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Nov 13, 2013

Untouchable: Anand

Link: http://www.academia.edu/1189691/The_Case_of_Bakha

Colonialism, Dressing and Status in Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable: The Case of Bakha
Tasik Mumin

The Indian Subcontinent, since European colonization began in 1502, encountered the struggles across its vast lands not only in terms of military, economic and political subjection but also in cultural and social contexts. Following establishment of British rule in most parts of India, the other invading European nations began to decrease their troops and trading posts, giving the British East India Company supreme authority in this Asian territory. As Europeans spread their power all across, Indian natives began to lose their status as citizens of their own land. With their military power over this territory, British rulers forcibly set certain standards in Indian cultural and social milieu as well. Local Indians, for the first time in centuries, encountered a diverse nature of social and cultural dominance unknown to them before. Among other things, British dress codes further alienated the locals from the imperialist rulers. The British clothing, and its enforced authority as well as sense of a totally unknown drapery tastes, made Indians feel themselves different as human beings. When British supremacy rang its highest chords in the mid-19th to late 19th century, their haute couture entered the imagination of the colonized people just because wearing such dresses could make one (of course native inhabitant) get admission to European bars or official parties. Such imaginations also inflicted a newer sense among natives, loss of status as an individual as well as a free citizen. It has been pictured in many colonial-era and postcolonial literary works. Mulk Raj Anand’s very first novel Untouchable also records such blundering delusion from the central character’s over-enthusiasm regarding British clothes and ways of life.

This paper would focus on Anand’s novelette Untouchable, particularly on Bakha’s character and his fantasies regarding British clothes and how those imaginations shape his already marginalized status as a young sweeper. The whole novel chronicles a single Joycean day in the life of Bakha. At times, it seems the novel is drawing a frustrating image for the lowest caste Hindu youth, but the whole context is a much bigger issue—how Bakha’s status should be determined under the huge shadow of imperial rulers over all the strata of Indian society, where Bakha belongs even outside the lowest of the lowest order. The traumas and frustrations of his youthful self face an impasse throughout the day, as chronicled in the novel, as he is repeatedly abused and tortured psychologically, socially as well as culturally. There are no  escape route for his ‘disgraceful’ life rather he meets three alternatives—conversion to Christianity, adherence to Gandhism and flush system as prescribed by sympathetic Muslim poet Iqbal Nath Sarshar.

Bakha, a sweeper boy of 18, is “strong and able-bodied” and a descendent of an outcaste family—the lowest order of Hindu social groupings—the cleaner of human and animal excrements. He is constantly abused by everyone in Hindu society, even his father Lakha, for his lowly birth. He lives in a colony with his father, who is the jemadar (head of sweepers), sister Sohini and younger brother Rakha. Their quarters are far away from the main settlement in the nearby Bulashah town and regimental barracks alike. Describing the small community’s accommodation, Anand writes:
“The absence of drainage system had, through the rains of various seasons, made the quarter a marsh which gave the most offensive stink. And altogether the ramparts of human and animal refuse that lay on the outskirts of this little colony, and the ugliness, the squalor and the misery which lay within it, made it an ‘uncongenial’ place to live in”. (Anand 1)

This sketch is quite disturbing for the very existence of Bakha and other neighbours and they are all forced to scramble within the immurement of the colony. Their forced seclusion in the outskirts of the town projects a society that strictly maintained class and caste consciousness under pressures from both inner and outer hegemonic structure. Under British colonial administration, locals faced tremendous pressures from within caste Hindu people and an enforced subjection from ruling British commands over all levels of the society. The sweeper and other lower castes Hindus and Muslims faced humiliating insults from the higher caste Hindus. Bakha constantly questions the inequality within the society but never reaches any conclusion. He consciously wants to mimic the British officers as he wishes to dissociate himself from the society he lives in. He attempts to dress like the imperialists, wants to be educated, and becomes irked with his surroundings.

