Rewriting History: A. Santhan’s Portrayal of Jaffna in The Whirlwind

By Sivagurunathan Sivagowri.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since writing in English from Sri Lanka with a Tamil perspective is limited, as a novel which stands out as an account of the wartime experience of the people of Jaffna, A. Santhan’s “The Whirlwind” explores the life, culture, history, and identity of the people of Jaffna, Tamil inhabitants of the northern part of Sri Lanka. It is expressed through the incidents happened in the Jaffna Peninsula which was occupied by an Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in the late 1980's. This paper describes the ways in which the writer captures the traumas, violence, denial of human rights, the clashes between Tamil militants and IPKF, and their ideologies by rewriting the history of Jaffnese during the period of IPKF. The objective of this paper is to express the traumatic experiences of the minority in Sri Lanka and their socio-cultural and political identity in the postcolonial Sri Lanka.

Keywords: Culture, History, Identity, Jaffnese, Minority, Tamil

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 238.805KB).

Sivagurunathan Sivagowri

Lecturer in English, English Language Teaching Centre, University of Jaffna, Jaffna, Northern, Sri Lanka

Miss Sivagurunathan Sivagowri completed her B.A. degree in English (first class), and a Master's degree in public administration with distinction. She taught French for beginners at Alliance Francaise de Jaffna in Sri Lanka and is now teaching English language and literature at the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka. Currently, she is reading her MPhil leading to a PhD in English. She has presented many papers at national and international conferences. Her fields of interest are English language, literature, and linguistics.