Shadow from Ladakh

Novel Shadow from Ladakh— Theme of Synthesis of East and West

Shadow from Ladakh : After reading the story of the present novel “Shadow from Ladakh” written by Bhabani Bhattacharya we come to the conclusion that the writer has tried his best to present a clear and natural synthesis of East and West. Again it shows the synthesis between the opposite views of Satyajit believing in peace and non – violence with his rival Bhaskar who was a man of progressive ideas and stood for the Steeltown. He believed that India needs more and more machines and war weapons for the security and progress of the country.

 Novel Shadow from Ladakh— Theme of Synthesis of East and West

The Conflict between Gandhigram and Steeltown:

It is necessary to point out that the writer was much concerned with Rabindranath Tagore’s main purpose of life indicated in these words, “Integration that was the poet’s life long quest. Integration of the simple and the sophisticated the ancient and modern, city and village, East and West.” 

The present novel deals with the conflict and compromise between the two opposite modes of life indicated by Gandhigram and Steeltown. Gandhigram stressed the great values of life advocated by the great men of East. On the other hand, Steeltown indicated the Western industrial civilization. Bhaskar who was the Chief Engineer of the Steeltown asserted the need of producing more and more machines and war weapons for the security and the industrial progress of the country. Satyajit who supported the values of Gandhigram was supported by his wife, Suruchi and his daughter Sumita. The Steeltown was to be introduced in India at the time of the Chinese aggression on India, so it was the need of the hour.

The village people of Gandhigram with the support of Satyajit and Sumita had decided to fight against Bhaskar and his Steeltown. There the village people had full faith in self – help and self – service. Satyajit who was the heart – and – soul of Sevagram had deep faith in peace and non – violence. Fortunately, both Gandhigram and Steeltown came to a peaceful settlement because Bhaskar used to love Satyajit’s daughter deeply and he wished to marry her. Sumita also loved him, enjoyed his company and married him at the end of the story of the present novel.

The Opposite View of Satyajit and Bhaskar:

The serious study of the present novel makes it clear that Satyajit and Bhaskar had opposite views. Satyajit, the supporter of Gandhigram and a true disciple of Gandhiji had deep faith in non – violence as well as in the higher values of human life. On the other hand, Bhaskar who was a great advocate of the Steeltown wanted to establish it in place of Gandhigram. He was America – returned so he was the young man of progressive ideas. Time and again he asserted the need of producing more and more machines and war weapons for the industrial progress of the country and for its security.

If Satyajit believed in peaceful movement and peaceful march for the solution of national problems, Bhaskar believed in change and technical progress through the Steeltown. He wished that industrialization in the country should be made under the American techniques. He added that either Gandhigram should be finished, or it should be merged into the Steeltown. Thus, he wished a perfect synthesis between the old and the modern as well as between East and West. Such synthesis became a reality through Bhaskar’s love to Sumita and her equal and deep love for him.

The Role of the Meadow House:

Bhaskar did not like to eliminate the village out and – out but he desired the amenities of modern city life in all the villages. For this, he started building the Meadow House near Gandhigram as the common property of the Steeltown and Gandhigram. The writer has made his best efforts to fill the gulf between the old and the new , or between East and West . Suruchi was unhappy that Bhaskar could not realise the importance of Gandhigram and its spiritual values. She herself wished a real and natural synthesis between Gandhigram and Steeltown.


Bhaskar used to love young and beautiful Sumita and she also loved him with an equal depth of feelings. Both of them enjoyed going out on pleasure trips now and again. Once they went into the temple and embraced and kissed each other after seeing some romantic figures there. It is necessary to point out that their deep love paved the path for the synthesis between Bhaskar and Satyajit as well as between Gandhigram and Steeltown. The novel came to an end with the happy marriage of Bhaskar and Sumita.

 Read it also:  The Serpent and The Rope

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