From the very first pages of the novel, Bakha is in search of his own identity within the very structure of a society that has consciously eliminated the possibility of him having one. The dilemma within Bakha is stroked repeatedly throughout the text. Bakha certainly has trouble accepting the identity allotted to him by birth. Therefore, he reacts to the contradictions in society although silently other than telling about his frustration to his friends, Chota and Ram Charan after the ‘touching’ episode in town. He also shares the same incident with his father who, though sympathetic, reminds Bakha that they are outcastes so they should be more cautious when they go out in public so that higher caste people do not get polluted. When his son shows his anger at their status as an outcaste, Lakha also suggests him not to be rebellious because there are some good higher caste Hindus just like the bad ones. Bakha, however, cannot acknowledge his father’s acceptance to their outcaste status.

Even if Bakha is a “dexterous workman” (Anand 8) and quite intelligent young man who maintains worthy work ethics, he is confined by caste to his ‘uncongenial’ profession. Passersby often wondered at his skill saying he is, "a bit superior to his job, not the kind of man who ought to be doing this [cleaning toilets]" (Anand 8). Despite Bakha's skill and work ethics, he has no chance of moving up in his life through the social ladder. He is forever imprisoned, by birth, just like his father and his ancestors, to his murky, demeaning profession. Therefore, he becomes frustrated and, within his quixotic world, he wants to become like an Englishman, and through this fantasy he wants to elevate himself to a human being, not a sweeper boy.

Bakha’s intentions to emulate the British officers are all though external signs of the imperialists, mostly dresses and solar hats, buttons etc. The minute details regarding his prized possessions are mostly British-standard worn-out clothes, boots and puttees, either begged from the Tommies or as endowment from an Indian sepoy; and he also bought “the jacket, the overcoat, the blanket he slept under” [page 4] from the rag-seller’s shop with the bakhsish he received from the British barracks.
“The clear-cut European dress had impressed his naive mind. The stark simplicity had furrowed his old Indian consciousness and cut deep new lines where all the considerations which made India evolve a skirty costume at best fitted for the human body, lay dormant. Bakha had looked at the Tommies, stared at them with wonder and amazement when he first went to live at the British regimental barracks…and he had soon become possessed with an overwhelming desire to live their life. He had been told they were sahibs, superior people. He had felt that to put their clothes on made one a sahib too. So he tried to copy them in everything, to copy them as well as he could in the exigencies of his peculiarly Indian circumstances” (Anand 2-3).

The above depiction clearly shows his obsessions regarding the fashun of colonial rulers. He has an obsession to be like the Tommies so that he could bypass all the social hierarchy and be supreme, in his dreamlike world, over the others, which is otherwise impossible for him even in his wildest dreams. He thinks that "the Tommies had treated him as a human being and he had learnt to think of himself as superior to his fellow-outcasts" (Anand 3). He attempts to adopt the fashun of the British officers, and has become "possessed with an overwhelming desire to live their life" (Anand 3). He naively hypothesizes that the mere adoption of external signs of a sahib will earn him respect and supremacy. He progresses through his day wearing the breeches of one of the Tommies, but this accession of identity fails to materialize any desired outcome. Instead, Bakha looks weird, a mere amusement for others, including his father, to hurl their petty jokes and insults at him. Bakha's desire to copy the Tommies has far-reaching importance because "[he] can preserve his identity only to the extent that he can be conscious of his superiority". However, Bakha's awareness of superiority is quickly dispelled when he comes to realize that "except for the English clothing there was nothing English in his life" (Anand 4). The novel offers a few incidents which help Bakha map the growth of his self-consciousness as well as status as a person within the Hindu caste system. These incidents make Bakha confused of his position in the societal and cultural context in a cruel but straight-forward manner. He stumbles upon to realize that his status as a part of the society is hierarchically denied by the caste Hindus and colonizers alike. All these incidents make him utterly frustrated, and traumatise him psychologically. 

