ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, ENGLISH
O. V. Vijayan’s The Saga Of Dharmapuri (1985) is a scathing political satire on a post-independence fictional state called ‘Dharmapuri’ which lays bare the subtle vile play of state-power and its handlers. It is a satire which comments through grotesque and scatological humour upon the grand promises made during the freedom struggle against the colonizer and how those promises have run aground and faltered in the post-independent state, which still appears like a colony, though not in imperial terms. It is a novel which demonstrates how the current rulers of a sovereign state like Dharmapuri, in the name of progress and liberalism, still maintain the same legacy of exploitation and oppression upon their subjects, and thus serves as an allegorical subtext for the state affairs in any post-independent sovereign state in contemporary times. The novel also touches upon several other issues integral to a ‘post-colony’ like patriotism, the institutionalization of Presidential decrees by which the subjects have to, in all circumstances, abide by or perish, corporatization of domestic lands and other trades which can be decoded as a reference to the present day Globalization—a nuanced form of colonization or imperialism for which demarcation of borders and boundaries is no more required, and the state-sponsored violence which constantly proves to its subjects that any kind of conspiracy or resistance, internal or external, against the state will be dealt with heavy-handedly.