These meetings, and the subsequent organizational activities, laid the groundwork for the formation of the PWA, which held its first conference in Lucknow in Its locus of operation was primarily in the domain of culture, broadly conceived at the national level, and practically split into regional and linguistic units.
The PWA considered the national level of cultural work to be a metonymic part of an international whole, though its early programmatic statements are almost exclusively concerned with national and regional questions.
What they were performing was the famine and how to organize against it. A rela- tionship between aesthetics and politics was being deployed by people who were tak- ing advantage of the fact that aesthetics had been officially defined as autonomous by colonial ideology. These were vital issues for the emergent PWA. How will we touch or create a public?
This question sounds through the key statements of the PWA in the pre-independence years. Again, by potential public the PWA does not quite have the subaltern in mind. One of the key points in this regard, returned to again and again by the spokespeople of the PWA, is the necessity of inserting literary practice into continuity with the culture at large. Literature has been lagging too far behind: It has tried to find a refuge from reality. It is the object of our association to rescue literature and other arts from the priestly, academic and decadent classes in whose hands they have degenerated so long; to bring the arts into the closest touch with the people; and to make them the vital organ which will register the actualities of life, as well as lead us to the future.
The Indo-Anglian novel was never a part of the popular culture of the subcontinent, and it remains restricted to a small, generally elite indigenous readership, overlapping with a larger foreign one. Its relationship to the popular imagining of the national can only be slight and tangential, and it does not touch a subaltern readership at all. It is clear, finally, that literary production in English was not a viable facet of the project of the PWA. The PWA necessarily emphasized the use of regional Indian lan- guages as the instrument with which imaginatively to reach and reactivate a popular imagination.
Representations of Gandhi in the Subaltern Imagination One of the most extraordinary moments in Untouchable comes near the end, as Bakha attaches himself to a huge crowd that has gathered to see Gandhi. All body and little mind, for most of the novel Bakha is the figure of a sleeping giant. He signifies a massive physical poten- tiality constrained by the cruel workings of a millennially ancient caste system.
The untouchable represents the foundation of strength holding up the delicate temple of the upper castes. Anand transforms this symbolic and deeply sedimented figuration of the untouchable, rendering Bakha as a muscular proletarian body in the terms of Socialist Realism. Brisk, yet steady, his capacity for active application to the task he had in hand seemed to flow like constant water from a natural spring.
Each muscle of his body, hard as a rock when it came into play, seemed to shine forth like glass. He must have had immense pent-up resources lying deep, deep in his body, for as he rushed along with considerable skill and alacrity from one doorless latrine to another, cleaning, brushing, pouring phenoil, he seemed as easy as a wave sailing away on a deep-bedded river. The transvestite imitation of the soldiers is the flipside of this crisis, the point at which the crisis has led to a displacement in the signs of subalternity.
Coincident with the imminent arrival of Gandhi on the stage, the register of his depicted thought-world shifts drastically. This is the most important point at which what V. To Bakha the missionary himself is not free from oppression and appears to suffer from his marriage and is therefore oppressed through an alternative means.
Next Bakha encounters Mahatma Gandhi at a public meeting. In a similar way to Ghandi he reveals that the solution to the troubles of being an untouchable are through changing the nature of their existence and moving to a cleaner profession but, unlike Ghandi, he offers a solution… a flushing system.
He is happy and excited and wants the sweets and toys displayed there. He gets lost in crowd because he was enjoying the fair and walking slowly. Someone offered him several toys and sweets, but all he wanted was his parents. Even here the child is fascinated by the toys and other events happening in the fair.
What are untouchables? As he struggles to internalize his place in society, Bakha displays to the reader his potential, and how his low-caste birth has affected his spirit. As the story progresses, the reader experiences with Bakha the reality of his place in society and his struggle with that realization Despite his unpromising station in life, the central figure in the novel operates at a variety of levels in order to critique the status quo of caste in India.
Well aware of his position at the nadir of Indian society, Bakha is able-via his untouchability-to interrogate issues well above his station in life, such as caste and its inequities, economics and the role of the colonizer As a result, mimicry and mimesis allows Bakha to negotiate a place for himself within colonial India, but because he is inherently differently, he continues to be ultimately subjugated by the colonizers and imprisoned by the caste Hindus.
Works Cited Anand, Mulk Raj. London: Penguin Books Ltd, Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge Classics, Fuchs, Barbara.
Mimesis and Empire. Cambridge: University Press,
.And yet, much akin to their ancestors who led identical lives as them, they were brought up persuaded that the way they live is their appointed fate, and have grown to be content with it. This non-sequitur asks to be read as a spe- cies of anacoluthon—a particular type of shift in rhetorical register, or a break in the expectations set up by a syntactical or semantic pattern. New Delhi, , P. He treats the underdog in Indian society with the sympathy and even the respect due to them as human beings.
It is at the level of the imagery and philosophy of the subaltern orality of gossip and rumor that the novel presents a different kind of discursive discontinuity with such apparently smooth representations of consciousness. Becoming like the sahib is thus seen as an escape from his current situation. Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.
As there is no drainage system in their area, this combined with the rains of passing seasons "made of the quarter a marsh", emanating from it "the most offensive stink"; and in conjunction with "the ramparts of human and animal refuse that lay on the outskirts of this little colony, and the ugliness, the squalor and the misery which lay within it, made it an 'uncongenial' place to live in. He is not merely copying the colonial masters because he wants to be like them. I cite here the two best-known critiques of Anand. You eater of dung and drinker of urine! Is Untouchable a propaganda because it reveals the exploitation of the poor by the rich? The extremely important edits and translation are reproduced and discussed by Coppola in Marxist Influences, 1—
Jane E. On arrival at Sabarmati, Anand showed Gandhi the extant manuscript. What are untouchables?