The novel begins early in the dawn when Lakha asks his elder son to wake up from bed, calling him “you son of a pig” to attend the latrines or the sepoys will be angry. “That was the beginning of his father’s subsequent early-morning calls, which he had begun at first to resist with a casual deafness, and which he now ignored irritatedly” (Anand 5). His father always abused him by calling names like ‘son of a swine’ and ‘you illegally begotten’. Lakha was “really good and kind at heart, but who knew he was weak and infirm and so bullied his children, to preserve his authority, lest he should be repudiated by them, refused and rejected as the difficult old rubbish he was” (Anand 23). Likewise, other members of the society, both higher and lower in caste, maintained such bullying attitude to Bakha due to their own hypocrisies and unwillingness to carryout the ‘menial’ job of cleaning their latrines or keeping their surroundings clean. The higher caste Hindus are hypocrites because they want to remain clean but they do not allow the sweepers to be clean. Out of generosity or in return of the services they receive from the lower castes, the upper caste Hindus do not dig up any well for the lower castes to collect water whereas they perform purification services by water for themselves; but access to water, for the outcastes, is all dependent on the pity and generosity of the higher castes. When Bakha is caught by a priest to peep inside the temple to see the deity, the pundit says he needs to purify the place with water before any other services can be progressed. As the lower caste rely solely on the caste wells, to be drawn by some kind-hearted upper caste Hindu, so that their authority over the lower ones can be enforced, washermen, leather-workers, sweepers and other low caste Hindus always have scarcity of water. The lower castes are not allowed to use the nearby brook too because, if they touch that water, the channel would be defiled for the top three castes of Hindus. Therefore, most outcastes, oppressed in this way, could never bath or wash their clothes to remain clean as the superior Hindus did.

Another way of suppressing the outcastes was denial of their educational rights. Only the sons of higher caste Hindu went to schools. Bakha shows his interest to be educated so that he is able to talk with the sahibs, and therefore, by doing so, he believes, he would rise above his caste. However, he has no chance for education as outcastes were not allowed in schools because "the parents of the other children would not allow their sons to be contaminated by the touch of the low-caste man's son" (Anand 30). Bakha's interest to be educated like the sahibs was strong and he offered to pay a higher caste boy to teach him to read. Though Bakha did not have much money due to his poverty and non-payment for their jobs as sweepers, his offer to pay was indicative of his desire for education. Education was denied to people like him, and through education Bakha hoped to distance himself from the disgrace of his lowly caste background.

Bakha’s experiences, within his mere 18 years of existence, are totally different than any other closer to his age or profile; and it had shaped his persona in a way that is complex yet innocent and ever-inquisitive. His uneducated mind often asks questions that should have been answered way before Hindu society separated its populace according to their birth and profession. He often wanted to study in schools just like caste Hindu boys.
“...but he dreamed of becoming a sahib. Several times he had felt the impulse to study on his own. Life at the Tommies barracks fired his imagination. And he often sat in his spare time and tried to feel how it felt to read. Recently he had actually gone and bought a first primer of English....” (Anand 31)

The above incidents points out to the hypocrisies of the higher caste Hindus who are making outcastes do menial jobs to serve themselves but were unwilling to pay or serve them in return. Bakha could only endure the psychological trauma out of his inactions because the mental pressures are part of his tortured self since his early life and he somehow questions what his father thinks about their fate. Lakha “had never...renounced his deep rooted sense of inferiority and the docile acceptance of the laws of fate” (Anand 74). Bakha could not do much to protest during the touching scene due to the bar the society strictly maintained for hereditary subjection to the higher caste Hindus.

