Mulk Raj Anand: Contribution to Indian English Literature

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       In the history of Indian fiction, the most prominent writer that contributed very significantly to Indo-Anglian literature is Mulk Raj Anand. He was indeed, the true representative of the 20th Century Indian literary scenario. His literary works reveal that he was not merely great intuitive observer but penetrating commentator on life. The 20th century opened with gigantic upheavals in India. Strong forces came in steadily from outside and fertilized the vast areas of cultural decay and stagnation.

Mulk Raj Anand contribution to Indian English literature
Mulk Raj Anand


      The forty years (1917-1957) bristled with a host of complex influences and problems. The emergence of Gandhiji, with his steady vision of life as a whole, and the unique Freedom Movement of unparallel magnitude, forged a new moral order in the national and international spheres. Today, none but the incurably chauvinistic would shut their eyes to the merits of this substantial body of literature, nourished and sustained as it was.

      Anand, the internationally known novelist and short-story writer, is considered by many critics to be one of the best Indian writers in English. In the diadem of Indian writing in English, he is one of the luminous jewels. Anand has established the basic form and themes of Indian literature that is written in English. The most important writer in the new wave of realism that swept over Indian literature in the 1920s and 1930s was Anand.

      Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) was "first" to his name among modern Indian authors who have chosen the English language as their medium of expression. He was one of the oldest practitioners in the field; he has sixteen novels, a novelette and nine collections of short stories to his credit which rank him the most prolific writer of Indian English prose. Novelist, short story writer, art critic, art historian, author of children's literature, professor, Mulk Raj Anand's contribution to culture 48 and literature is enormous. ln the form of books it is around 100 volumes of highly creative, as well as profoundly school works, all in English. Mulk Raj was a path breaker.

      He, in company with Raja Rao and R.K. Narayan inaugurated the age of what is labeled the Indian English - or the Indo-Anglian - Novel. Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable, was the forerunner of this genre, and the western literary circles pricked up their ears and eyes to the birth of this new writing Mulk Raj was highlighting the life of the poor and the hapless in his country through his novels and short stories, and he enriched the English language by introducing into its body a mix of the Punjabi and Hindustani elements Mulk Raj Anand, a stalwart in the field of Indo-Anglian fiction, was born on December 12, 1905 in Peshawar (now in Pakistan), in a Kshatriya family (a warrior class), the second highest caste in the fourfold order of Hindu social hierarchy, but status had been somewhat debased by his ancestors taking up copper and silver smithing. Lal Chand, his father, redeemed the situation somewhat by matriculating and slowly working his way unto becomes Head Clerk in the 38 Dogra Regiment of the British-Indian Army. Anand's mother, Ishwar Kaur, was belonging to an agricultural family. He had inherited the typical qualities of both his parents. Moreover, the class of society to which he belongs must also have been responsible for endowing him with a great sense of compassion for the poor, exploited and downtrodden people.

      Anand's early life was lived in the midst of poverty and misfortune. It is possible that the suffering he saw and underwent in his childhood left a deep impression on him and later on reflected in his creative writings. Mulk Raj Anand had miserable childhood that naturally bore tremendously on his works and ideology. Mulk Raj Anand, at the age of nine, lost his pretty cousin and playmate, Kaushalya - 'the first important Crisis of his life' - came to entertain the gravest of doubts about divinity which in due course turned him into an atheist, undermining his faith in established institutions, religious, social or cultural. With the deep compassion for fellow human beings inherited from his mother, Anand set out on a quest of a social order, which would ensure justice, freedom and hope for them. He was deeply influenced by his mother, Ishwar Kaur typically Indian, especially in her love, piety and innocence, lived her daily round of rituals, prayers and songs.

      His mother used to tell him stories from Shastras and epics in which gods and demons, evil and virtuous men embodied the moral forces governing man's existence. Anand got a scolding from his father, Lal Chand Anand, a craftsman in copper, silver and bronze, and an active member of the Arya Samaj, who rose through the ranks in the British army. Anand was alienated from his father, who wanted to mould him according to his own image.

