The Untouchable Summary

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Literature Review: In 1935, Mulk Raj Anandpenned Untouchable—the novel that was to earn him the pride of place at the very pinnacle of literary glory. Sporting a generic title that seems to hold out promises of the story of the Dalit untouchables in India, the matrix of the novel zeroes in on a rather interior monologic tale of Bakha—the young sweeper—one single day in whose checkered life unfolds in episodic metanarrative through the novel. The novel starts out with a vivid conceptualization of the marginalization of this young Dalit named Bakha. As Narsimaih puts it, ‘….Bakha is one of those millions who crawl and creep and exist almost anonymously’(20)But as life would have it, towards mid-day, and therefore towards the mid-point of the novel (for the novel follows the events in that one single day in Bakha’s life), things go crazily awry as Bakha suddenly develops an irresistible itch to peek inside a Hindu temple to find out what exactly goes on inside. As he inches his way up the temple stairs to be able to look into the magical world of the Gods, the humans below take terrible exception to the audacity of this Dalit sweeper who dared to cross the line instead of respectfully toeing it—as the saying goes.…show more content…
Bakha the untouchable suddenly has this mad wish to see what’s up there in the Hindu temple. And all hell breaks loose. As the crowd closes in on Bakha, the whole charade takes on the look of a show—a carnival—where a throng in the subject position, aims its collective gaze on one object in the limelight.Normally, the untouchable at the receiving end of the gaze of the touchables is not supposed to talk back. Yet Bakha talks back. The subaltern does speak, if not in words, then in body language that was quietly menacing enough to make the jeering crowd begin to back
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