A Phenomenal Phenomenon of Post-Colonial Trauma: The Appearance of the Past in the Present through Hayavadana


  • Aasim Lodhi Assistant Professor, MAO College, Lahore
  • Fizza Butt Lecturer, MAO College, Lahore


trauma, phenomenology, colonialism, South Asia, past, present


This study claims that without having a proper understanding about colonization—a traumatic event in the history, the whole talk of developing independent and alter narrative seems to have no sense at all. In this context, the present study contends that the trauma of colonialism, for it has not been properly understood, continues to remain part of the collective consciousness of the South Asian people. A possibility for the emergence of a different truth resides in the present time wherein past is accessible in the shape of “phenomenon” only. From the phenomenological perspective, as propounded by Edmund Husserl, and the standpoints of contemporary trauma theory presented by Cathy Carruth, this paper aims at establishing that meaning emerges only when trauma of any traumatic event reappears itself. Trauma, when it appears in the South Asian Drama, like the plays of Girish Karnad, becomes a vehicle of differential truth about the objective event i.e. colonialism. Since Karnad is a post-colonial writer, the trauma of colonialism as a part of collective consciousness makes him write plays like Hayavadana in which all the characters are taken from Indian myths, and all of them are shown suffering due to some kind of traumatic event in their past. This study concludes that these mythical characters of this play are very significant in developing the understanding about the sense of incompleteness that colonization has imparted in the minds of the people of South Asia.




How to Cite

Lodhi, A., & Butt, F. (2023). A Phenomenal Phenomenon of Post-Colonial Trauma: The Appearance of the Past in the Present through Hayavadana. Journal of Research in Humanities, 59(2), 62–79. Retrieved from https://jrh.com.pk/index.php/Journal/article/view/260




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