Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 11 November 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.



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Redefining Secularism -
An Analysis of John Updike's Terrorist and
Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist as Post-9/11 Novels

C. Amutha Charu Sheela, M.A., M.Phil., M.B.A.

The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
"September 1, 1939". W. H. Auden

Effects of Secularism

Secularism implies that life can be best lived by applying ethics, reasoning, non-discrimination among religions as well as guaranteeing the human rights of all citizens, regardless of creed. It is paradoxically believed that the secularization of a society protects it from religious fundamentalism. However, the attempt to marginalize religion through secularism has actually strengthened religious fundamentalism in the world of our times.

It is no secret that in the age of globalization there has been a parochial retreat into religious fundamentalism and fierce anti- internationalist interests. Honor killings in South Asia are due to stern adherence to a traditional code of conduct. Hindu - Muslim strife in India, war torn West Bank and the ethnic cleansing in some parts of the world are caused by reversion to religious customs, conventions and regional sentiments.

Effects of Transnationalism

The dawn of the twenty-first century witnessed the flow of capital, labor, media and ideologies. This marked the beginning of new era, an era of transnationalism. As a result of transnationalism, formations have transgressed national borders producing new social formations, which often lead to cultural and religious fanaticism.

Multiple Identifications

The new global order has led to the politicization of identity in the form of fundamentalism, xenophobia and a fanatical espousal of tradition. There are multiple identifications and contested affiliations in the era of globalization. Fresh infusions from different parts of the world for generations after generations into American life made Americans create a nation with a common identity and objectives, while welcoming and sustaining religious culture and ethnic diversity.

Violent Attack on Secularism

The belief in this state of secularism has been threatened by the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11. The question of belonging has become increasingly territorialized and penalized.

The question of identity which occupies centre stage in the troubled territories of nationalism and citizenship has become even more contested in the 9/11 landscape. Some critics call this century as the post- secular era, the word can denote either the turn to religion or the upsurge of all kinds of fundamentalism.

A Portrait of Resurgence

This paper is an attempt to analyze this scenario through a reading of John Updike's twenty-second novel, intriguingly named as The Terrorist and Mohsin Hamid's Reluctant Fundamentalist.

This study evaluates the extent to which Updike and Hamid are able to portray the resurgence of this sort of religious, social, cultural and political struggles related to it.

These two writers write from different locations: Updike is a mainstream writer, writing in a white Christian/secular mainstream society; while Hamid writes from a mainstream predominantly patriarchal, Muslim Pakistan. Both the novels attempt to grapple with a cataclysmic event in American history, the destruction of the Twin Towers.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Implementing Explicit Grammatical Instruction in Thailand Schools | Nature of Sentence Intonation in Kannada, Tulu and Konkani | Language and Gender - Linguistic Analysis of Intermediate English Textbooks in Pakistan | Development of Punjabi-Hindi Aligned Parallel Corpus from Web Using Machine Translation | Paralinguistic and Non-Verbal Props in Second-Language Use: A Study of Icheoku and Masquerade in Nigeria | Economic Perspectives and Life-style Characteristics of the Aged Population in Tamil Nadu, India | Redefining Secularism - An Analysis of John Updike's Terrorist and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist as Post-9/11 Novels | Reduplication in Bengali Language | Development of Time-Compressed Speech Test for Children between 8 - 12 Years of Age in Telugu | Bridging the Gap - The Potential of Contrastive Rhetoric in Teaching L2 Writing | ELT in Yemen and India - The Need for Remedial Measures | Relationship between Multiple Intelligence Categories and Learning Styles of Students in Pakistan | Internet as an Educational Resource in Vocabulary Instruction | The Effectiveness of Technology in Teaching Study Skills | A Study of the Comparative Elements in the Poetry of Keats and Ghani Khan | Sentence Pattern Method - A New Approach for Teaching Spoken English for Tamil/Indian/EFL Learners | Enhancing Language Skills Using Learn to Speak English Software in Engineering Students of Andhra Pradesh | Problems in Teaching of English Language at the Primary Level in District Kohat, NWFP, Pakistan | An Appraisal of the Practicum - Finding the Gaps between Theory and Practice in Teacher Training Institutions in Pakistan | A Study of B.Ed. Students' Attitude Towards Using Internet in Vellore District, Tamilnadu, India, Masters Dissertation | Politics of Sambalpuri or Kosali as a Dialect of Oriya in Orissa | A Six-Step Approach to Teaching Poetry Incorporating the Four Skills | Lexis of a Suicidal | A Case Review of Tamil Diglossia | Comparison of Markedness of Lexical Semantic Abilities in Normal Children and Children with Hearing Impairment | Social Effects and Other Impediments in Teaching Literature | Aligning the Connotations of Love and Freedom in the Novels of Iris Murdoch | Spiritual Communication and Managerial Effectiveness | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF NOVEMBER, 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. | HOME PAGE of November 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

C. Amutha Charu Sheela, M.A., M.Phil., M.B.A.
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering
Sriperumpudur - 602 105
Tamilnadu, India

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