International Journal of English Research

International Journal of English Research


International Journal of English Research
International Journal of English Research
Vol. 5, Issue 2 (2019)

Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable: An untouchable voyage from mimicry to ambivalence


Imran Khan

E. M. Forster wrote in the 'Preface' of this novel, 'Untouchable could only have been written by an Indian, and by an Indian who observed from the outside. No European, however sympathetic, could have created the character of Bakha, because he would not have known enough about his troubles. And no Untouchable could have written the book, because he would have been involved in indignation and self- pity. Mr. Anand stands in the ideal position.' (P. vii). Written with regards to British India, Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable presents one single day in Bakha's life, a sweeper kid whose fundamental duty is to clean latrines. The general population like him was thought to be an untouchable that implies coming to direct contact with them is like sin and contamination. On the off chance that anyone contacted or got contacted with them, the contacted one needed to (incredibly, high ranks are constantly 'contacted' rather than 'contacting' whoever is responsible for the physical contact) refine himself by washing from head to toe. Individuals like Bakha were thought to be filthy as they used to clean the 'gentlemen’s dirt' (79). Thus, an untouchable’s duty was to declare his appearance like 'Posh, keep away, posh, sweeper coming, posh, posh, sweeper coming, posh, posh, sweeper coming!' (42). The novel shows different social embarrassments he experiences each day and how he is reliant on the benevolence and extra nourishment of others. In fact, even he isn't permitted to visit gods in temples as only the high caste individuals can go there. Being disregarded and mortified for a long time, he weakly dreams of getting to be as shrewd as the British tommies. Normally mimicry is viewed as a shortcoming and obliviousness of the colonized individuals as they are viewed as uninformed of their own way of life and dialect and way of life. Indeed, we will discover obliviousness here as well when Mahatma Gandhi touches base as a character toward the climax of the novel. However, obliviousness likewise has measurements. This paper means to investigate the social state of that time of British Raj. At the same time, the paper attempts to discover answers to some important inquiries. For example, is the standing framework still comparatively substantial? Do individuals still maintain a strategic distance from the dash of the sweepers? The facts demonstrate that individuals do not abhor them much these days. At that point, is the novel invalid today? We frequently go or brush through bunches of individuals on street; do we think who a sweeper is? May be not. However, the reason may lie in the last part of the novel where a scholarly recommends bringing in such innovation that will diminish the sweepers from the weight of the noble men's feces that implies the chests that can flush the dirt with just a single button push. Is that what truly occurred? Is western commode then the fundamental saint of reducing position framework? Indeed, even these days we do not mean cleaning latrines and sweeping as same occupation. However, in the event that the circumstance is changed, at that point is the issue fathomed? Not in the slightest degree. Rather, there is a journey from mimicry to ambivalence. The second inquiry is, is just the West responsible for Eastern mimicry, or the East additionally has made a positive circumstance that clearly incites the mimicry? The third inquiry is, does the religion established in Indian subcontinent bolster standing framework? Above all, the motivation behind this paper is to demonstrate how the Indian culture has ventured out from mimicry to ambivalence.
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