A Suitable Boy - Part 5 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Suitable Boy.
This section contains 336 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)

Part 5 Summary

The chapter deals with the religious conflict between Muslims and Hindus. The Raja of Marh is determined to erect a Temple to Shiva just west of the Alamgiri Mosque, which is bad enough insofar as the Imam is concerned; but to make matters worse, the proposed Temple will have as it centerpiece the recently found Phallus of Shiva which will be placed directly between the mosque and Mecca. Tensions build up until there is a real threat of rioting in the city. The Deputy Superintendent of Police is left in charge in the absence of his superior and most of the police force is made up of Muslims who will not be pleased to fire on Muslim rioters. By charging the rioters from a blind corner, the police are able to quell the riot with a minimum of casualties. L. N. Agarwal, the Home Minister, becomes the attack point in the legislative inquiry over the police handling of the riot. Begum Abida Khan, a female Muslim MP, attacks Agarwal in Parliament. The main political conflict in the story is the Bihar Zamindari Act which is popular with the masses who may gain land but unpopular with the zamindaris who stand to lose substantial holdings. In the course of the conflict between Begum Abida Khan and L. N. Agarwal, the mansion of Begum's family is almost lost.

Part 5 Analysis

This chapter sets the details of the political conflicts going on in India after the Partition which separated India and Pakistan. It is relevant to the novel because of the involvement of the various families in the process. One of the most glaring cultural differences is the isolation of Muslim women as opposed to the freedom enjoyed by Hindu women. Begum Abida Khan is the rare exception of a more or less liberated Muslim woman. The political maneuvering of L. N. Agarwal, which almost causes the government confiscation of Baitar House, is the prime example of the effects of the Bihar Zamindari Act.

This section contains 336 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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