The Socially Marginalised Protagonists of Mulk Raj Anand 's The Dalits

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Bhikhu leaves for Delhi, the promised land, where caste recriminations are obliterated and where humanity lives in amity and friendliness. It appears that the road to freedom and salvation, for Bhikhu, is larded with hazards which he fails to circumvent and where he comes to know of the futility of all endeavours and he leaves up the task to the future generation. Though defeated, Bhikhu is never vanquished, and his taking the road to Delhi should not be interpreted as unseemly defeatism. It is the genuine angst of an existential hero who spurns everything and seeks penance in self-isolation. Untouchability has always provoked the intelligent heart of Mulk Raj Anand into action. He finds that legislation as a means of social change does not work in the case of untouchability, since untouchability is deeply rooted in the Indian psyche. Once Anand quoted Gandhiji and said that the ‘‘parliament is a prostitute’.30 Even in ‘Apology for Heroism’ he has said this. A democracy which can not safeguard the economic interests of the outcaste is working under an safeguard the economic interests of the outcaste is working under an illusion. Religion has played its role in exploiting the untouchable. Now there is illusion of ‘‘equality before law’’ and the outcaste has neither the money nor the time to go to a court of law. How can an outcaste are allowed to earn money. That way the ‘have-nots’ would one day sit with the privileged class. The landlord Thakur Singh says : ‘‘ Today they are taking the bread out of our mouths. By breaking the stones with the help of Dhooli Singh, they hope to ingratiate themselves with the Sarkar and earn money so that they can buy the status of the twice-born. Already they are having more money than is good fo... ... middle of paper ... ... (Letter dated: 12 Dec. 1971). 29. Anand, Mulk Raj, ‘The Road’. Bombay : Kutub-popular, 1961, P.110 30. Dhawan. R.K., ‘The Novels of Mulk Raj Anand’ New Delhi: Prestige Books, 1992, P.205. 31. Ibid., P. 205 32. Ibid., P. 205 33. Ibid., P. 208 34. Ibid., P. 208 35. Anand. Mulk Raj, ‘The Rod’, Bombay : Kutub-Popular, 1961, P.82. 36. Swami Vivekananda: Caste, Culture and Socialism (Published by Swami Ananyananda), Calcutta: Ashutosh Lithographic Co., 1983, PP. 40-41 37. Anand. Mulk Raj, ‘The Big Heart’, New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann, New Revised Edition, 1980, P.136. 38. Ibid., P. 135 39. Ibid., P. 134 40. Ibid., PP.161-162 41. Anand. Mulk Raj, ‘Author to Critic’, Letters of Mulk Raj Anand to Publication, 1973. P.122 (Letter dated Nov. 1971) 42. Anand, Mulk Raj, ‘The Big Heart’ New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann, New Revised Edition, 1980. P.19 43. Ibid., P. 65 44. Ibid., P. 67

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