A Tamil Modernist’s Account of India’s Past: Ram Raj, Chettiyar Raj, and British Raj

Title:
A Tamil Modernist’s Account of India’s Past: Ram Raj, Chettiyar Raj, and British Raj
Authors:
Richman, Paula
Abstract:
The Ramayana, one of Hinduism's two preeminent epics, has been retold in diverse ways over the centuries, but one modern rendition is unique: Nārata-Rāmāyaṇam(?). Its author, C. Virudhachalam (1906–48), wrote in Tamil under the pen name Pudumaippittan, meaning “one who is mad about newness.” Nārata-Rāmāyaṇam(?) presents colonialism as a continuation of the Ramayana narrative, showing how an ancient South Asian narrative can serve as an imaginative framework for modern Indian writers. The text mounts an astute critique of the notion of perfect rule, Ram Raj, and suggests that such a utopian ideal fosters the veneration of a glorified past that never existed. The text's modernist literary ploys encourage scrutiny of culturally constructed concepts such as nationalism, consumerism, and narrative coherence. This unusual Ramayana reveals how narrative resources can be used to question both ancient and modern ideologies.
Citation:
Richman, Paula. 2007. "A Tamil Modernist’s Account of India’s Past: Ram Raj, Chettiyar Raj, and British Raj." The Journal Of Asian Studies 66(1): 35-62.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press for the Association for Asian Studies
DATE ISSUED:
2007
Department:
Religion
Type:
article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.1017/S0021911807000058
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/310427

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorRichman, Paulaen_US
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-23T16:32:51Z-
dc.date.available2013-12-23T16:32:51Z-
dc.date.issued2007en
dc.identifier.citationRichman, Paula. 2007. "A Tamil Modernist’s Account of India’s Past: Ram Raj, Chettiyar Raj, and British Raj." The Journal Of Asian Studies 66(1): 35-62.en_US
dc.identifier.issn0021-9118en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/310427-
dc.description.abstractThe Ramayana, one of Hinduism's two preeminent epics, has been retold in diverse ways over the centuries, but one modern rendition is unique: Nārata-Rāmāyaṇam(?). Its author, C. Virudhachalam (1906–48), wrote in Tamil under the pen name Pudumaippittan, meaning “one who is mad about newness.” Nārata-Rāmāyaṇam(?) presents colonialism as a continuation of the Ramayana narrative, showing how an ancient South Asian narrative can serve as an imaginative framework for modern Indian writers. The text mounts an astute critique of the notion of perfect rule, Ram Raj, and suggests that such a utopian ideal fosters the veneration of a glorified past that never existed. The text's modernist literary ploys encourage scrutiny of culturally constructed concepts such as nationalism, consumerism, and narrative coherence. This unusual Ramayana reveals how narrative resources can be used to question both ancient and modern ideologies.en_US
dc.publisherCambridge University Press for the Association for Asian Studiesen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1017/S0021911807000058-
dc.subject.departmentReligionen_US
dc.titleA Tamil Modernist’s Account of India’s Past: Ram Raj, Chettiyar Raj, and British Rajen_US
dc.typearticleen_US
dc.identifier.journalThe Journal Of Asian Studiesen_US
dc.identifier.volume66en_US
dc.identifier.issue1en_US
dc.identifier.startpage35en_US
All Items in The Five Colleges of Ohio Digital Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.