Another horrible experience of the day is the insult of his sister Sohini. Pandit Kalinath attempts to molest her in the temple yard after he asked her to come to clean the temple premises instead of her father. Oddly, the priest shouts he’s defiled by Sohini’s touch so that he could escape the allegation of molesting the young girl. This is another example of the hypocrisy of the other castes in their attitudes towards the untouchables. The higher castes view them as ‘polluted’ and make them do all the impure labour, still they are not unwilling to have sexual relations with them. Apparently, the idea of impurity is only there when it suits the higher castes’ desires. Hearing the story from her, Bakha is wild with anger. He felt he could kill them all; he was rising like a tiger at bay, but in the highest moment of his strength, the “slave in him arrested itself” (Anand 56). The plight of Bakha is he had been subjected to the humiliations and abuses as structured by the Hindu social order, and even after understanding the situations, he fails to take any action against caste Hindus.

Later, he does not feel like collecting the charity bread thrown into the gutter by a higher caste woman. The way she throws the bread shows the social and cultural attitude towards the untouchables for generations. Just because he fell asleep in the stairs of a higher caste’s house, the woman cries out that he has defiled the place just as the temple priest said. When Bakha helps a wounded boy from a hockey game that went unruly, the child’s mother abuses him saying he polluted the child instead of thanking Bakha for saving her boy from further wounds.

During his childhood, Bakha wished to be a washerman as he was fascinated with the trade. When he expressed that intention to his friend Ram Charan, his friend said, rather reluctantly, “though he (Ram Charan) touched him and played with him, he was a Hindu while Bakha was a mere sweeper” (Anand 80). Bakha felt a chilling insult from this comment and wished to slap his comrade for saying that. However, later he realized his friend was very right in his words. He told to himself “But now he now knew that there were degrees of castes among the low-caste, and that he was of the lowest” (Anand 80). This realization of Bakha was more a social and cultural learning than an emotional or psychological one. He was forced to submit to this understanding as the cultural and social milieu shaped no other picture for his future. 

Since early morning, Bakha has to endure a lot of sufferings that psychologically make him weak and frustrated. When he buys a cigarette and Jelabis, the shopkeeper does not receive the coin directly from him rather the shopkeeper asks him to put the money on a shelf, and later sprinkle water to purify it. This incident provides the realities Bakha has to endure throughout the day. His first experience in the town is a shattering experience to him. He accidentally touches a caste Hindu, forgetting to call the warning words ‘posh, posh, sweeper coming’ because he was too absorbed in watching the sceneries about the town. The ‘polluted’ Brahmin threatens him and publicly humiliates him by slapping him in the face. “Bakha’s turban fell off and the jelabis in the paper bag in his hand were scattered in the dust” (Anand 41) just as the sweeper lad was crushed down to the harsh realities of the social injustice against his caste. The insult hurled at him made Bakha ashamed of his self and infuriated him at the same time. He reacts to the event with anger: "the strength, the power of his giant body glistened with the desire for revenge in his eyes, while horror, rage, indignation swept over his frame. In a moment he lost all his humility, and he would have lost his temper too" (Anand 42), if it were not for the disappearance of the man who struck him. He is depicted as having a "smoldering rage within his soul," (Anand 42) and then resorts to self questioning: "why was I so humble? I could have struck him" (Anand 43). At the end of the incident, he is shocked to realize his ‘menial’ identity within the society and fumes in his anger “for them, I am a sweeper, Untouchable, that is the word. I am an untouchable” (Anand 43). This ignominy brings out the disgrace associated with his birth. Moreover, he recalls that the sentry inspector and the sahib abused his father too. 

All these incidents show how the whole society, from the ruling Britsh inspectors to the lower castes, rejects the very existence of the untouchables in a cruel manner where Bakha does not have any status as a human being instead he is always considered as an outcaste. It also exposes Bakha to a position where he continuously feels secluded from the mainstream of the society and he often dreams to be a part of the society that accepts him as a ‘respected’ person. 