      Lal Chand's subservience to the British government worked like a cancer in his heart. His father insisted on an English education that would train him for a job in the government, marry a girl chosen by him and face the tedium of the so-called respectable life. He saw the World War I when he was nine years old. As a fourteen-year-old boy, Anand was a victim of General Dyer's flogging order in 1919. Thus a crusader against imperial oppression was born. He was not allowed to marry the Muslim girl he loved; deep loss and guilt were added to despair when the girl committed suicide. However, Anand grew up in a small world materially poor, spiritually confined and limited. His life was not a bed of roses and childhood was a curse for him. An early acquaintance with suffering prepared him to face the gross realities of life, which later on became the mainspring of inspiration for his creative writing.

      In the loving care of his mother, his days did pass smoothly; here we can compare Anand with Charles Dickens as regards to a miserable childhood. Dickens, Premchand and Mulk Raj Anand were brought up in the dark shadow of poverty and destitution. They protested against the prevailing evils, not because they were conscious about them as a writer of social novels but they themselves had suffered this agony that was later on reflected in their novels. Their novels are peopled with characters who are the most miserable victims of society. Mulk Raj Anand has made a significant contribution which has to the development of the Indo-Anglian novel, which acquired an identity of its own over the years. Although Anand is at times prone to romanticizing his novels, he has largely freed the Indo-Anglian novel from the narrow confines of romance within which it had come to be posited by the earlier exponents.

      His novels undoubtedly project a lively image of India, and thus amply reflect his passionate concern with the surrounding social reality. They exemplify a realistic sensibility of an artist, capable to plumb the very depths of human personality crushed under the inhuman social structure. Whatever the genres prose, verse, biography, criticism - Anand's works bear the stamp of excellence and hall-mark of culture.

      Acclaimed as a "writer of revolt" the world over, Anand is a committed writer who depicts the contemporary scene as to make his reader aware of his own unenviable condition, of his human predicament. An institution in himself, Anand is a creative genius whose writings have influenced generations of intellectuals in India and abroad. He attacks religious bigotry, established institutions, and the Indian state of affairs through his socially conscious novels and short stories.

      He, at the same time, has enriched the country's literary heritage. Shyam M. Asani, in World Literary Today, comments, "Anand writes about Indians much as Chekhov writes about Russians, or Sean O Faolain or Frank O' Connor about the Irish. Regarded as a 'Leftist', Anand began his career by writing for T.S. Eliot's Criterion in the early thirties.

      He has, so far, to his credit two dozen novels, twelve collections of short stories and more than twenty-five books on art and other general subject and thousands of articles and went on to win international fame with his heart-warming portraits of the Indian landscape and its working class. Anand says, "as a writer, I live mostly by my dreams. The writer's task to translate his dreams into reality is surely beset with difficulties. But he must make an effort to extend the bounds of human empire." Anand models his novels on the contemporary European and American novelists, borrowing "social realise from Zola, Dickens, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky". Narayan sought to deal almost exclusively with the lower middle class families of southern Indian with gentle, sympathetic irony in tragicomic mode, whereas Raja Rao dwelt on the Puranic Harikatha tradition of story-telling, and made an village granny unfold the narrative in autobiographical form Mulk Raj Anand's life and career can conveniently be divided into three parts: the early years in India until his departure for England (1905-1925); the years abroad (1925-1945) and; the later years in India, from 1946 to 2004.

      The principal periods of his residence in India and abroad correspond with the different stages of his literally career. The first period reveals the various strands that go into the shaping of his mind and the influences that later bore upon his writing. The second period is the most important as it is concerned with Anand's hard struggle to become a novelist, and the eventual success that led him to be rated as 'the foremost Indian novelist.

      However, the third period is rather a disappointing one. Apart from Private life of an Indian Prince (1953) and the two sensitive autobiographical novels, Seven Summers (1968) and Morning Face (1968) his fiction of this period falls far short of his earlier achievements. But this period is, of course, notable for his concern with the social and cultural life in India, and especially for his founding and editing of the art magazine, Marg.

