AUTHOR: Naresh Kumar, Dr. Savita Ahuja and Dr. Rajbir Parashar
TITLE :RAPTURES, CONTINUITIES AND DISCONTINUITIES IN RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES IN 3 MISTAKES OF MY LIFE BY CHETAN BHAGAT
Chetan Bhagat in his novel 3 Mistakes of My Life deals with the emerging disjunctions and continuities in religious identities. Broadly, the plot of this novel grows out of the communal tensions emanating from Ram Mandir movement and Post-Godhara violence in Gujarat. Bhagat explores religious identities particularly of lower middle class in the backdrop of long drawn communal rivalry between Hindus and Muslims. While the religious identity of main characters in the novel bears the burns of social disharmony, the novelist does not simply allow them to pass through the historical moment of Gujrat riots of 2002, as their cultural beings get implicated time and again. Instead of constructing this fictional work around naturalistic responses and impressions, Bhagat molds their subjective frames to foreground the worst and best potential of religious identity. The conflict between old and young generation, apparently linear and simplistic, is actually about two or more ways of living one’s religious self. Political opportunism and majoritarian fanaticism is depicted through the old generation, while the emergent forms of comparatively secularized subjectivities are represented by new generation. In both cases, their religious identity is shaped by economic forces produced as an offshoot of capitalism. The paper acknowledges and examines how the novelist creates a fictional world with visible borrowings in plot and texture of characterization from Babri Maszid-Ram Mandir Movement.
Keywords: Religion, identity, nationalism, hypocrites
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