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Transnational Organized Crime, Islamophobia and Globalization in Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist: Contentions and Contestations

Ghosal, Abhisek

9/11 terror strike had wrecked havoc on the cultural, political, economic, religious, to name only a few, configurations in America thereby disconcerting social status quo at large. Before the demolition of twin tower in America, a marker of economic condescension of America upon the rest of the world, America had resorted to a number of politico-economic ploys to invite skilled workers in America intending to chisel the steady prosperity of America in the domains of commerce and education. For instance, America, intently, used to cater scholarships to impoverished yet brilliant students, across the world, to study in premier academic institutions in America inasmuch as they had planned to employ unswerving and unwavering youths to build up the future of America. In addition to it, the emergence of Multinational Companies was triggered into action in 1980s onwards to open up the economy of America so as to make lucrative gains from all over the world. These MNCs tactfully recruit local youths to extract and exact maximum labour possible at the expense of minimum salary. Before 9/11, America began to emerge as mighty economic power in the domain of commerce. 9/11 terror strike unsettled America’s steady rise in the global market, and most importantly, called neoliberal fiscal policies into question. In post-9/11 scenario, non-Muslim native residents of America turned violent against Muslims, for the demolition of twin tower was devised and carried out by Al Qaeda, a Muslim terrorist outfit. Naïve Muslims living in America were made subject to humiliations, tortures, torments, misery, among others, perpetrated by infuriated non-Muslim natives who became intolerant to Muslims particularly after the 9/11 terror strike. Pitted against this political upheaval in America, induced by sudden slumps in economy, Mohsin Hamid, one of the most brilliant novelists of twenty first century of Pakistan, has posited the poignant tale of Changez, the protagonist of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, against the backdrop of 9/11 terror strike and its concomitant consequences. Debunked and disillusioned, shattered and battered, Changez engages himself in a conversation with an unknown American at Lahore café and unfolds his harrowing experiences of four and a half years stint in America. Hamid is supposed to have penned down this novel to project the contentious intersections and interactions among transnational organized crime, Islamophobia and globalization. This article is devised to investigate the interplay among the trio, taking recourse to pertinent theoretical insights into cognizance, and to interrogate Hamid’s interventions into the problematic overlapping of the trio.

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