      In England, he was admitted for research in philosophy. The notes in his diary grew gloomier as he was being ill-treated even by the Indians the 'brown Sahebs' - in England and Churchill put down the coal miners' strike in 1926. Here he read Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Honore de Balzac, Victor Hugo, Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Rabindranath Tagore and others. During one of Virginia Woolf's reading sessions at her home that he attended regularly, a young critic, Edward Sackville, asked him what he was writing. He replied that he was writing about an outcaste, and the critic reacted superciliously: "O there can be no novel about the poor! One can only laugh at the Cockneys, like Dickens." In London, Falling in love with Anand, Irene, daughter of his Ph.D guide Prof. G. Dawes Hicks, found a great appeal in his gift for story telling - especially his vivid recollections of mother, aunt and cousins.

      She asked him to set down the story of his life on paper and to impress her he began a Confession (1926), modelled on Roussea's Confessions (1782) that she had given him to read It must be noted that it was love and not expediency that intensified Anand's urge for creative writing. No wonder, his Confession (1926) ran into 2000 pages. Though Anand's career as a novelist did not begin till 1935, his writing first appeared in print in England in 1929 - soon after completing his Ph.D. He wrote book reviews for Criterion, then edited by T. S. Eliot. Prominent literary figures of the day like D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, Dylan Thomas, Lowes Dickinson, Herbert Read, and Eric Gill helped Anand in creative writing with valuable suggestions and provided encouragement necessary for a writer in the making.

      He worked at the School of Intellectual co-operation of Geneva's League of Nations and also at the Workers Educational Association of London. But the raging freedom movement in India dragged him back to his motherland, and he joined the movement led by Gandhi. He reached Spain to join the fight of the Republicans against the Fascist General Franco. During the World War II, he worked for the BBC in London as a script writer.

      After the War, he returned to India and worked in various universities as professor and continued with his writing, which he did forcefully, keeping the social realities in Indian villages and towns. His writings have influenced Indian writing in various languages. During his study in England Anand was drawn towards the progressive faces and he met eminent writers like Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, Lawrence Binyon, and Herbert Read. Fascinated by the Marxian ideology, he came to socialism through Tolstoy, Ruskin and Gandhi. An exposure to the influence of Marxist dialectics, participation in the antiFascist struggle in Spain, and involvement in the movement for national resurgence in India resulted in his commitment to socialism and democracy. He developed disgust for the crusty and hypocrisy of Indian feudal life with its caste, creeds, dead habits and customs. For an retain of past, Anand thought the Marxian method ter but considered humanism as a more comprehensive ideology.

      Anand's concern in his novels and short stories for the depressed and downtrodden has a sense of urgency and sincerely, mainly in the genre of social realism which has an entirely different setting and a different class of characters. He had already published five books varying in themes from Indian curries to Hindu view of art, before he moved to fiction, such as Persian Painting (1930), Curries and Other Indian Dishes (1932), The Hindu View of Art (1933), The Golden Breath (1933), The Lost Child and other stories (1933).

      An attempt at a story The Lost Child, an allegory for which the art critic, Eric Gill, did an engraving, found its way in Great Short-stories of the World (1934) published by Odhams. The course the author's genius was to take was now charted, and Anand started off on a series of novels that would reveal the pattern of Indian life and its movement into new complexities under the pressure of history. Amongst others, Dickens and Balzac, Sharat and Premchand gave him a sense of form as well as of purpose.

      In Ireland, Anand met the poets A.E (George Russell) and W.B. Yeats. When Anand reported to A.E. what Sackville had said, the poet asked him to go to Gandhi and join his battle against the caste system and imperialism. Anand reached Ahmedabad in March 1927. Gandhi laughed at Anand's corduroy suit but agreed to look at the manuscript of Untouchable.

      The next day he told Anand to refrain from using big words and write in a simpler language and transliterate what the 'harijans' say. He rewrote the novel at Gandhi's ashram; Gandhi approved the draft. Nineteen publishers in London rejected the script, but with E.M. Forster's preface, it was accepted by a publisher, Untouchable went on to become a modern classic and was translated into 20 language.

      That was the birth of Mulk Raj Anand - the novelist. Untouchable, which went through nineteen rejections before finding a publisher, is now acclaimed as an archetypal novel, the best example we have in Commonwealth literature about conflict between society and the individual who is trying to free himself from it. Acclaimed as a minor classic when first published, Untouchable brought him world-wide recognition which is now available in forty languages, reprinted several times was reissued in 1970 in the Bodley Head edition with an 'Afterword' by Saros Cowasjee.

