The sound of ‘Mountbatten’s ticktock’ in Salman Rushdie’s second novel Midnight’s Children is not only a narrative device for building suspense and focusing attention on an event such as the countdown to a bomb detonation; for the sound of the ticking clock also evokes the technological instrument of modernity used to measure the chronological transition from the period of British colonial rule in India to India’s political independence in 1947. By highlighting this temporal transition, and its subsequent anticlimax, Salman Rushdie not only draws attention to the fault lines in India’s political independence in his fiction but also suggests that India’s postcolonial modernity is itself a fictional composite of different political and cultural discourses borrowed from the South Asia’s rich and complex cultural history as well as the European enlightenment.
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