Now, the colonizers dress codes and ways of life mesmerized Bakha ever since he went to work at the British barracks with his uncle. He, later, peeped “longingly” at the rag-seller’s shop in the town to see the “scarlet and khaki uniforms discarded or pawned by the Tommies, pith solar topees, peak caps, knives, forks, buttons, old books and other oddments of Anglo-Indian life” (Anand 3). It was not an overenthusiastic gaze only rather “he had hungered for the touch of them” (Anand 3) as well. He knew he could not buy them all yet his cravings for such items always stayed high until meeting Mrs Hutchison. ‘I will look like a sahib,’ he had secretly told himself. “And I will walk like them. Just as they do, in twos” (Anand 3). Bakha’s overwhelming intentions to imitate the British earned him the “Pilpali sahib” nickname from his friends Chota and Ram Charan. However, Chota, leather-worker’s son, and Ram Charan, washerman’s son—seem to mimic the ‘fashun’ of colonizers too, either by parting their hairs like the Englishmen in one side or wearing shorts during hockey matches and smoking cigarettes like ‘them’. Bakha also knew that his friends “knew that he was a devotee of ‘fashun’, a weakness they shared with him and yet for which they ridiculed him” (Anand 26). On the way to the town, Bakha was attracted to the woollen clothes “so glossy and nice! so expensive looking!” (Anand 36). No other clothes caught his eyes that much because “That was the kind of cloths of which sahib suits were made” (Anand 36)—the highest symbol of colonial clothing to his young eyes.

Later, at the barrack, when Bakha goes to receive the gift from Charat Singh—the hockey stick, he is reminded of the supreme authority in colonial India through the solar hat symbol. About the solar hat kept at the empty quarter-guard, the sentries used to say “it belonged to a sahib who had just gone into the grounds and would be returning to take it” (Anand 91). The sentries’ story could ward off little children from the area “for great was the fear attaching to the persons of sahibs, like the dread of pale-white ghosts, ghouls and hobgoblins, because they were rumoured to be very irritable, liable to strike you with their canes if you looked at them” (Anand 91). The authority of the Englishmen could be projected through the hat being hung at the peg for years. Anand tells the reader the sentries drove away kids not only to disperse the crowd but also because they wanted to get hold of this “symbol of sahibhood” (Anand 92). Later the writer tells what the European dress meant to the young minds:
“The consciousness of every child was full of a desire to wear Western dress, and since most of the boys about the place were the sons of babus, bandsman, sepoys, sweepers, washermen and shopkeepers, all too poor to afford the luxury of a complete European outfit, they eagerly stretched their hands to seize any particular article they could see anywhere, feeling that the possession of something European was better than the possession of nothing European. A hat with its curious distinction of shape and form, with the peculiar quality of honour that it presents to the Indian eye because it adorns the noblest part of the body, had a fascination such as no other item of European dress prssessed.” (Anand 92)

Therefore, whenever Bakha had the chance to work at the barracks, he regularly chose the quarter-guard side so that he could “steal glances at the object he coveted, and plan various devices to win it” (Anand 92). He even had planned several schemes to steal the headgear but never dared to do it just like the sepoys, havildars and others of the community at large. It shows what purpose the hat served for everyone alike—from the sepoys, havildars down to the outcastes and even the little children—the supreme sign of colonial power that halted everyone to take the hat and wear it or destroy it.  

He also imitated the Englishmen in sipping the tea without blowing “on the tea to cool it” (Anand 24) whereas his uncle and father did so which seems to Bakha as “natu habits” (Anand 24). To him, “the sahibs didn’t do that” (Anand 24) was more important than slightly burning his tongue. He even had managed to have a “broken cane chair, the only article of furniture of European design which he had been able to acquire in pursuance of his ambition to live like an Englishman” (Anand 14). Furthermore, Bakha and his friends smoked because they thought smoking Red Lamp cigarettes made them look like the rich people and the sahibs smoked too. After his sojourn at the barracks with his uncle, Bakha detested his identity as a sweeper and his childlike imaginations became obsessed with the English ways of life:
“The vagaries of Bakha’s naive tastes can be both explained and excused. He didn’t like his home, his street, his town, because he had been to work at the Tommies barracks, and obtained glimpses of another world, strange and beautiful; he had grown out of his native shoes into the ammunition boots that he had secured as a gift. And with this strange and exotic items of dress he had built up a new world, which was commendable, if for nothing else, because it represented a change from the old ossified order and the stagnating conventions of the life to which he was born.”  (Anand 69)

