Authors Essay

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Mulk Raj Anand (12 December 1905 – 28 September 2004) was an Indian writer inEnglish, notable for his depiction of the lives of the poorer castes in traditional Indian society. One of the pioneers of Indo-Anglian fiction, he, together with R. K. Narayan,Ahmed Ali and Raja Rao, was one of the first India-based writers in English to gain an international readership.[1][2] Born in Peshawar, he studied at Khalsa College, Amritsar, before moving to England where he attended University College London as an undergraduate and later Cambridge University, graduating with a PhD in 1929. During this time he forged friendships with members of the Bloomsbury Group. He spent some time in Geneva, lecturing at theLeague of Nations' School of Intellectual Cooperation. Anand's literary career was launched by family tragedy, instigated by the rigidity of thecaste system. His first prose essay was a response to the suicide of an aunt, who had been excommunicated by his family for sharing a meal with a Muslim. His first main novel,Untouchable, published in 1935, was a chilling exposé of the day-to-day life of a member of India's untouchable caste. It is the story of a single day in the life of Bakha, a toilet-cleaner, who accidentally bumps into a member of a higher caste. Bakha searches for a salve to the tragedy of the destiny into which he was born, talking with a Christian missionary, listening to a speech about untouchability by Mahatma Gandhi and a subsequent conversation by two educated Indians, but by the end of the book Anand suggests that it is technology, in the form of the newly introduced flush toilet that may be his saviour by eliminating the need for a caste of toilet cleaners. This simple book, which captured the puissance of the Punjabi and Hindi idiom in English was widely acclaimed and Anand won the reputation of being India's Charles Dickens. The introduction

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