In that sense, to be concerned with postcolonialism is to be concerned with a set of questions at the heart of modern political thought.
However, postcolonialism is also closely associated with a more-specific set of questions, and, although it should not be reduced to these questions, they have proved to be enormously influential. One of the most prominent has been the relation between imperialism and identity. Fanon , a psychoanalyst and philosopher born in Martinique, presented one of the most searing and provocative analyses of the relation between colonized and colonizer in The Wretched of the Earth as well as in his Black Skin, White Masks His is a deeply unsettling argument, shaped undoubtedly by the brutal period of French colonial rule in Algeria and the war for independence —62 there, which Fanon experienced firsthand.
Violence was inevitable and necessary, Fanon seemed to be arguing in The Wretched of the Earth , but it also has to be overcome. One has to move from reaction to the construction of something new, which for Fanon included overcoming the binary oppositions imposed on the colonized by the geopolitical structures of the Cold War.
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It is there that the foreshadowing of some important themes that became central to postcolonialism is found. For example, Fanon combined a material and psychological analysis of the consequences of colonialism, which looked to both the micro- and macroeffects and experience of colonial government. The aspiration for self-determination at the heart of anticolonial struggles proved difficult to institutionalize democratically in existing postcolonial states about which Fanon was remarkably prescient.
Postcolonial theorists have also been critical of the assumption, often made by liberals, that what is needed is simply the extension of existing liberal universals , this time in good faith, to those to whom they were previously denied or never seriously intended.
For some theorists, the problem is not simply one of a lack of consistency on the part of liberalism ; it instead lies more deeply within the structure of the universal principles themselves. The conditions attached for the ascription of rights, for example, or the distribution of liberties were often grounded in narratives of social or cultural development that justified denying rights and freedoms to those deemed too backward or uncivilized to exercise them properly.
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New Delhi: Yoda Press, Pattanaik, Devdutt.