ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Past Continuous

K M Munshi, Gujarat and the Patan Trilogy

In the early 20th century, when K M Munshi was making a name for himself in the literary and cultural sphere of Gujarat, he was both intervening in and departing from the past. Curating elements of the past that suited his equally curated modernity, Munshi exemplifies many connections that become evident of Gujarat in the subsequent years. In this paper, we ask: “What was Munshi’s past?” In other words, whom was he responding to from the 19th century? The period of our inquiry in Munshi’s life is the one that witnessed the famous Patan trilogy. The questions are situated in both cultural history and literature.


The authors thank Dilip Menon for his feedback on an earlier version of this paper. His suggestion regarding “tradition” has informed the arguments.

This (Aryan) culture, however, is to be found in the sense of continuity; in the consciousness of Indian unity, in the permanent values in which the Indians have always seen the fulfilment of life; in the ethical and idealistic absolutes which have moulded the Indian outlook on the eternal questions: What Is life? What is its purpose and end?

—Munshi (1942: 179)

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Updated On : 3rd May, 2021
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