Imperialism In Kamala Markandaya's 'Nectar In A Sieve'

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Dominance over Social Progress
Imperialism; the largest genocide that we never talk about. Imperialism is a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Kamala Markandaya wrote the book Nectar in a Sieve. Nectar in a Sieve is about an Indian peasant woman, Rukmani, whose life is shook by the sudden presence of imperialism. The experiences that Rukmani goes through is reflected by the haunting imperialist history in the Congo as well as the British viewpoint illustrated through the comic A White Man’s Burden. Imperialism reflects dominance rather than social progress because it uses racism to justify the economic exploitation and the forced assimilation inflicted upon the imperialised people. Imperialism
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The words on the boulders represent how the imperialist countries viewed the countries they conquered. The people in the baskets represent regions such as Hawaii, India, Cuba, and Egypt. The imperialist countries in this comic feel as if they need to carry these people over the stepping stones in order to civilize them. The English showed racism towards the imperialist countries and their people in order to hide their true motives of wanting to steal resources from them. The imperialist countries held themselves to be more capable than the country they conquered, minimizing their ideals and opinions. This idea is supported in the novel Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya. The relationship between the characters Rukmani and Kenny is symbolic of the relationship between India and England. In one excerpt of the story, Kenny dismisses Rukmani’s opinion when he says, “Your views are so limited it is impossible to explain to you.” Earlier in the book he states, “ I go when I am tired of your follies and stupidities… I can only take you people in small doses.” Kenny dismisses Rukmani and the Indian people as being stupid and does not think them …show more content…
In the 1480s, the Europeans came to the Congo in order to gain access to the rich supply of resources that subsided there. Among those resources were strong workers. The Belgians used the Congolese to access the resources of Congo, particularly rubber. The BBC article, DR Congo: Cursed by its Natural Wealth, states, ¨To tap it [rubber], Congolese men were rounded up by a brutal Belgian-officered security force, their wives were interned to ensure compliance and were brutalised during their captivity. The men were then forced to go into the jungle and harvest the rubber. Disobedience or resistance was met by immediate punishment - flogging, severing of hands, and death. Millions perished.¨ The Belgians not only held the Congolese workers in professional positions lower than them with no option of advancement in the ranks, the Belgians also looked at the workers as only sources that they use to meet a quota rather than people deserving of respect. The punishment options, in particular, show how the Belgians controlled the plantations through fear so that people will work harder. Unfortunately, brutal working conditions are a recurring trend that follows imperialism wherever it goes. In Nectar in a Sieve, the British built a tannery. The sons of Rukmani were forced to go to work at the tannery in order to support the family after the crops were destroyed by a flood. The tannery had

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