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India’s Social Conflict Gets Spotlight in Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable

Problem of untouchabilty has fettered the Indian society so deeply that it still persists in every corner of the country. It grips the Hindu society deeply in its malicious claws. This issue was brought into the literary limelight by none other than Mulk Raj Anand through his novel ‘Untouchable’. He brings to light the sorrows and sufferings of the lower class in India which suffered at the hands of high caste Hindus.

Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable is a masterpiece which is a benchmark for aspiring novelists in India and even socialists who want to understand the nuances of Indian society. The novel is more compact than not only his other novels but other renowned novels by others. The novel Untouchable, published in 1935, focuses on a sweeper boy, Bakha who is eighteen year old. Bakha, son of Lakha, the jamadar of sweepers is a child of the twentieth century.

Anand with his masterly skill depicts Bakha’s helplessness, frustration, anxiety and agony to the highest degree. The protagonist at times seems the shadow of the author himself. Rarely have we seen such works where the author has been able to speak truly through his character. Through the character Bakha in Untouchable, Anand highlights the condition of cruelty faced by lowest class in the Indian society. The untouchable covers the event of a single day in the life of the low caste boy Bakha, in the town of Bulashah.

If you are an Indian student who loves to capture the glimpse of Indian society through a literary work, you should read the novel.


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