Exploring the Politics of Untouchability and Marginality in Mulk Raj Anand’s Novel, Untouchable
The concept of marginality is, obviously, multicoloured and multifaceted. It can be studied on the perspectives of power, politics, race, religion, caste, sex and gender etc. Untouchability opens up a socio-cultural form of marginality based on caste prejudices or caste discriminations. Dalit or marginal literature in India is, indeed, an off-shoot of peculiar Indian social system. Mulk Raj Anand’s novel, Untouchable, presents a panoramic view of the humiliation and degradation of human beings. In the caste-ridden Indian society, the upper caste people always rule over the lower ones. In such social stratification, the upper castes form the centre; they govern the society by some sets of rules that eliminate the Dalits or marginals who live in the periphery of society. True, the untouchables are the marginalized ‘other’. The novel deals with the issues of caste and poverty, untouchability and marginality in the colonial India. The protagonist of the novel, Bakha, becomes a symbolic figure of not only the sweeper class of society, but of every deprived class in every society who suffer and struggle not to live a happy life, but just to live. In this paper an attempt is made to focus on the politics of untouchability and marginality and how these aspects function as hindrance towards the progression of the self and the society.
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