Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Religious Disparity in India and Pakistan: The Prospect of Peace through the Literary Views of Salman Rushdie and Manil Suri

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

This research discusses religious diversity and the search for identity on the Indian subcontinent. In order to gain a better understanding of the clash between the two religions and cultures, this work examines the complexities of the intercultural experience of Hindus and Muslims during both the time of the partition and in modern India and Pakistan through the literary views of Salman Rushdie and Manil Suri. Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children (1980) demonstrates the interrelated nature of Islam and Hinduism by both subtly and forcefully intertwining daily life with seemingly impossible disputes of a political nature between Pakistan and India and in personal affairs between Muslims and Hindus. Ultimately, Rushdie reaches the conclusion that there is no immediate way to resolve the political and social challenges which prevail among different ethnic groups. Suri’s novel The Death of Vishnu (2001) centers around a host of Hindu and Muslim characters who find themselves connected because they live within the same apartment complex. The novel suggests that at the highest level of spirituality, religious ideas converge. However, on lower and more mundane levels, differences become more apparent and problematic. Each text allows for insight into problems faced by Muslims and Hindus and their attempt to live together peacefully in a society permeated by ideals derived from each religion.

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Religious Disparity in India and Pakistan: The Prospect of Peace through the Literary Views of Salman Rushdie and Manil Suri

This research discusses religious diversity and the search for identity on the Indian subcontinent. In order to gain a better understanding of the clash between the two religions and cultures, this work examines the complexities of the intercultural experience of Hindus and Muslims during both the time of the partition and in modern India and Pakistan through the literary views of Salman Rushdie and Manil Suri. Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children (1980) demonstrates the interrelated nature of Islam and Hinduism by both subtly and forcefully intertwining daily life with seemingly impossible disputes of a political nature between Pakistan and India and in personal affairs between Muslims and Hindus. Ultimately, Rushdie reaches the conclusion that there is no immediate way to resolve the political and social challenges which prevail among different ethnic groups. Suri’s novel The Death of Vishnu (2001) centers around a host of Hindu and Muslim characters who find themselves connected because they live within the same apartment complex. The novel suggests that at the highest level of spirituality, religious ideas converge. However, on lower and more mundane levels, differences become more apparent and problematic. Each text allows for insight into problems faced by Muslims and Hindus and their attempt to live together peacefully in a society permeated by ideals derived from each religion.