restricted access The Sacred and the Secular: Spirituality, Aesthetics, and Politics in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games

This essay argues that Vikram Chandra's spy thriller Sacred Games (2007) rewrites Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901). Kipling's Kim, as has been widely argued and acknowledged, encompasses the colonial state's demarcation between the passive, spiritual Orient and the rational, secular Occident through the trope of the Great Game. Chandra's text deconstructs this dichotomy by rewriting the sacred into the political through the trope of the “sacred game,” which replaces the Great Game of Kim. Sacred Games’ rewriting of a canonical colonial text makes it a novel of both postmodernism and postmodernization.