      Coolie, written with a deeper understanding of the nature of exploitation in a colonial situation, centers round Munoo, an orphan boy who dies of tuberculosis brought on by malnutrition. Munoo is not an untouchable, but comprehends great variety and deeper level of degradation than does the untouchables. The gift of Anand's imagination is shown repeatedly when he writes about crushed humanity as in Two Leaves and a Bud which brings a new tenderness into contemporary writing.

      The novel dramatizes the tragic disintegration of the Gangu family confronted with the brutal forces of capitalist exploitation. Unlike Coolie, Two Leaves and a Bud deals with the evils of the class system and covers a wider range. Its locale is a tea plantation in Assam and its hero a Punjabi peasant Gangu is an extension of same suffering and exploitation. Two Leaves and a Bud, in spite of its obvious flow like protagonists zeal and sentimentalism, strikes one as a far more serious document, mainly because it has a sound thematic core. Anand in a letter to J.F. Brown says, "I conceived Two Leaves a Bud as a poem in suffering.

      I admit that it is the most bitter of my novels, but is poetic. Anand explores the lives of poor Indians in a trilogy comprising The Village (1939), Across the Black Water (1940), and The Sword and the Sickle (1940). It projects the protest of downtrodden against social and political oppression. The Village centers around the tremors, rages and rebellion of Lal Singh, the youngest son of a peasant family of Nandpur, during 59 the years immediately preceding and following the First World War, a period of approximately six years. He is last forced to leave the village and enlist as a sepoy in the British Indian Army.

      The British Raj banned the book in India and this move stimulated general public interest in Anand's writing. Glasgow Herald says, "The Village is an incisive, passionate novel with sensuous flavour of rustic, characters and their robust love and longings. As a refreshing and original work of art, Kate O Brien writes in the Spectator, "The Village gives a vivid picture of a life that is poor and terrible, but in many aspects extremely dignified its theme is universal." Across the Black Water, the second of the trilogy, deals with the futility of war. Lalu, the dashing hero of The Village, is merely the mirror of the scene; his own drama is finished, ranging from his landing in Marseilles to his capture by the German army. The novel, in an epic scale, is a clear departure from his earlier novels, both in range and technique.

      The third part of the trilogy, The Sword and the Sickle, a political novel, places the hero in a tense political situation where it becomes imperative for him to plunge into revolutionary action. The protagonist finally returns and involves in political struggle. Returning to his country, he becomes a nobody and the army insults him and he is driven away like a dog. However, the three novels are epic fragments, not unified wholes.

      The trilogy portrays the tragedy of an Indian peasant youth. It is, however, not simply a personal tragedy; it is the story of the destruction of the Indian peasantry in a critical phase of India's history. As the representation of a generalised human situation, Lalu's tragedy thus acquires a social significance. And the trilogy becomes an allegory. Anand's first novel Untouchable (1935) is also his most compact and artistically satisfying work displaying a rare social awareness and sensitivity. It depicts a day in the life of Bakha, an untouchable sweeper boy and brings out the impact of various events on him. Untouchable means exclusion from normal social intercourse and economic disadvantage. Untouchable employs the same narrative technique, as do the novels of James Joyce and Virginia Wolf. This technique has come to be known as the "stream of consciousness" technique. The novel displays a good deal of human feeling for the sweeper boy, In the preface to Untouchable (1935), E.M. Forster said that the book is: Indescribably clean... it has gone straight to the heart of its subject and purified it.

      Untouchable is a forceful indictment of the evils off a perverted and decadent social and religious orthodoxy in India. It is also a great work of art, which presents reality with photographic fidelity and arouses our sympathy for the waifs and outcasts of society. The work still enjoys immense popularity for its depiction of the pervading social injustice to the untouchables in Hindu society.

      At the end, the novel offers three possible solutions to the evil of untouchability - Christ, Gandhi, and the flush-systems. Anand continued his interest in social themes in his few novels dealing with the destiny of the working class in India. Anand's second novel, Coolie (1936) portrays the distinction between the rich and the poor and depicts the sad and pathetic life of Munoo, a young boy from the village of Bilaspur in the Kangra Hills of Himachal Pradesh. Coolie centered on Munoo, an orphan boy dying of tuberculosis brought on by malnutrition. It exposes the whole system through its victim's tale of exploitation.

