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Nation and Nationalism: a Study of Asif Currimbhoy’s Sonar Bangla Essay

Nationalism has been a potent, political, cultural and economic force. It denotes a sense of national consciousness which unites a group of people and separates them from others. According to the principle of self determination, each nation has the right to be independent and to form a suitable type of government for it. A nation is historically constituted stable community of people. The borders between the nations are constructed and defended by groups of people. The concept of nationalism had its origin in Western Europe. It emerged with the growth of capitalism and industrialisation as a fundamental component of imperialist expansion. Benedict Anderson’s definition of nation as ‘An imagined political community’ has provided a wider perspective on the notion of nation and nationalism. Interestingly, nationalistic issues have been a major concern among many writers. Among the Indian English Playwrights, Asif Currimbhoy seems to be a pioneer in this regard.

He has made creative explorations on the themes of nation and nationalism in several of his 29 plays. Most of his plays have been successfully staged both in India and in the USA. His liberal minded parents, his education in colonial India, his life in the USA, his study of the holy books and his inspiring wife Suraiya have contributed in many ways to the making of Asif Currimbhoy into a dramatist of international repute. The proposed study aims at examining Asif Currimbhoy’s conception of nation and nationalism in the context of his famous play, Sonar Bangla. This significant play dramatizes the theme of the emergence of East Pakistan as a new nation. This study is initiated on the hypothesis that in this play the dramatist projects such characters who embody nationalistic spirit. The primary and secondary sources will be the data for investigation and interpretation.

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