In his article "The Indian Diaspora and Reading Desai, Mukherjee, Gupta, and Lahiri" Amit Shankar Saha argues that displacement produces a point of encounter between the alien and authority. Saha analyses aspects of (im)migration in texts about the Indian diaspora: if the host society is intolerant then it is through reactionary self-fashioning that the (im)migrant asserts his/her ethnicity as a defensive mechanism to rescue self-respect. However, while the host society is welcoming, it does not guarantee ready assimilation because there is always the question of severing the (im)migrants ties with his/her home land. (Im)migrants start living in two worlds simultaneously by making adjustments. They become transnationals who attempt to define their identities in terms of their point of origin and their destination followed by a second phase where ethnicity is reasserted, although this time not as a reaction against a hostile society but as displeasure against themselves. Ultimately, in the third phase, there is an understanding of how cultures enrich and an acceptance of hybrid existence becomes possible.

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.