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Forster visited India for the first time in 1912-13, and in 1921 he again came to India and served as the private secretary to the Rajah of Dewas State Senior for several months. These two visits familiarized him with India to a comparatively unusual extent, although his encounters were limited to Indians of certain social, groupings. His visits also demonstrated to him practically the differences between the races and cultures. He left Dewas State Senior at the end of 1921 with a feeling of annoyance as well as friendship, and it is with the authority of experience that he writes about Indians' ways of life, and about the middle and mysticism of Indian in his famous novel, A Passage to India (1924).
A Passage to India as a realistic novel

Although the story of the novel contain some puzzling situations, it gives us a realistic picture of the Indian life and cultures along with the attitude of the Anglo-Indians towards the natives of India. The curiosity of the two ladies who have newly arrived from England to know the true India, the arrogance of the English officials, their ill treatment of the subordinate offices of native origin, their show of understanding by means of a 'Bridge Party', the hostility of the Indians against the English officials, Aziz's liking for Mrs. Moore and for Fielding, the tea-party offered by Fielding to cover up the failure of the 'Bridge-Party', the expedition to the caves, the turmoil in the city over the arrest of Aziz, Fielding's marriage to Stella Moore, the celebration of the Janmasthami at Mau, and many other incidents and situations seem to be perfectly credible and convincing.

Of course, it cannot be denied that there are some improbable situations. We are told that Miss Quested goes to the Marabar Caves to enjoy a picnic but suddenly we are informed that the police Inspector is waiting for arresting Aziz on a charge of molesting her. To ascribe Adela's sidden funny behaviour to her hallucination is not convincing. Mrs. Moore loses her sense of reality in the caves and suddenly she becomes apathetic and indifferent to Miss Quested, the fiancée of her son and to other dear and near ones. This is also unbelievable. The collapse of the personal friendship between Aziz and Fielding as a result of a mere rumour is highly improbable.

But the picture of Muslims, the Hindus, and the Anglo-Indians that Forster gives in his novel is largely true, although in few cases there are exaggerations and caricatures.

Further the portrayals of Aziz and Fielding are perfectly realistic. Aziz is restless, friendly, volatile and vain. He is free and frank with his Muslim friends, resentfully sensitive to English snobs and passionately patriotic. Aziz resents the English because they despise him; he despises the Hindus because they are Hindus and make him think of cow-dung. Fielding, on the other hand, stands as a striking contrast to his compatriots in Chandrapore. He has no racial hatred and mixes freely with the  Indians and by doing this he incurs displeasure of his own countrymen.

To conclude, A Passage to India is a fiction and realistic novel.  a work of art and therefore, it may have certain improbable or unrealistic events. The novel yet it may be regarded as a valuable document displaying the British rule in India and the corrupt influence of such a rule on both the rulers and the ruled.


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