It proves that as Bakha’s plight is never ending due to lowly birth; and as the Tommies treated him a little better than his own folk, he wants to associate himself with their ways of life. Before meeting Charat Singh’s generosity, he has never experienced any good behaviour from the Hindus so when the havildar allows him to do some petty jobs for him and gifts the lad a hockey stick, Bakha feels honoured that his lot witnessed never before.   

Charat Singh’s request to supply the celebrated hockey player with coals for lighting his hookah made Bakha feel uplifted a bit as a Hindu man allowed him to touch his smoking pot without thinking his touch would defile it. As Charat Singh pours him the tea, Bakha feels honoured and as well as humbled—“a second he seemed to have dwarfed himself to the littlest little being on earth” (Anand 99). After his benefactor gifted him the hockey stick, Bakha was “grateful, grateful, haltingly grateful, falteringly grateful, stumblingly grateful, so grateful that he didn’t know how he could walk the ten yards to the corner to be out of the sight of his benevolence and generous host” (Anand 100). The sweeper lad is so overjoyed because he had never seen any other caste Hindu behaving in such polite and decent manner to an untouchable in his life before. In contrast, when Colonel Hutchison forcibly walks him towards the church to convert him to Christianity, Bakha feels rather lost at the thought of changing to a religion that fails to understand the problems of his identity crisis. Though he “felt honoured that a sahib had deigned to talk Hindustani to him” (Anand 113), Bakha does not understand why “are we all sinners?” (Anand 120)—as Christianity says and all his obsessions towards becoming a sahib was erased when Mrs Hutchison was angry at the colonel for bringing Bakha to their house. He also heard her say the words ‘bhangis and chamars’ which gave him the impression that she was angered mainly due to his status as a sweeper.

Later when he recalled the incident, he was more troubled than the touching incident in the morning at the bazaar. He thought:
“…the few words she had uttered carried a dread a hundred times more terrible than the fear inspired by the whole tirade of abuse by the touched man. It was probably that the episode of the morning was a matter of history, removed in time and space from the more recent scene, also, perhaps, because the anger of a white person mattered more. The mem-sahib was more important to his slavish mind than the man who was touched, he being one of his many brown countrymen. To displease the mem-sahib was to him a crime for which no punishment was bad enough. And he thought he had got off comparatively lightly. He dared not think unkind thoughts about her. So he unconsciously transferred his protest against her anger to the sum of his reactions against the insulting personages of the morning.” (Anand 124-125)

This incident changes his attitude towards the ruling white people. Conversion to Christianity does not give him any solution to his untouchable status as he learns, through Mrs Hutchinson, the white people’s attitude would not change with adopting their religion. Later, he comes to believe that the religion of his father is in no way inferior to Christianity. Thus replacing one faith with another will not solve the problem of untouchablity but will only further complicate the matter. 

