A God Who Can Laugh: Aspects of Hinduism in the Works of E.M Forster and Edward Thompson


  • Meenakshi Malhotra Hansraj College


The article explores aspects of Hinduism in some writings by British writers E.M.Forster and Edward Thompson in the early twentieth century, and tries to read nuance into the Orientalist project of mapping India. Unlike some writers like Kipling who wrote in the period of high imperialism and created colonial and racial stereotypes, Forster and Thompson seem to be aware of the complexities of Hinduism, of a God who can laugh and play. This article discusses Forster and Thompson’s understanding of and views on Hinduism.





Hinduism, Carnivalesque, Temple, Playful Divinities, Cosmic Play, East, Imperialism, Masculinity


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Author Biography

Meenakshi Malhotra, Hansraj College

Dr Meenakshi Malhotra teaches English in Hansraj College, Delhi University.  She has edited two textbooks, Representing the Self and Claiming the I. Her recent publications include articles on lifewriting as an archive for Gender and Women’s Studies, Women and Gender Studies in  India: Crossings (Routledge,2019), on “Subjugated Knowledges and Emergent Voices” in Revolving around Indias (Cambridge Publishers 2020), “The Engendering of Hurt’’  in The State of Hurt, (Sage, 2016), on “Reconceptualising the Subject in Queer Theory” in Ways of Seeing/Ways of Queering, (Interdisciplinary Press, 2016), on Kali in Unveiling Desire, (Rutgers University Press, 2018) and “Ecofeminism and its Discontents” (Primus, 2018). She has been part of curriculum development teams with several universities, a consultant for school textbooks, visiting faculty at Grinnell College, Iowa and University of Minnesota at Duluth and a Nalanda Studies Fellow.




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