Sunday, July 25, 2010

Irony in the Short Story "New Constitution" by Saadat Hassan Manto

“The New Constitution” brings to light the irony of political situation in the sub-continent under the British rule. The rulers introduced the government of India act, 1935 with tall promises. But those promises were never fulfilled. The New Constitution promised self-government. But it was only a restricted selfgovernment as it was under complete British control. It did not bring any profitable change for the people.
They had been told that this New Constitution would make life easy and comfortable for them. It would ensure respect for the common man. It would give them all the rights which their rulers enjoyed. But all these promises turned out to be false.
The New Constitution was nothing more than a new political set up. It failed to fulfill the hopes of the common man. The story brings out the irony of politics very effectively. The irony is brought out suddenly when Mangu finds himself arrested for beating a gora soldier. What he did was unfair. He should not have lost his temper. But he was a simple honest man. His feelings of hatred against the alien rulers got the better of his manners. The so-called new setup had given him the courage to avenge the insult and injury he had once suffered at the hands of a gora. His hatred against that gora was generalized to the whole gora nation. In beating the gora soldier he was encouraged by the concept of equality of rights promised by the new constitution. But he soon learnt that the promise was false. This lesson of irony came to him as a shock. His fond hopes about the future of his nation were shattered by this incident.

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