The relationship between India and Great Britain still bears some tension. The effects of colonialism continue to influence the Indian society that has distinct cultural, religious, and political systems. British conquest and dominance altered the Indian policies to adopt western ideologies. During the colonial era, British historians described the conquest and domination of India as a realization of history. Indian scholars have since begun the works of recollecting Indian historical development from English writings. However, various struggles have been encountered in the process of establishing their identity. This paper highlights some of the challenges encountered during the process of rewriting India’s history.
Since the late nineteenth century, the Indian cultural history reveals the struggle of Indian historians to compile their history. Bengali historians have to encode, decode, and translate English text culture and literature to suit the contemporary Indian context. Indian writers further incorporate European aesthetic standards and history theories in their writing (Hartley 2011). Indian literature writers have learned to manipulate British writing culture to counter European ideology dominance. Indians have been able to construct a unique and complex historiography that employs the dominant themes, styles, and ideologies of European culture. British works largely determine Indian literature and writing culture.
Edward Said is probably the most influential and widely read post-colonial writer. Said, a Palestinian went into exile in America following the criticism of Israel as a colonial entity established by imperialist powers and imposed on the people forcefully. He published his most popular book, Orientalism in 1978 that became the structural analysis guide for post-colonial theory. His approach is the first fully developed analysis of post colonialism theory that captures impersonal and intellectual views. Exposed to the postmodern phenomenon in the global diaspora and life in New York, Said joined the cultural turn where literary theory and Foucauldrian discourse became the methodological tools through which to view culture.
Hartley, J, 2011. Key Concepts in Communication and Cultural Studies. 4th ed. London: Routledge.