Numberdar Ka Neela: A Study of Postcolonial Context & Anti-Colonialism

  • Dr. Muhammad Khurram Yasin Lecturer, Govt. College Women University, Sialkot
  • Dr. Waqar Saleem Rana Vitting Lecturer, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad
  • Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Farooq Assistant Education Officer, Faisalabad
Keywords: Colonialism, Anti-Colonialism, Urdu Fiction, Urdu Literature, Syed Ashraf, Numberdar Ka Neela, Hinduism, Symbolism


Syed Ashraf's novel, "Numberdar Ka Neela," serves as a potent critique of the post-colonial condition. It illustrates how oppression and exploitation persist even after country gains independence. The author delves into issues like power concentration, power abuse, and resistance to oppression, set in the early 1950s post-colonial context. The central character, Thakur Odal Singh, embodies power, exploitation, and tyranny. He symbolizes the forces struggling to retain their dominance in a changing society. Thakur's authority is epitomized by his blue bull, ‘Neela’, representing the violent and destructive consequences of concentrated power. Despite Neela's sacred status in Hindu religion, the villagers gradually realize it is merely a tool of oppression wielded by Thakur to maintain control. The novel culminates with the villagers finally rebelling against this cruelty, resulting in Neela's defeat and disappearance, as well as the demise of Thakur and his two sons. This article critically analyzes the symbolism and postcolonial context of "Neela" in "Numberdar Ka Neela."