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A Passage to India

A Passage to India


by E.M. Forster

A Passage to India Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

"No Indian gentleman approves chucking out as a proper thing. Here we differ from those other nations. We are so spiritual."


"I don't consider us spiritual. We can't co-ordinate, we can't co-ordinate, it only comes to that […]" (I.9.112)

The Indians have a debate as to why they aren't a nation. Ram Chand argues that it's because Indians hate "chucking out" anybody; they are by nature an inclusive people, and a nation necessarily excludes people when it draws its boundaries. Hamidullah believes it's because they can't get their act together.

Quote #8

The dread of having to call in the troops was vivid to [Turton]; soldiers put one thing straight, but leave a dozen others crooked, and they love to humiliate the civilian administration. (2.20.20)

Turton's dilemma shows how complicated the situation in India was as the military and the civil administration have different approaches to dealing with the colonial situation. The military views force as the necessary – and only – means of negotiating with Indians, while the civilian administration is obligated to maintain British civil institutions such as due process and civil rights.

Quote #9

A new spirit seemed abroad, a rearrangement, which no one in the stern little band of whites could explain. (2.24.24)

Aziz's trial is another occasion for Indians to band together, another stitch in the "social fabric" that Callendar refuses to believe exists in Quote #5. This "new spirit" signals a "rearrangement," a potential change in the colonial situation, as Indians grow more and more assertive. And we're not just talking the educated Indian class, such as Aziz and Hamidullah: everybody from the Sweepers who clean the toilets to the purdah women holding hunger strikes are involved.

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