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Biplob Prodhan
  • 4 weeks ago
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Comment on Forster’s treatment of Hindu-Muslim relationship in A Passage to India. [DU. 1990]



Comment on Forster’s understanding of the minds of the Muslims and the Hindus in A Passage to India.
Comment on E.M. Forster’s study of human relationship in a colonial setting placed in A Passage to India. [NU. 2012]

Ans. Chandrapore, the setting of A Passage to India represents India of the British regime. There is no harmony-religious, political ar social, between the communities living at Chandrapore city. The Englishmen and women look upon the Indians as belonging to an inferior race. The Indians dislike the English for ruling over them with force. The Muslims and the Hindus are also living in an atmosphere of mutual distrust and misunderstanding. The Muslims consider themselves superior to the Hindus over whom their forefathers had ruled for two hundred years or more. But the trial of Dr. Aziz at the court by Britishers brought the Hindus and the Muslims of Chandrapore in closer relation.

EM. Forster has nicely displays the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims. He observes that even though the Hindus and the Muslims suffer under the yoke of slavery under the British rule, they cannot assemble on the same platform. Both of them want independence but they differ on the question of succession. Aziz wants his Afghan ancestors to conquer and rule India. To be more liberal, he wants an assemblage of oriental statesmen to solve the tangle. Dr. Aziz wishes that the Hindus do not remind him of cow dung. Mr. Das, the Magistrate thinks some of the Muslims to be very violent.

Mr. Bhattacharya fails to send his carriage to carry Mrs. Moore and Miss Adela Quested. Aziz criticises them severely by saying that the Hindus are untrustworthy and dirty. He feels that the Bhattacharyas have not sent the carriage because they do not want the English ladies to see their dirty house. All Hindus are dirty and the source of infection. Godbole, though he is a professor of philosophy, cannot see anyone eating beef because of his superstitious mind. Such are the insurmountable fundamental differences between the two sections of Indian community.

But Aziz’s victory at the trial court brought about the Hindus and the Muslims closer to each other, although there are differences between the races. The trial accomplishes nothing as far as the Anglo-Indian problem is concerned, except to deepen the ill-feeling between the races, but it certainly brings about at least a temporary and local tolerance between the Muslims and the Hindus. Mr. Das, the magistrate, at the trial, pays a visit to Dr. Aziz. He requests him for two things-remedy for shingles and a poem for his brother-in- law’s magazine. Aziz promises both.

However, it cannot be said that various sections of the Indians know much about each other to be able to overcome their mutual suspicions. In spite of their desire to come together both the Hindu and the Muslim communities stuck to their estimates and opinions of each other.

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