‘From Bombay to Mumbai : Rushdie’s Retelling of the Fraying Fabric of Indian Identity’

Abstract : This paper explores the way Bombay structures the novels on three levels : Bombay creator of identity : the city seen as the place where the coexistence of people drawn from all over India, differing from each other in language, culture, social status, and wealth is translated into a spatial and symbolic segregation that enables each community to establish its identity; Bombay as an Indian melting pot : the giant city creates interactions between these communities, that cannot help but mix, work together, and sometimes fight. The private and public spaces of Bombay, from the deserted colonial mansions to Chowpatty Beach, becomes expressions of new blended identities, but also of the tensions that will ultimately threaten to destroy the city; the name game: ultimately, the conflicts produced by this interaction are manipulated by the cultural politics of the Shiv Sena as they strive to recast the city that is landmarked by symbols of power (Victoria Terminal, India Gate, even Marine Drive) as the capital of triumphant Hindu nationalism, and Bombay is renamed Mumbai in the renaming game that is central to contemporary Indian politics and society.
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http://hal.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/hal-02008464
Contributor : Madhu Benoit <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 4:50:07 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 5:04:04 PM

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Madhu Benoit. ‘From Bombay to Mumbai : Rushdie’s Retelling of the Fraying Fabric of Indian Identity’. Evelyne Hanquart-Turner. Urbs et Orbis – Métropoles et villes provinciales dans le monde Anglophone, IMAGER) Paris XII-Créteil, 2006, 978-2-84436-016-8. ⟨hal-02008464⟩

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