UntouchableBook - 1940
In Mulk Raj Anand's finest and most controversial novel he conveys precisely, with urgency and barely disguised fury, what it might feel like to be one of India's Untouchables. Bakha is a young man, a proud and even an attractive young man, but none the less he is an outcast in a system that is now only slowly changing and was then as cruel and debilitating as that of apartheid. Into this re-creation of one day in the life of Bakha, sweeper and latrine-cleaner, Anand poured a vitality, fire and richness of detail that have caused him to be acclaimed as his country's Charles Dickens as well as this century's greatest revealer of the 'other' India.
'It recalled to me very vividly the occasions I have walked 'the wrong way' in an Indian city and it is a way down which no novelist has yet taken me . . .' E.M. Forster
'One of the most eloquent and imaginative works to deal with this difficult and emotive subject' - Martin Seymour-Smith