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THE MAKING OF THIRD WORLD: THE IMPACT OF COLONIZATION

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Abstract

In today's literary scenario, there is very bleak line of demarcation between 'postcolonial' and 'Third World'. One assumption regarding the usage of the term 'postcolonial' is that it refers to the colonial societies which were once colonized, but this assumption does have differences regarding its implications on certain countries. In general, 'postcolonial' is used to represent 'Third World'. This 'Third World' is not an overnight concept. It has a long history and is a result of gradual interaction of various social, political, cultural and literary factors. This research paper is an attempt to trace the historical background of colonization and its impact on postcolonial societies or in the making of a distinct 'Third World', and also to study the status of the Third World countries in today's political and literary scenario.
Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL)
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
http://www.rjelal.com
Vol.3.2.2015 (Apr-June)
141
AMBIKA SHARMA, Dr. TANU GUPTA
THE MAKING OF THIRD WORLD: THE IMPACT OF COLONIZATION
AMBIKA SHARMA1*, Dr. TANU GUPTA2
1Ph. D Scholar, Assistant Professor in English, R. K. Arya College, Nawanshahr. Punjab. INDIA
2Research Supervisor, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics & Humanities, Maharishi
Markandeshwar University, Mullana, Ambala
ABSTRACT
In today's literary scenario, there is very bleak line of demarcation between
'postcolonial' and 'Third World'. One assumption regarding the usage of the term
'postcolonial' is that it refers to the colonial societies which were once colonized,
but this assumption does have differences regarding its implications on certain
countries. In general, 'postcolonial' is used to represent 'Third World'. This 'Third
World' is not an overnight concept. It has a long history and is a result of gradual
interaction of various social, political, cultural and literary factors. This research
paper is an attempt to trace the historical background of colonization and its impact
on postcolonial societies or in the making of a distinct 'Third World' , and also to
study the status of the Third World countries in today's political and literary
scenario.
Keywords: Colonization, postcolonialism, Third World, Diaspora.
©KY PUBLICATIONS
Colonization is usually referred to a historical event
which has been in practice since times immemorial.
Theoretically, it implies to establishment of
authority by more powerful over less over less
powerful ones. Historically, colonization is divided
into two periods. First, the period of Merchant
Capitalism (1497-1762) and second, the period of
Industrial Capitalism which starts from 1762
onwards. During the first period, the prime focus
was on adventurous expeditious for certain
products. In this period no attempt was made either
to intervene in the social and cultural systems of the
natives. It was like barter system of exchanging
goods between the travellers and the natives. The
second period began in 1762 and witnessed the
advent of Industrial Revolution. With
industrialization, the colonization acquired a totally
different form. The colonizers altered their motif of
travel from exchange of goods to search for cheaper
raw material and also new markets to sell their
machine-made products in new territories. This
obviously was not always amicable and thus
required forced occupation of territories. Barter
system of exchange was replaced by transaction of
money. The natives were compelled under the
violent threats by colonizers to buy their products
rather than selling their indigenous things. During
this period many significant changes happened in
the process of colonization. The colonizers entered
into the very core of the social, cultural and even
legal system of the natives. They manipulated the
natives forcibly according to their own
requirements. Missionaries played significant role by
supporting the planters and settlers in exploiting
RESEARCH ARTICLE
AMBIKA SHARMA
Article Info:
Article Received:02/05/2015
Revised on:18/05/2015
Accepted on:31/05/2015
Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL)
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
http://www.rjelal.com
Vol.3.2.2015 (Apr-June)
142
AMBIKA SHARMA, Dr. TANU GUPTA
native population. On the whole, colonization can be
described as a historical concept where people from
one continent i.e. Western Europe forcibly
subjugated the people of other four continents of
the world.
There has been several theories formulated to
explain colonization. Firstly, the economic theory
which justifies colonization as a need rather than
forcible occupation. This theory claims that
colonization was necessary for providing an outlet to
human and material resources. The colonial exercise
of most of the European countries since fifteenth
century was because of economic motifs. Karl Marx
in the first volume of Capital declared:
The discovery of gold and silver in America,
the extirpation, enslavement and
entombment in mines of the aboriginal
population, the beginning of the conquest
and looting of the East Indies, the turning
of Africa into a warren for the commercial
hunting of Black skins, signalized the rosy
dawn of the era of capitalist production.
These idyllic proceedings are the chief
momenta of primitive accumulation. On
their heels treads the commercial war of
the European nations, with the globe for a
theatre.
In the 19th century, colonialism took a
more brutal and barbaric turn. Karl Marx comments
on the industrial growth in Europe and its forced
implication on other colonies as to "create a world
after its own image".
Some of the recent social critics see colonization
more of a political strategy to overpower than
limiting it to an economic factor only. The second
theory is based on concept of morality. This theory
rationalizes the European rule over Asia and Africa,
to justify "the Whiteman's burden" of Kipling. It
proposes that it was the moral duty of the superior
British population to rescue the coloured colonies
from the darkness of uncivilized life. Colonized
people were compared to animals and to control
animals, brutality was required. Thus violence was
very much involved to rule the colonies.
