A VOYAGE TO THE LAND BELOVED OF GODS
GULLIVER’S FIFTH VOYAGE….From and unpublished manuscript purportedly by Jonathan Swift, DD. Fortuitously discovered in decrepit, worm-eaten and dust laden state in MMXII.
(Reconstructed and edited by T.C. Ghai who happens to be a yahoo native of the said noble country)
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels remains a most fascinating book even almost three hundred years after its first publication in 1726, and continues to inspire sequels because it’s so forcefully relevant even today. This work too is a sequel to Gulliver’s Travels in Swiftian form and world view. It’s fiction, fantasy and satire.
Here Gulliver is miraculously transported into 21st century to a country resembling India, where he hopes to meet beings far superior to the perfectly rational Houyhnhnms he met in his fourth voyage. But what he sees here is a glimpse of the worldly existence (contrasted to the other-worldly vision of Dante) in which the worldly heaven is the preserve of the rich and powerful and hell and purgatory the destiny of the rest of the people of the country.
After meeting many illustrious citizens of the land and travelling extensively and familiarizing himself with the wonderful achievements of the modern world and many adventures- hospitalization, most humiliating investigations, imprisonment, trial and death sentence- Gulliver returns home a misanthrope as before, convinced that three hundred years of fantastic technological advancement, far from effecting any improvement in mankind, has only aggravated it vices and a disastrous future awaits this country and the world.
Purpose behind this attempt is to present a satiric image of contemporary India’s political and socio-economic reality and the challenges posed by neo-liberalism, in the satiric framework set up by Swift in Gulliver’s Travels. The story also implicates European colonialism and imperialism so presciently present in Swift’s work.
However, the book goes beyond Travels, and links Swift’s Utopian/Dystopian vision with Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj, Francis Bacon’s New Atalantis, Dante’sThe Divine Comedyand the Faustlegend.