the Indian Army’s presence and functioning stirrers radicalisation

These speeches appeal because religion is a powerful intoxicant:

  • Psychological manipulation by the Moulvis: Focussing on the revival of the golden period by fighting against the present miseries through a life of piety and Jihad
  • Indian Army’s presence and subsequent human rights violations are a reality
  • People may accept any solution in conditions of this kind

Briefly discuss Benedict Anderson’s theory of Nation. (~50 W; 5 M)

  • “It is an imagined political community – an imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign” (6).
  • A brief discussion on: “imagined community,” “limited” and “sovereign”