Edward Said in his landmark work, Orientalism
(1978), challenges this moral theory of colonization:
I doubt that it is controversial, for example
to say that an Englishman in India or Egypt
in the later nineteenth century took
an interest in those countries that was
never far from their status in his mind as
British colonies.
Said argues that the image of the Oriental as
inferior, sullen, eccentric, effeminate or backward,
was only created and maintained by the Occident
for the sake of authoritative maintenance of power
and rule over the Orient:
The important thing was to dignify simple
conquest with an idea to turn the appetite
for more geographical space into a theory
about the special relationship between
geography on the one hand and civilized or
uncivilized peoples on the Other...
Mohandas Gandhi, proposed the Third theory of
colonization, the epistemological theory. According
to this theory epistemological colonialism is
accompanied through the imposition of colonial,
political, social, legal, and even educational systems.
Apart from these three basic theories, there are also
other factors which contribute to complicate
colonization as a phenomenon.
Colonization is sometimes argued to have also a
positive impact on the colonies which got freedom
from colonizers. This positive effect can be
measured in terms of modernizing the ex-colonies.
Technological advancement, educational,
communication and some of the liberal notions of
Western world helped the natives to come out of
their superstitions. This positive impact does have
other negative side also. In giving knowledge
through education by the colonizer, can be seen as a
strategy to impart a sense of inferiority in the
native's mind for his own culture and traditional
values. The natives were made to look up to their
colonizing masters for any guidance or help. This
mentality is still prevalent in the minds of the
people of the ex-colonies. As independent countries,
these colonies have shown visible signs of growth
and development in almost every field but these
countries seem to have failed in solving their prime
and basic problems like poverty, illiteracy,
overpopulation, unhygienic living conditions etc.
Therefore, colonization not only affected the
Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL)
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
http://www.rjelal.com
Vol.3.2.2015 (Apr-June)
143
AMBIKA SHARMA, Dr. TANU GUPTA
geographical, political or economic areas of the
colonies but, they have also paralyzed the morality
and personality of the native. The impact of
colonization was so forceful on the consciousness of
the native that he is still maimed and doubts his own
traditional values. So much so that even after
attaining freedom or decolonization of the colonies,
the master-slave relationship continued.
Decolonization was only a physical reality to
perceive but mentally and practically, it never
happened for the ex-colonies. These ex-colonies
which attained freedom from colonization were
termed as the Third World because they were not
aligned to the First World (USA) or to the Second
World (USSR) and also, because they are
underdeveloped, poor and have economic
dependence on other countries. Kumkum Sangari
argues that it is:
a term that both signifies and blurs the
functioning of an economic, political, and
imaginary geography able to unite vast and
vastly differentiated areas of the world into
a single 'underdeveloped' terrain
(1990:217).
After independence the natives faced the harsh
realities of running a government and governing a
country. The problems of political unrest,
corruption, nepotism and many more factors,
psychologically handicapped the native. He was
shattered and was totally incapable of solving these
problems. Migration was the only escapist way out
for them to escape from joblessness, hunger and
other difficulties. In 1950s, it lead to large scale
migrations from West Indies, Asia especially the
Indians and the Pakistanis to the West. The working
conditions in the West were different and better
from the East. The immigrants were surprised to see
the Whiteman doing manual labour. They began to
enjoy their high standard of living. This encouraged
hundreds of their countrymen to migrate England.
The first batch of immigrants also suffered
discrimination but they did not come back to their
motherland because they could not afford the travel
expenses and also they were ashamed of accepting
the realities of discrimination.
The first generation migration involved many writers
who migrated from colonies or the Third World in
search of a better intellectual atmosphere in the
West. Another reasons for the migration of the
writers was that the native colonized people were
thought to be incapable of writing of their own. As
Nandy says:
This colonialism colonises minds in addition
to bodies and it releases forces within
colonised societies to alter their cultural
priorities once and for all. In the process, it
helps to generalise the concept of the
modern West from a geographical and
temporal entity to a psychological category.
The West is now everywhere, within the
West and outside, in structures and in
minds.
Most of the West Indies writers and also the earlier
Indian writers like Raja Rao, R.K. Narayan, and Mulk
Raj Anand had to move to London or Paris to get
their books published. Many Indian writers also
stayed on in India and continued to write. In the
twentieth century, many non-European writers who
have equal command over English as well as native
language, produced a vast literature. This resulted in
the internationalization of literature from all over
the globe. the writer from the third world found
markets and readers in the First world. As a matter
of fact, the Third world serves as a commodity for
marketing and selling in the first world.
