Pourya Asl, M.
Fabrication of a desired truth: the oblivion of a Naxalite woman in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland
(2018) Asian Ethnicity, 19 (3), pp. 383-401.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland (2013) explores effects of the 1967 Communist Naxalbari uprising in West Bengal India. Irrespective of the glowing reviews the author earned for her truthful representations, the novel presents the pro-Communist uprising in a particular discursive regime that establishes a particular way of remembering and forgetting. Drawing on Foucault’s notion of ‘subjugated knowledges,’ this essay seeks to examine the epistemic hegemonies and mainstream perspectives of the novel that have confined particular experiences and memories of the movement to the margins and rendered them unworthy of epistemic respect in the battle among power/knowledge frameworks. The novel reconstitutes a gendered history of the movement in which women’s story of engagement is spatiotemporally erased and reformulated. I argue that the genealogy of this particular oversight is rooted in the heteronormative capitalist ideology of the States that exercises discursive power over individuals to fabricate a desired truth. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
capitalism; Communism; female subjectivity; Naxalbari; subjugated knowledges