The Sociological Novel In Mulkraj Anand's Untouchable

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Introduction: Mulkraj Anand, India's one of the earliest novelists in English, was, no doubt, under the influence of his time when he wrote his debut novel, 'Untouchable'. He was realistic when he pictured the Indian settling of his time. He was very much impartial while talking about the good and the bad about the practices existing in those days in the Indian society in general and Hinduism in particular. 'Untouchable' is a sociological novel, which seeks to stress the evils of untouchability by focusing attention on the miserable plight, suffering poverty and degradation of a large section of Indian society. This evil has been hilighted by studying what happens to the soul of Bakha (the central character in the novel) on a single eventful …show more content…
When he hears of her molestation, he steps forward to attack the priest but his feet get glued to the earth. Though he feels 'a wild desire to retaliate, the serfdom of thousands of years humbles him.' But, in the meantime, the priest takes advantage of Bakha's entering the temple, shouts at him in self defense. It is a barbaric shock to …show more content…
Here is where the novel gets more serious about the discussion on the problem of Caste Discrimination in India. The people who assemble there are eager to listen to Gandhi, who is a saint figure for them. They believe that Gandhi shows a solution to the problem. Gandhi's speech in the novel, is carefully drawn from his 'Autobiography', 'Young India' and other writings of Gandhi. Gandhi begins his speech talking about the British policy of creating separate electorates for the people of the depressed classes. He calls it a part of the general policy of divide and rule adopted in India by the British government. These opening words of Gandhi's speech are unintelligible to Bakha, but when the Mahatma says that he regards untouchability as 'the greatest blot on Hinduism' and elaborates on it in personal terms as to how he reacted to it in childood, Bakha is thrilled. Gandhi narrates the episode of Uka. He says how he made it clear to his mother that she was wrong to believe in untouchability. Bakha wonders at the Mahatma's delicate feeling for the untouchables. Now he identifies himself with Uka in Gandhi's story. Gandhi goes on to say that we address God as"the purifier of the polluted souls. It is a sin to regard anyone born in Hinduism as polluted - it is satanic to do so." Gandhi wants to be reborn as an untouchable. He says he loves scavenging. He talks about a Brahmin lad in his ashram doing a

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