Aspirations and Entanglements of the “Child of Modern India”: A Legacy of Deprivation in M R Anand’s Untouchable

Renaissance Ahmed Sayma


Mulk Raj Anand’s ground-breaking debut novel Untouchable has successfully pictured the dreadful condition of the downtrodden outcastes who live in an ‘other space’ devoid of access to the minimum essential rights that might identify them as human species. Their position in Indian caste-ridden society is determined by the limitations of power, delights, and aspirations enjoyed by the caste Hindus living in the spaces under whose shadow they are doomed to live. This paper aims at examining the aspirations and uplifting strategy of the novel’s protagonist Bakha who, despite having promising youth and potentiality, fails to voice against the social deprivation. Being focused on personal interests and aspirations, the sweeper boy mistakenly falls into the victim of dominant discourses of political elites. He ultimately gets confused regarding personal as well as collective emancipation. The paper also argues that along with the abysmal narration of the life of the Untouchables, the novelist has also documented their aspirations that may wither away in the coming days of modern India.


Social Uplifting, Aspirations, Modernisation, Caste System, Nationalism, Duality

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