Another consequence of Aziz’s trial is that the Hindus and Muslims in Chandrapore start getting along better. One day Mr. Das visits Aziz at the hospital to ask him for shingles medicine and a poem for his magazine. Only Hindus usually read the magazine, but Das is hoping that it will be for all Indians, and he believes that Aziz’s contribution will help accomplish this, as Aziz is the current Indian hero of Chandrapore. Das suggests that Aziz try to limit the Muslim references in the poem, however, as Das is still practical and realistic about his hope for unity.
Adela has left India now, but the consequences of her actions linger on. The English and the Indians are more divided than ever, but there is now a greater sense of friendship between the Hindu and Muslim communities in Chandrapore, as they feel relatively united against a common enemy.
Aziz agrees to try, and he also writes Das a prescription. Aziz and Das shake hands warmly. Their interaction is typical of the new relationship between Hindus and Muslims—they are friendly, but still cling to stereotypes and “know too much about each other” to totally start over as friends. Aziz starts writing that evening, but he finds that he can only write sad poems about the decline of Islam, or angry, satirical poems.
Aziz and Das still stereotype each other based on their religious communities, but they are also bound by the trial where Das acted justly and gave Aziz his freedom. Aziz’s poetic imagination lingers on his old subjects, but now he has a new purpose for his writing.
Aziz never ends up actually writing a poem for the magazine, but thinking about what might appeal to both Muslims and Hindus makes him start thinking more about a united India. He does not feel a natural affection for his homeland, but he decides that India must unite and drive out the English. One day he mentions to Hamidullah that he was mistaken earlier in considering the English as laughable figures, when in reality they have so much power and deep-seated prejudice against Indians.
Aziz does not become a political poet, but the assignment moves him in a conscious new direction—he decides to focus on the possibility of India as a united motherland, free of British rule. As Hamidullah points out, Adela’s accusation revealed the suppressed hatred that most of the English feel for the Indians. Aziz now combines his new dislike of the English with his desire for a free India.
Aziz decides that he wants to take a job in a Hindu state, to escape British India, write poetry, and try to befriend the Hindus. Hamidullah argues that the “savages” won’t pay Aziz enough, and he scolds Aziz again for not making Adela compensate him monetarily. Aziz is firm and confident in his decision, however, and intends to better himself by expressing his heart, and Hamidullah is convinced and moved.
Despite his new convictions, Aziz doesn’t become a political agitator, but he does make a decision to work towards a united India in his personal life by befriending Hindu Indians, utterly rejecting the English, and writing patriotic poetry.
Hamidullah then passes on the rumor that Fielding was having an affair with Adela while she was staying at the college. Aziz makes a joke out of this, again mocking Adela for not being beautiful, but suddenly he has an outburst of anger and says that everyone has betrayed him. He surprises even himself with this, and quickly calms down.
Aziz’s imagination and passion start to lead him astray regarding Fielding. He exaggerates Fielding’s “betrayal” of him and then grows increasingly suspicious of his friend, especially regarding Fielding’s relationship with Adela.
Hamidullah suggests that they visit the women of the house behind the purdah (the practice of some Indian Muslim women who live behind a curtain or in a separate room so as not to be seen by men or strangers). Hamidullah mentions that at the time of Aziz’s trial the women had seemed to be ready to give up purdah, but they have not followed through yet. For example, they all like and respect Fielding, but none have actually met him. Even Hamidullah’s wife finds an excuse to avoid Fielding when he visits. Hamidullah contrasts this with foreign missionaries’ claims that Indian women are “downtrodden.” He suggests that Aziz should write a poem about “the Indian lady as she is and not as she is supposed to be.”
Forster continues to shift the novel’s focus away from the English and towards the Indians, now expanding to other aspects of Muslim Indian culture. Once again, with the purdah the issue is always more complex than it seems at first glance, and the “civilizing” English intruders cannot properly understand it from the outside. Aziz finds a new subject for his writing, as he moves away from nostalgia for the past and towards hope for the future.