      Even in the dreariest of surroundings, the little hero retains his qualities of warm-heartedness, love, comradeship and curiosity. It is a human tragedy caused by poverty, exploitation, cruelty, greed and selfishness. It is not fate or almighty that is responsible for the tragedy of the protagonist Munoo but the society in which he is born and brought up. He is a victim of social forces like the tragic heroes of Charles Dickens, John Galsworthy and Victor Hugo. Munoo is a universal figure that represents the miseries of the poor and the downtrodden. Social forces of exploitation and poverty determine the life of Munoo in the novel. David Cecil observers: A struggle between men on the one hand, and on the other, the omnipotent and indifferent fate is the interpretation of human scene.14 All the works of Mulk Raj Anand have outstanding characteristics of inner studies. Mulk Raj Anand displays a strong influence of Gandhi in his life and works. It is a remarkable feature of Untouchable that Gandhi appears in person to speak on evil of untouchability. 

      Anand produced his bulk of creative writings in English to give voice to the poor and downtrodden whose fate it is to live in margins of the traditional, orthodox, and at times, inhuman Indian society. Besides his Untouchable (1935) and Coolie (1936), Anand has written Two Leaves and a Bud (1937), a dramatic novel. It deals with the suffering and misery of the workers on the tea plantations of Assam, who pluck, "two leaves and a bud'", day in and day out. Two leaves and a Bud was followed by a group of three novels - The Village, Across the Black Waters and The Sword and the Sickle (1939-42) dealing with the boyhood, youth and early manhood of Lal Singh, a character that is based on his father's personality. The trilogy covers the period of a few years before World War I to the post-war era in India, marked by Gandhian struggle for independence.

      Like the Untouchable, The Big Heart (1945) is a "Stream of Consciousness" novel and has the concentration, compactness and intensity of the earlier novel. It records the events of a single day in the life of Ananta, the coppersmith, and a man with a big heart like Ratan in Coolie. Other novel, The Private Life of an Indian Prince (1953) deals with the collapse of princely India following the country's independence and the suffering of the Indian princes.

      Seven Summers (1951) is a novel, which forms the first volume in Anand's fictional autobiography running into seven volumes in total. Mulk Raj Anand is social reformer. One of the outstanding features about his career as creative writer is his humanism combined with realism. He belongs to the same era and deal with various themes in his novels as he found in contemporary Indian life. His fictions reflect the poverty in rural India and social evils prevalent in the early decades of the twentieth century. His novels depict social, political, and economic problems: the miseries of children pitiable conditions of prisoners, slavery, delay in the administration of justice, the gap between the 'haves and have nots' and the evils of dowry, male adjustment in marriage, helplessness of widows, prostitution, untouchability, bribery, money lending, corrupt police force, impact of western education and materialism, breaking up of joint family system. His works expose the complex and variegated web of Indian life at various levels at the level of the peasant whose incessant, backbreaking labour does not provide him even the means of bare subsistence, as well as at the level of the opulent capitalists and rajas, and struggling middle class people.

      The portrayal of these different sections displays both realism and socialism. The novelist express his deep sympathy with the poor, the oppressed, and the exploited that include not only peasants and child labourers, but also poorly paid teachers, writers, journalists etc. However, the women are the worst sufferers as the victims of a vicious social system as well as of the base appetites of wicked men. Thus, Anand presents a panorama of the life of the poorest in the colonial India at a time when the British rule was showing some of its wickedest features.

      It is evident from biographies of Mulk Raj Anand that he had drunk deep the cup of sorrow and suffering which filled his whole life with a remarkable bitterness. As a result, all through his novels, he champion the cause of the 'have-nots and express the sordidness and 65 pains of life, which attempts at awakening the conscience of the readers. Mulk Raj Anand was upset by the social status of common man. Conflict between rural and urban life drew his serious attention. He empathized with the poor people for their never ending poverty, their ceaseless hard labour, and their hearts full of sacrifice in such harsh social conditions.

