The Moth-eaten Howdah of the Tusker
At the dawn of independence in India, in a small sattra in South Kamrup in Assam, the Gossains, its religious and spiritual heads, grapple with a palpable threat to their traditional authority. The sattra soaks in opium fumes, taxes challenge their ownership of land, the emerging forces of communism strike at the debilitated roots of feudal power.In The Moth-Eaten Howdah of the Tusker, Indira Goswami holds up a powerful picture of change and transition, of degeneration and decay, which finds suitable expression in the central metaphor.
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