Critical lens men are not prisoners of fate but of their own minds

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Critical lens men are not prisoners of fate but of their own minds

Sami Ahmad Khan Abstract: This paper studies the overt manifestations of Hindu gods in three Indian science fiction SF novels written in English, and the reasons behind such vivid portrayals.

It analyses the specific mechanics of these representations, whereby Hindu mythology is hybridized and transposed with the quasi-science of SF to propel the narrative.

This paper discusses the appropriation of these mythological narratives, their subsequent reinterpretation in Indian SF, and how this reworking constitutes a direct critique of contemporary material realities.

The presence of mythological and spiritual themes in global SF is nothing new.

Critical lens men are not prisoners of fate but of their own minds

In addition to Gernsback, many great minds have tried to define SF and propounded definitions that attempt to holistically capture the essence of SF. The question of their success lies beyond the purview of the paper, but let this suffice—if defining American SF is hard, the problem of accurately encapsulating the core of Indian SF in words is all the more difficult, even when one narrows it down further to SF written by Indians in English.

Moreover, the hallmark of divinity granting that wish is visible in the simple fact that when an alien spacecraft does land in that quaint Indian village, the UFO is shaped like a Shiva-Linga, a manifestation of Shiva—the Destroyer, one of the three major Hindu deities.

Until the recent past, the tilt has been towards fantasy and mythology, though now SF is becoming increasingly popular. In the context of Indian SpecFic films, M. A number of India's films in the nineteen sixties have shown imaginary worlds with imaginary beings.

Hindu mythology does talk about stuff like flying vehicles, world-nets and mantra-guided missiles. It is with this background in mind that this article studies three Indian SF novels in English and locates the reason why Hindu gods work well within SF narratives.

Vimana portrays Hindu gods as advanced extra-terrestrials chaperoning humanity towards progress, but they only unveil themselves to the world at large to combat the forces of global terrorism.

Flying Saucers Battle Al Qaeda: Vimana traces the journey of a college-student, Aaditya, who is an expert at flight-sim games and dreams of following the footsteps of his father by joining the Indian Air Force after college.

However, Aaditya loses a leg in an accident and his dreams are shattered. One day, he comes across some individuals attacking a woman in a park.

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Concerned, he joins the fight to save the woman, only to realise this is not just some random gang-related violence, but a trans-human engagement. Aaditya is unwittingly caught in a fight between two covert, all-powerful groups. One represents the forces of good — the gods — and the other, evil: Strong, ruthless and obedient, but not very smart.

With those demons, they unleashed their reign of terror. They sided with human dictators, promising them power and helping with these demons and their technologies, but in reality making them slaves.

Much to his chagrin, they also have extra-terrestrial origins. These gods tell him that his father might have been shot down by another group of technologically-advanced people led by Kalki, [8] the same people who are fighting these extra-terrestrial gods.

Aaditya sides with the gods, wins their confidence by proving his mettle in a fight against the demons, and prepares for the final assault. He raids the daitya base on the sunken city Atlantis, frees his father and other prisoners of war, and then helps secure the defeat of Kalki and his evil minions.

The novel ends with the extra-terrestrial gods finally revealing themselves to humanity. The fusion of science and spirituality is evident in the novum of Vimana. These gods are introduced to the reader thus: The first to speak was Narada. I am Narada Muni and I handle Intelligence here.

I lead our Special Forces. She was wearing a red-bordered white suit, and she smiled as she introduced herself. The tall, muscular man with a beard spoke next.

I am Indra, the Military commander here. I am the administrative head here. Think of me as the Chief Operating Officer, if that analogy works for you. What a curious word. Brahma then explains that his people were part of a galactic alliance that sought out intelligent life and shepherded them towards a certain level of self-awareness, after which they were asked to join this galactic community.

He tells Aaditya that long ago, when humanity was still in its crib, some humans chanced upon these benevolent alien visitors and began to think of them as gods. This is a mirror reflection of what Erich von Daniken proposed in Chariots of the Gods?Sample Literary Criticism Assignment Regents Prep: Critical Lens “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” • Provide a valid interpretation of the critical lens that clearly establishes the criteria for analysis.

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