      The tyrannies of landlords and moneylenders did not escape his attention. Similarly, Anand focuses his attention on the human predicament, and locates the cause of man's problems in man himself, in his selfishness, and his incapacity for tenderness, which should be natural to mankind. Suffering, of course, is integral to growth and life as what Saros Cowasjee depicts in So Many Freedoms: "Pain-pleasure or pleasure-pain The barbarism and cruelty with which men made millions of wars and the hatred through which people extract pain from each other Mulk Raj Anand believes that though people are surrounded by automatic appliances and all kind of labour serving devices, mankind is not happy. Alexander pope observed that "The Proper Study of Mankind is Man". Anand Seems to follow this observation in its right spirit.

      He analyses and understands human nature and considers man to be the maker, and the breaker of world. He holds that it is not divinity but only man who can solve the problems that he has created. To quote Anand: Fate! Fate! Fate does not dictate anything Men are the makers of their own deeds, the makers of their own character, good or bad and they are the shapers of their own destiny.16 Humanism implies devotion to the concerns of mankind; it is an attitude of mind that concentrates upon the activities of man. Anand is a humanist. His novels bring out human predicament in a very vivid and lively manner. With a religious zeal, Anand repeats in a number of his articles: "I believe in man!". In his usual ebullient fashion, Anand has asserted, "if you ask me why I write novel, I say it's because I love."

      The love not for oneself or one's own, but for the entire mankind, transcending all constricting limitations of caste, creed, and economic or social status, and all geographical boundaries of nations all of which are 67 man-made. Looking back on how the words I have written come through in my fiction, I feel that the deeper urging were from the wish to communicate and be understood, which is, essentially, the desire to be loved." For the works of Anand, M.K. Naik rightly says: R.K. Narayan is the novelist of the individual, just like as Mulk Raj Anand is the novelist of the social man.

      Anand's humanism, his concern for the under-dogs, is reflected in all his novels, but Untouchable, Coolie and Two Leaves and a Bud are particularly significant in this regard. These novels deal with the misery and wretchedness of the poor and their unsuccessful struggle for a better life. According to Paul Verghese: Untouchable is a 'socially-conscious' novel where as Coolie is a "politically-conscious novel". These two novels, it cannot be denied, have served the useful purpose of arousing the conscience of the educated Indians to the problems of untouchability and economic and social injustice in India. 1868 Almost all of Anand's subsequent novels are a variation on the same theme and are intended to bring home the plight of the powerless but socially and economically over burdened peasant who fights social conventions and is baulked at every step in his aspirations for a better life. With regard to Anand's novels, K. R. Rao rightly remarks: The human situation in each one comes in for sharp criticism, but the irony is diluted to some extent by a tender moving pathos.

      There are, indeed, rich, human documents, having varying degrees of excellence. Anand's commitment to the philosophy of humanism forms the very basis of his creative enterprises. He takes full responsibility both as a man and as an artist to strive for the fulfillment of humanistic ideals in Untouchable. In this way, he discovers his real identity in the process. In his own words: I was not only a member of a family risen into the well-to-do middle class, but that I was one of the millions of human beings, a member of the human race who had inherited this terrible and beautiful world of the 20th century where everything had to paid for.

      K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar comments on Anand's deep concern for the poor: It was Anand's aim to stray lower still than even Sarat Chandra or Premchand, to show to the west that there was more in the Orient than could be inferred from Omar Khayyam, Li Po, Tagore or Kipling; and so he describes a waif like Munoo in Coolie, an untouchable like Bakha, an indentured labourer like Gangu, and set them right at the centre of the scheme of cruelty and exploitation that held India in its vicious grip. 21 The influence of Tolstoy, Morris, Ruskin, ana Gandhi, however, moderated his views on socialism which, pervades throughout his Untouchable. Anand's Coolie sharpens his profound sense of humanism and his moral tone. It corresponds greater variety and deeper levels of degradation that does Untouchable. Here K. R. S. Iyengar rightly judges: If Untouchable is a microcosm, Coolie is a macrocosm that is Indian society. The Old Woman and the Cow is about the underprivileged women in Indian society, The Big Heart is woven around a coppersmith whose existence is threatened by mechanisation.

