Human Rights and Literature: A Study of The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

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Navin Sharma
Priyanka Tripathi


This article examines the use of symbolic representations in The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (2022) to narrate the history of Human Rights (HR) violations. The article argues that the genre of fiction has emerged as a cultural medium for promoting the discourse of HR, moving beyond legal, judicial, and political forums. Building upon the concept of Human Rights Literature (HRL) developed by Pramod K. Nayar, the article conducts a critical analysis of the novel. It analyses 1) the use of fictional narratives to depict HR violations, 2) the role of language and cultural discourse that contribute to the dehumanization and demonization of people and massacres, and 3) how the discursive description of HR violations due to riots, civil war, and massacres transforms into a popular language of fiction. The article emphasizes the significance of fiction as a valuable addition to ethical literature within the HR movement and as a tool for spreading awareness. 


Keywords: Human rights, Literature, Fiction, Dehumanization, Genocide


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Article Details

Special Issue on Religion, Secularism and Nationalism: Literature of South Asia
Author Biography

Navin Sharma, Indian Institute of Technology Patna

Navin Sharma is a UGC-NET Junior Research Fellow (PhD) and Teaching Assistant of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna. For his PhD dissertation, he is working on the intersections between law and Indian literary fiction in English. His research interests include Feminist Studies, Human Rights Studies, and Legal Humanities. He has recently published his articles in the journals AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples (SAGE Journals), National Identities, and Media Asia (Taylor & Francis). His email id is and ORCID iD is