Hamlet in paradise: the politics of procrastination in Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator

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This chapter argues that Mirza Waheed's, The Collaborator, is characterized by a politics of procrastination, rejecting the common positions of both Indian and Pakistani sides in the dispute over the province of Kashmir. Hamlet's dying injunction would appear also to be that of Waheed's collaborator, whose insubordinate act of humanity must place his own life in jeopardy, even as he ensures that others' existences endure: 'in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain. The Collaborator's narrative tone is also shot through with irony. It is clear that the most systematic and destructive violence is that wrought by the Indian military, under the direction of an authoritarian and Hindu-leaning State Governor. Yet even before the night-time raids, line-ups, and punishment beatings with which the army seeks to quell the insurgency, the narrator is already sceptical of the rhetoric of the village's newly arrived rabble-rousing moulvi, whose sermons consist of political proselytizing on the subject of Indian atrocities against Muslim Kashmiris.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora
Subtitle of host publicationSecularism, Religion, Representations
EditorsClaire Chambers, Caroline Herbert
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2014