Aranyak: A Chronicle of The Homeless
Abstract: Aranyak was written between 1937and 1939 and first appeared in serialized form, in the monthly, Prabashi. Aranyak tells the sad saga of destruction caused when vast stretches of forestland fall under the cultivator's axe. The narrative unwinds itself from the viewpoint of Satyacharan who gets appointed as the manager in an estate in Bhagalpur district. The narrator encounters the real ‘owners’ of the forests, to whom the entire forest belonged during his survey of the forest land. When the British armies entered the forests these tribals fought with them for preserving their heritage as well as protecting their home and provider. Satyacharan is drawn close to the ecological habitat and he feels the necessity to preserve the belt from being depleted but his job stands against his conscience. He has to give land on lease to the people who come to katcheri no matter whether they are going to destroy the land or make use of it. Aranyak does not resolve the complexities in the lives of the people in the forest land but presents a holistic view of how and why things changed in the forests and the tenants in course of time. The countless flora and fauna of the forests that once added colour to the lives of the human beings have been destroyed and there is only a brooding silence left.
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