Ironically, the Third world texts are not judged for
their aesthetic dimension but for their ideologies,
authenticity and political aspect. Earlier issues of the
third world writers included only the colonial
histories and cultures of their native countries.
gradually, issues related to refugees and immigrants
seeped into the 'First World' nations. Leela Gandhi
points out:
"Deleuze and Guattari's" revolutionary
manifesto The Third World becomes a
stable metaphor for the 'minor' zone of
non culture and underdeveloped.(84)
Today many of the Third World Countries have
progressed and have undergone tremendous
development but even after this, the basic problems
like poverty, unemployment, illiteracy remain
unresolved. People of the Third World still look up
to their former colonizers' countries for a better
place for a living. Still the people of the third world
Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL)
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
http://www.rjelal.com
Vol.3.2.2015 (Apr-June)
144
AMBIKA SHARMA, Dr. TANU GUPTA
cannot come out of the cocoon of the colonial
impact which made them maimed as if forever.
REFERENCES
Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical
Introduction. New York: Columbia UP, 1998.
Marx, Karl. Capital. Vol. I. Wordsworth Editions
Limited. Hertfordshire, 2013.
Nandy, A. The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of
Self Under Colonialism. Oxford University
Press, Delhi. 1983.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon,
1978.
Sangari, Kumkum. "The Politics of the Possible." The
Nature and Context of Minority Discourse.
Eds. Abdul Jan Mohamed and David Lloyd.
New York: Oxford UP, 1990
Article
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Suniti Namjoshi is an Indian English Poet. She is a poet of Indian origin who flourished in an Alien culture. Her works exhibits characteristics of multiplicity. Being a diasporic writer she has nostalgic reminiscences of her previous culture. There is complex anxiety and mix kind of belongingness. The theme of dislocation and diasporic living also dominate her poetry. At some places she highlights a beautiful kind of amalgamation of two cultures in her poems. She is always preoccupied with the mythical and fabulous words. They become a medium to highlight her inner resentment. The special feature of her diasporic writing is the element of feminism. She is a popular feminist diasporic poet. Paper The term diaspora has its origination in Greek where it means " a scattering and sowing of seeds " also known as the word used for beautiful offspring of globalization. Like any other theoretical concept, it has its own dynamics of origins and growth, formulation and explication. It is said that the term diaspora originally used for the Jewish externment from its homeland. Nowadays, the term has large semantic domain including the words like immigrant, expatriate, refugee, exile community and emigrant. In 20th Century due to the world wars, ethnic refugee crises and rise of nationalism, communism and racism, there happened a massive scattering of people from one country to another. Then started, a period of immigration for better lifestyle and bright future. There were also movements from one nation to another in the form of refugees, and exiles accord to escape political or economic difficulties of their native lands which Gayatri Chakravorty calls as part of " the brain-drain ". She has observed that " international or postcolonial issues are often more comfortably dealt with than antagonisms closer to home, differences structured by race and class " (Phulia 22). Post colonialism has been one of the most exciting, rapidly expanding challenging areas of literary and cultural studies. The study of post colonialism and diaspora has been vitalized by the theoretical innovations of Edward said, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Stuart Hall and Gaul Gilroy in a challenging way. Postcolonial theory is a complex and contentious field. The greater significance to postcolonial theory is because of its implication to the term Diaspora. In such studies, migrancy is consisted of two term adaptation and construction-adaptation to change, dislocation and transformation and the construction of new forms of knowledge and ways of seeing the world. So diaspora is a theory of both ideological and conceptual aspects and the geographical and physical migration. As far as Indian Diaspora is concerned, it can be defined as the people who migrated from India to abroad. It also encompasses the people who are descended in abroad. Along with the development of Indian diaspora, literary trends and writings related to it also developed simultaneously. This literature is called Diaspora literature. It is an amalgam of dual personality, cultural conflicts, questions of belongingness, placements and displacement, old values and new desires, identity crises and changing global conditions. Diaspora, border, trans-national, transcultural, hybridity and diasporic are a few terms which are often used to denote the existence and emotions of dispersed people. Smadal Lavie and Ted Sweedenburg in their work, Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity (1996), have argued that there is no " immutable link " between cultures, peoples, or identities and specific places. Yet the most common manifestation of the one " s otherness in an alien culture is a question one encounters from time to time: " Where are you from? " not " who / what are you? " Its follow-up is often " No, I mean where you are really from. " An explanation of one " s being " by origin / birth " leads to an ambivalent rejoinder such as " what brought you here from there? " signifying sometimes a naive curiosity but often times a resigned resentment (Rath 83). Such questioning is common for people of Indian diaspora, arousing their attention to a radical separation between their home and themselves. These immigrant writers exhibit characteristics of multiplicity in terms of racial, cultural, geographical and political contexts. The sense of release, freedom experienced in a new environment may present juxtaposed polarities between the indigenous culture and the culture of their adoption but the racial-historical-political equivocations
The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse
  • Kumkum Sangari
Sangari, Kumkum. "The Politics of the Possible." The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse. Eds. Abdul Jan Mohamed and David Lloyd. New York: Oxford UP, 1990
  • Marx
Marx, Karl. Capital. Vol. I. Wordsworth Editions Limited. Hertfordshire, 2013.