Department of English
The Department of English came into being right from the inception of the college in 1967. The B.A. Degree Course in English Language and Literature commenced in 1993.There are more than 10,000 books in different aspects of English Language and Literature in the college library thus catering to the reading requirements of all the students.The elective open course offered at the UG level is English for Careers which is designed for those who wish to develop their professional communication skills in English. The elective Regional Literature in Translation takes the students to the world of literature across frontiers. The Post Graduate course has been introduced this year.
Mrudula Menon V.
M A English, M Phil
Associate Professor &...
Ph.D., M.Phil, M.A. English
Prabha C. S.
M.Phil, M.A., B.Ed.
Amrutha S. Kumar
Remya M. L.
I am a self motivated pe...
Shushupna S. S.
MINOR RESEARCH PROJECT
ASSERTION OF ALTER-NATIVE, HERMETIC PARSI IDENTITY IN THE WORKS OF BOMAN DESAI, FARRUKH DHONDY AND BAPSI SIDHWA
Principal Investigator: C.S Prabha
Department of English
The Cochin College
The Parsis, the followers of Prophet Zarathustra, also known as Zoroastra to the Greeks, are the last survivors of Ancient Persia, a region which falls in Iran and Iraq today. They are a people who,when persecuted in their homeland in Persia because of their religious identity, were provided refuge in India many centuries ago. Parsis brought Zoroastrianism, their religion with them when they migrated to the Gujarat coastline in 936 A.D at a place they named Sanjan, some 180 kilometres north of Bombay in India. There they flourished and came to be known as the Parsis named after Faras, the region from where they came to India. Today, it is estimated that the Zoroastrian community consists of about 1,30,000 individuals, who live in India, Iran, Pakistan, U.K., U.S.A, Canada and in many parts of the English speaking world. According to a recent survey done by NDTV.Com, there are about 69,601 Parsis living in India. The rate at which their number is declining, they may soon be reduced to the status of a tribe, as this number is likely to drop down to about 20,000 in the next twenty years.
Parsis in India, even though a micro community, possess a distinct identity and culture. Unlike other communities, this community has striven hard to preserve, sustain and enhance their culture. The Parsi experience is about dilemmas that most micro communities face; questions about religion and race, survival and extinction, assimilation and identity, tradition and the modern world. Maintaining their distinct identity, they have prospered themselves and have contributed to the economy, polity and civic society of India. Over many centuries, they have proved themselves as a model community contributing distinctly to the rich social, cultural and religious diversity of India. As the world is becoming increasingly diverse and multicultural, it is high time that the rich Parsi experience of staying as a miniscule minority with distinct religious, social and cultural identity in the countries where they live. The presence of the Parsis in Indian writing in lndia is remarkable and their voices are audible within and outside lndia. The Parsi experience can be best studied through the works of some of the best Parsi writers, who live in lndia or Pakistan and then moved on to make their homes in the West, where they have made successful careers through their writings. Some of them have won prestigious national and international literary awards. Though not born into English language, as Gujarati with a distinct dialect is their mother tongue, they have mastered and made the English language to express their true spirit and distinct minority experience.
It is beyond doubt that the Parsis have left no field of creative work to which they have not contributed. There are so many Parsi writers like Rohinton Mistry, Bapsi Sidhwa, Firdaus Kanga, Farrukh Dhondy, Boman Desai, perin Bharucha, Dina Mehta, Meher Pestonjee, Nergis Dalal, Ardashar Vakil, Gieve Patel and Keki N Daruwalla. The Parsi writers, through their works intend to preserve their identity and ethnicity for ages to come. The novels portraying Parsi life is a potent index of Zoroastrian ethos. It voices the ambivalence, the nostalgia and the dilemma of the endangered Parsi community. In Parsi novels in English, the operative sensibility is Zoroastrian. The tempo of Parsi life is fused into their English expression. The triumph of the Parsi novelists in the use of English language is largely due to westernisation and exposure to English culture. Their prose is interspersed with Persian words and Gujarati expressions. Thus Parsi novel in English gives a peep into the turbulent Parsi mind of today and most of the Parsi writers assert their Identity in their creative writing.The way the community is disappearing, no one knows how long the Parsis will survive. Nevertheless, their literature dealing with their community, it's religion, it's customs and traditions, its likes and dislikes, and their role in the development of the country to which they originally do not belong certainly records their ethnicity for the posterity. It is a pity that the adopted sons of the soil who have played an active role in the all-round development of the nation has to face a threat to survival. Creative writers of this community do not seem to be optimistic at least in this respect, which is why their community figures everywhere in their writings.
The three writers whose works are analysed in the present project, in their respective attempts, give the readers an idea of what make them portray their community in their fictional discourse. Little is known about the miniscule community of the Parsis in spite of their considerable and significant contribution to various facets of national life in the Indian subcontinent. All the concerns of the community: declining population, brain drain,late marriages, inter caste marriages, funeral rites, attitude to the girl child, urbanisation, alienation, modernist vs traditionalist attitude to religion and the existence or non existence of ethnic anxieties are aptly delineated in the novels of Boman Desai, Farrukh Dhondy and Bapsi Sidhwa. Almost all the characters in their novels are Parsis enveloped within their ethnic universe, which has unique history and problems. Since the characters are Parsis, the Parsi community emerges as one of the thematic concerns in their novels. The writers unveil the Parsi way of life throughout the novels with cinematic precision. The description of Parsi life and tradition forms the core of their novels.
All the three novelists write from the margins of post colonial Indian society. They are also engaged in creating their own spaces within the dominant Indian culture space. The research is done with the key intention to assert that the Parsis in India can claim an ethnic identity in spite of the fact that they are an ethnic minority.
- On the re-opening day, 3 June 2013, the faculty and students visited Crescent Girl’s Orphanage and distributed books, pens, pencils, instrument boxes and other stationery items required to start off the academic year.
- The department conducted a one day theatre workshop, Decoding/ De-cording/ De-chording the Curtain, on 27 November 2013. Click to read report.
- A Visit to Ashwas Bhavan (February2013)
- The Department of English conducted the Extension Activity “Introducing English to Anganwadi Mothers” on 3 August 2016 in the anganwadi of the adopted ward from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. The English teachers took basic English classes for anganwadi teachers and mothers. Dictionaries and picture charts also were distributed to them followed by tea and snacks.
UGC- NET/ JRF Coaching Class
The Department of English , The Cochin College started UGC NET/JRF coaching classes (funded by Cluster of Colleges, Ernakulam) on 1 October 2016. The classes are scheduled on Saturday for five hours. The next class would be on Saturday, 5 November 2016. Classes start at 9.
Vigilance Awareness Week
As part of observance of Vigilance Awareness Week, the Syndicate Bank in association with the department of English conducted an essay competition for students on 3 November 2016 on the topic ‘ Public participation in promoting integrity and eradicating corruption’. Students from various departments participated in the competition. Ms. Nishaba K. (II M.A. English), Mr. Yeshwanth Praveen (I B.A. English) and Ms. Arathy A.R. (II M.A. English) secured the first, second and third prizes respectively. The prizes were awarded in the meeting conducted at the Regional Office of Syndicate Bank, Ernakulam.