As Anand proposes, Bakha has three alternatives for fighting the social evil. First alternative is to change his religious faith. Christian missionary Colonel Hutchinson explains that Christianity does not make a distinction between the rich and the poor and even there is no outcastes in that belief. Bakha finds no difference in practice between a Christian and a Hindu woman. Secondly, seeing Gandhi, Bakha sides himself with the rest of humanity. He is impressed by Gandhi’s principles and practice, but he becomes sceptical when the Mahatma advised the harijans to purify their lives and take pride in clearing the Hindu society. He also hates the idea when Mahatma blames the untouchables for drinking and gambling. Obviously, Bakha does not understand Gandhi’s complex thinking. According to Andrew M. Stracuzzi, “Yet there is an inherent dichotomy in Gandhi's rhetoric because the existing system does not allow for the untouchables to become purified primarily because their fundamental existence is rooted in the profession of filth.” (Stracuzzi 13) It is just as Bakha says to his father, "they think we are mere dirt because we clean their dirt" (Anand 70). Lastly, Iqbal Nath Sharshar, Muslim poet and thinker strongly recommend the introduction of the flush system. He says: “when the sweepers change their professions, they will no longer remain untouchables” (Anand 146). His argument is that caste is governed by profession and when the sweepers change their profession, they will not be treated as untouchables. Bakha sees the practical values of the poet’s suggestion. However, all these solutions prove to be inadequate primarily because these fail to remove the option for untouchables to take action against their own oppression. Bakha does not find a plausible solution to his distresses. He emerges with a better understanding of social dynamics but the ‘slave’ image repeatedly drawn about his character never seem to disappear.

British dress codes served as a hierarchical supremacy over the Indians, and Bakha fancied to be like a sahib, wearing their left-out or cheap dresses and using their worn-out furniture, and even sleeping with a thin blanket, only to soothe the harsh realities of his status as a sweeper boy under oppression from both colonial rulers as well as higher caste Hindus. Throughout most part of the novelette, readers find him “caught by the glamour of ‘white man’s life’”, fancying about being a sahib like the Tommies who “had treated him as human being and he had learned to think of himself as superior to his fellow-outcastes”. Such treatment from the Tommies actually further alienated Bakha from other outcastes closer to his rank and file because he had seen the manners and means of highest order of the imperial rulers as well as other castes of Hindus. Ashcroft quotes Bhabha as he studies "the process by which the colonized subject is reproduced as ‘almost the same, but not quite’"(Ashcroft 140). Bakha shows this as he at once mimics, but does not achieve, the effect of the clothing as worn by the Dogra and Sikh sepoys. As Ashcroft et al observe, mimicry can result in a ‘blurred copy’ of the colonizer (Thanuvalingam 13-15).

The worst part is that prejudice, feelings of inferiority and superiority, are immersed and shared by all Hindus, including the untouchables. This is evident by Bakha's choices of the British clothes he wears, a sign of his own status, exceedingly trying to distinguish himself from his peers, and always wanting to copy the British Tommies. The Tommy way of life becomes an image of his desire. Bhakha, as a boy is alternating between two worlds of suffocating reality where there is no solid gratification or inner resolution gained by the obstacles he is faced with during his day. He is not treated as a human being throughout the novel, except on a few occasions, so he visualizes a society which will not separate people in the name of caste, creed nationality, or race after his overt-obsession for the imperial life fails to meet the realities. But he cannot measure how that idea of inequality can be materialized so he remains puzzled at the end of the novel. 

Works Cited:
1. Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2001. Print.
2. Ashcroft, Bill et al. Post Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge, 2005. Print.
3. Stracuzzi, Andrew M. The Indelible Problem: Mulk Raj Anand and the Plight of Untouchability. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <http://www.postcolonialweb.org/india/anand/stracuzzi1.html>.  
4. Bhabha, Homi K. “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse.” The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. Print.

References:
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3.   Dubery, Rashmi. “Gandhian Impact in the Novels of Mulk Raj Anand with Special Reference to Untouchable.” Mulk Raj Anand: Ed. B.R. Agarwal. Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2006. Print.
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11.  Singh, Parul. “Socio-Economic Study of Anand’s Novels with Special Reference to Untouchable and Coolie.” Mulk Raj Anand: Ed. B.R. Agarwal. Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2006. Print.
12.    Sinha, Rakesh. “Dalit Movement.”  The Times of India 22 Oct 1993: Print.
13.   Srivastava, Manju. “Concerns for the Downtrodden in the Fiction of Mulk Raj Anand.” Mulk Raj Anand: Ed. B.R. Agarwal. Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2006. Print.
14.    Walsh, William. Indian Literature in English. London: Longman, 1990. Print.



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