      Across the lack Water, another of Anand's widely translated works, is about a peasant hero who joins the army only to fight another's war. The agony of the sepoy is reproduced here in ironic good humour.

      In The Sword and the Sickle, this hero is back in India to join the peasant movement floated by M.N. Roy and Kanwar Brajesh Singh (who later married Svetlana, Soviet communist leader Joseph Stalin's daughter). Anand wrote this novel while staying with the peasants in Kalakankar. It was published at the same time as Ignazio Silone's Bread and Wine that dealt with a similar theme. Anand's later novels, while retaining his passion for social justice, show greater depths of emotion and achieve a synthesis of the social and personal concerns. Private Life of an Indian Prince is an example of this integration. Based on his experience with lost love, Anand convincingly explores the psychological workings of its hero.

      The novel is constructed around a youthful prince who holds out against a union with the rulers of three other princely States. He is encouraged to make his choice by his mistress, an illiterate peasant woman. But in the process he loses his mistress, his state and his sanity. In the words of S. Cowasjee, who has studied Anand's work closely, this is a "great historical novel that is at the same time a work of art". He calls it a Dostoevskyian novel on a grand scale". In addition to these novels, Anand intermittently worked on a proposed seven-volume series of autobiographical novels titled The Seven Ages of Man.

      Of these, Seven Summers and Morning Face - which won the Sahitya Academy award earned him comparisons to Tolstoy. Confession of a Lover, which won him the E.M. Forster award, and the Bubble continued to represent the aspirations of a whole generation of Indian youth in a momentous period country's history. Anand's short stories, which run into eight volumes, illustrate a wide range of mood and tone, from a humorous appreciation of life's little ironies to an awareness of its deeper tragedies. They are written with a Dickensian feeling for character and environment and bridge the gap between the oral and written traditions of Indian fiction. However, Anand's humanistic zeal often carries him off feet and exposes him to the charge of partiality and propaganda. In this context, Meenakshi Mukherjee is of the view: Anand is a rational humanist, in the western tradition, believing in the power of sciences to improve material conditions, in progress and in the equality of all men, and his manifest intention is to propagate his beliefs through his novel.

      It is apparent that Mulk Raj Anand attacked not only the existing systems, but also the forces working behind them. He has his own vision to eradicate these social evils in the national interest. Therefore, art for Mulk Raj Anand was not for art's sake only. He loved those flowers, which bring fruits; he loved those clouds, which shower water he could love beauty not only for its own sake but also for the sake of life. No doubt, idealism, humanism and realism existed in the works of the novelist, though in different proportions.

      Mulk Raj Anand wished to convey a profound meaning to his people. He wrote for society itself. Being social reformer, he always wished to uproot the failings and frailties of the society. Thus, he as realist and with a deep sense of humanism and compassion for the poor, the backward and the downtrodden and as a stylist with command over a language which can be truly called the people's language and mastery over the language for Mulk Raj Anand, narrated his works with the sympathy and full of love for victims.

      His works reflect the extreme level of suffering of their downtrodden protagonists without any crime and fault of their own. Mullk Raj Anand has a close concern for the miserable people and the underdog of the society. With deep analysis ot Anand's works, this researcher comes to the conclusion that there are untouched areas for Anand's works which requires research. It is true what K. R. Srinivasa lyengar remarks: There are novelists about whom one critical study could be written, but one would be enough. There are novelists who would be effectively suffocated even by one research performance. And there are the novelists who are large who invoke multitudes - who can survive several attempts to probe and sound and cantain them. Mulk Raj Anand is surely of the last category. Each new study adds a little to our understanding of Anand and his work, yet leaves the subject unexhausted.

      On the base of the literary history of Indo-Anglian literature and the rise and development of novel in Indo Anglian literature, it is my humble endeavour to study the major novels - Untouchable, Collie, Two leaves and a Bud and The Big Heart - of Mulk Raj Anand in the light of Social Realism which is one particular untouched aspect and not studied comprehensively and methodically. My aim in this research work would be to study the major novels of Mulk Raj Anand in the light of social realism and real socialism. It would further aim at examining various social, religion, political, economical and cultural reality in India. Through this research work, the researcher would like to exhibits this new aspect of Anand's writing and also to explore his contribution as a reformer and scientific humanist.

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