Friday, April 22, 2011

Some Ranting on Africa and Its Literature on Good Friday

I am interested in African literature a lot. Whenever, whatever, I lay my hands on, I have devoured with passionate enthusiasm. So I was rather taken aback when I read this from quantara.de. Excerpt:

"Even in 1987 when Serpent's Tail published it things were different. On the cover a young Egyptian man is standing by a billiard table smoking. The window behind him overlooks the Nile with its feluccas and pine trees. The implication is that Ghali is one of us, but is able to open a window to the beautiful other. With the escalation of hostilities between the Arab and western worlds and hardening of Muslim-Christian binaries things went steadily downhill."

The article lists a number of book covers to show how mindsets have changed during the time when there was a hardening of the religious stand. As everyone knows Africa has two major religions: Islam and Christianity. The liberalists in the newly liberated nations were hoping for a secular Africa, but their hopes were belied. That's when as the article notes "hardening of Muslim-Christian binaries went steadily downhill."

I have often said (sorry, written!)  in this blog that economic imperialism and corporatisation was what was pushing people to religious bigotry. However, nobody raises a voice against this, assuming it is harmless. Today corporates control massive chunks of the economy not to speak of land and other resources. Mining is rampant in Africa and in India. Corporations are laying the landscape bare and causing death of species and global warming. Yet, nobody seem to mind. Hm. Enough ranting for a day. Today is Good Friday a day for introspection.

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