Kali Ma


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Kali Ma is a fictional account of the journey by an English gentleman and his wife from Calcutta (modern Kolkata) to the ruined fortress at Raj Mahal, in 1850-52. They are investigating a possible resurrection of the thuggee movement, but instead get embroiled in the Santhal Hul rebellion, which was much closer to a Communist insurrection than banditry.

Thematically, the novel focuses on the interplay between nationalism of the rebels and the feminism of the female protagonist – two “modern” ideologies – and the colonial, sometimes medieval, attitudes of the male protagonist.

The working title, and the garish cover image, are both a nod to misconceptions on the part of the “Britishers” as to the reasons for the Santhal Hul insurrection. There were reports of human sacrifice associated with the worship of Kali as late as the 1820s, and the thugees horrified the British colonialists with their brutality. Which is quite something given that during the First Indian War of Independence (the so-called “Indian Mutiny of 1857”), the British killed sepoys by “blowing them from cannons”.

This page is a place holder, for now. The draft story has yet to be copied from my personal computer.

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