The Lowland

The Lowland

by

Jhumpa Lahiri

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A small village in West Bengal that was the center of an uprising by the CPI(M) led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal. At the time of the uprising, the peasants of the village were being systematically forced off of their land, and sharecroppers were being killed with impunity by local police when they attempted to occupy or work on the land from which they’d been exiled. The Naxalite rebellion was the attempt to rise up against oppressive police and paramilitary forces and redistribute land to the impoverished. Though rooted in the desire for equality and justice, the Naxalite movement would soon resort to violent methods and become known as a radical terrorist faction.
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Naxalbari Term Timeline in The Lowland

The timeline below shows where the term Naxalbari appears in The Lowland. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 4
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
In 1967, the boys begin hearing about Naxalbari on the radio and in the newspaper. One of a string of villages in the... (full context)
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
In March of 1967, a sharecropper in Naxalbari ploughs land from which he has been illegally evited, and his landlord sends “thugs” to... (full context)
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
Heritage and Homeland Theme Icon
...Udayan often stay up late, listening to the radio and discussing what is happening in Naxalbari. Udayan supports the peasant rebellion, but Subhash has reservations, feeling that the peasants’ primitive weapons... (full context)
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
Presence in Absence Theme Icon
Over the summer, the conflict worsens, and there are demonstrations in support of the Naxalbari peasants at both Subhash and Udayan’s colleges. The West Bengal government authorizes a raid of... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
Duty and Desire Theme Icon
Secrets and Conspiracies Theme Icon
...Calcutta University. Udayan’s schedule becomes erratic, and he frequently misses dinner. Subhash knows that the Naxalbari movement is spreading throughout India, and suspects that his brother is involved, but does not... (full context)
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
Heritage and Homeland Theme Icon
...distributed, and from reading them Subhash learns that the peasant rebels are still active in Naxalbari. They are even having some success, and landowners are fleeing after a spate of landowning... (full context)
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
Secrets and Conspiracies Theme Icon
...paper on which is written a list of slogans glorifying Mao and the uprising in Naxalbari. One night, when Udayan comes home late, Subhash asks if he has been out painting... (full context)
Duty and Desire Theme Icon
Secrets and Conspiracies Theme Icon
...again finds himself in the position of lookout as Udayan paints the slogan “Long live Naxalbari” in English on a wall. Subhash is not afraid of being caught, and remembers, in... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Heritage and Homeland Theme Icon
...asks Subhash about India—he is ignorant of the politics there and does not know what Naxalbari is or what it stands for.  (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
Heritage and Homeland Theme Icon
Presence in Absence Theme Icon
Udayan’s letters no longer mention Naxalbari or any kind of politics. He asks repeatedly, though, when Subhash is going to return... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
Political and Personal Violence Theme Icon
Duty and Desire Theme Icon
Heritage and Homeland Theme Icon
Presence in Absence Theme Icon
...in the evening, Gauri is surprised to find that there is nothing about Calcutta or Naxalbari on the broadcast—the things that tore her city apart and “shattered” her life are not... (full context)