Vinod Kumar Vaishya

(Research Scholar)

Department of English & MEL

University of Allahabad



Expanding the canvas of his writing, Arun Joshi produces The City and the River (1991) on its individual to social bubble of life where he delves in the particular instant of the social scenario of Indian society. He leaves the complete grip of individual existential vision of life only enlarging it to the mass or crowd. The novel is, in fact, a satire or commentary on the Emergency, applied by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi during the 1974-75, which is indeed a black spot on a Democratic country like India. Joshi replicates the actual segment of the Emergency in the form of parable with the multi-layered conceptions of social identity, ambition, freedom, tyranny, corruption, anxiety, murder, bloodshed, spiritual vision and so on.  Exposing the condition of Delhi during 1970s and its beautification at the larger extant, M.K. Naik and Shyamala A. Narayan write:

…a scathing indictment of the notorious Emergency proclaimed by Indira Gandhi in 1975, mainly to preserve her power at all costs. The fundamental rights were suspended, and her brutal power- drunk son, Sanjay, let loose a reign of terror in Delhi, demolishing wantonly the huts of the poor in the name of beautification of the city and restoring to discriminate and forced sterilization as part of population control. (Naik28)

Struggle for Allegiance in Arun Joshi’s

The City and the River