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Satire, Literary Realism and the Indian State

Fakir Mohan Senapati's literary device of using satire served a dual purpose. It was a strategy that made possible a veiled criticism of the colonial state and the norms it imposed but was also an admission of self-mockery. This tradition of satire and self-mockery is carried further in novels that depict the disillusionment the citizen experienced in the post-colonial state, most evocative in Shrilal Shukla's novel of post-Nehruvian despair, Raag Darbari. The use of satire strikes a bitterly mocking tone, yet the humour assuages, lifts the narrative from being a work of utter desolation to one the reader can understand, mourn and yet laugh.

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