Postcolonial Identity In Yuva By Mani Ratnam

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This write-up seeks to address the question of the postcolonial identity which emerges from the text, Yuva (2004) by Mani Ratnam. The subject(s) form a sense of communal unity in identity despite being from different social and regional backgrounds, highlighting different roles/identities being played out during the course of the movie and how these identities synthesize by the end of it. For Benedict Anderson, nation “is an imagined political community--and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign" (Anderson 1983). Aligning with the inference that nationhood is a social construct, we see the three central characters, each trying to blend into this imagined community. On one hand, Lallan is a hired thug who commits all crimes for the sake of the hegemonic ruling class/party whereas Michael and later Arjun too, tries to uplift the ‘common’ people and establish something along the lines of gram-swaraj.

In the same light, Arjun, who believes in a certain desire for the west, its technologically driven ‘progressive’ world and seeks to move to US and study there, stands in contrast to what his dad believes to be a “good life/career” by
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Michael embodies the notion of what Fanon calls “the most urgent thing today for the intellectual is to build up his nation"' and that "'the building of a nation is of necessity accompanied by the discovery and encouragement of universalizing values.” Secondly, the idea of nation as a community brings with it a lot of debate and disagreement over the very idea of a fraternity within the boundaries of the state. The movie tackles this idea by presenting how a local idea of ‘nation-hood’ is formed, no doubt contradictory (Lallan’s views Vs. Michael’s), through the view of the public, students and the rural inhabitants in this

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