Post-Colonial Socio-Cultural Decadence in Assam: Reading The Moth Eaten Howdah of a Tusker
The Moth Eaten Howdah of The Tusker one of the most prominent novels penned by Indira Goswami, popularly known as Mamoni Roysom Goswami. When her life itself had been a kaleidoscope of interesting events, she is able to paint a realistic picture of the world around her through her works. Social systems, post-colonial trauma, plights of women, etc. are the main themes found in her works. However this paper is intending to bring the societal complicities faced by the people of Assam which is represented through the people of a small place in lower Assam precisely in South Kamrup. The skeletal form of the place and the people induced with opium and the decaying aristocracy of the religiously superior and economically prosperous people of the society with the advent of communism. Another redundant practice that is criticised in the novel is the plight of the widows through the religious boundaries set for them. Dr Gobinda Prasad Sharma says “the novel is an elegy on the fall of an age-old, well established family bearing the old tradition. At the same time, the novel shows the on-going irresistible socio, economic forces that are going to wipe out the old feudal and religious social order” (1994:59). The social realism laden with regional flavour makes the novel an interesting read. This paper focuses mainly on the issue of opium addiction and the dawn of communism in Assam through the aforementioned novel.