Hollowness of ‘White Man’s Burden’: A Study of Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace
The present paper studies the novel The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh from the historical point of view and tries to bring to the fore the historical facts of the national history of Burma and India. The British entered India and Burma on the pretext of civilising people here as they were “uncivilised”. The history of Burma, as shown in this novel, as a scathing critique of this civilizing mission as Burma was an egalitarian society even in 1880 and everybody had equal rights. They attacked Burma in 1885 with a troop of ten thousand Indian soldiers and used them as tools to fortify the British Empire. King Thibaw and Queen Supalayat were exiled to India and the natural resources of Burma were exploited by the British for almost three quarters of a century. The novel removes the veil from the misnomer that the British ruled by law and this is shown when the queen lashes the Collector Sahib out. The appetence of the British left Burma devastated and it took almost 50 years to re-establish law and order there. Indian troops were also exploited in both the World Wars and this has also been aptly shown in the novel.
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