Social Scientist. v 2, no. 23 (June 1974) p. 45.


Graphics file for this page
NOTE

Theme of Class Exploitation and Capitalistic Injustice in the Indo-Anglian J^ovel

IT wasn^t the Taj Mahal, the ghats of Banaras, the temple at Madurai or the mountains of Travancore that had moved me; it was the peasant terribly emaciated, with nothing to cover his nakedness but a rag around the middle...That was the sight that had given me the most poignant emotion in India.

Somerset Maugham wrote after a visit to India years ago. And the pity is that the social and economic conditions of the peasants and the working class continue to be the same though years have gone by and the nation has 'proudly3 celebrated the silver jubilee of its independence. The commonplace observation is that the rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer. Glass exploitation and capitalistic injustice continue to flourish unabated. This has left scars of different shapes on almost all spheres of activities in India. How do our literatures reflect this struggle? Quite a few writers seem to have made haphazard attempts to focus on this injustice. While Tarasankar, K S Karanth, Thakazhi, and Munshi Prem-chand have made blistering attacks on these social evils in regional literatures, Anand, Abbas, Markandaya, Bhattacharya, Khushwant Singh and a few others have taken up the struggle in the Indo Anglian novel. We have gifted writers with proletariat outlook but strangely enough, the initial commitment is missing in their later writings. Who is to be blamed for this? The novelist, the reading public or the critics? In a country where it is fashionable to describe any popular movement against the forces of suppression as antinational and Marxist-supported, the literary works that depict man's injustice to man stand the risk of being condemned as communist propaganda.

The Indo-Anglian Novel, despite its late start, has gone ahead of the other branches both in quality and quantity. The quantity of Indian writing in English has considerably increased during the last four decades. Though, English has become as much an Indian language as Hindi, Panjabi, Tamil or Malayalam for that matter, the Indo-Anglians by and large have been writing for the middle class and upper class readers.There is even a criticism that most of the novels have been written with a western



Back to Social Scientist | Back to the DSAL Page