OVERCOMING MARGINALITY : THE BARBER’S TRADE UNION
* Dr. Padamwar U. D.
Mulk Raj Anand is one of the most prolific of contemporary Indo-English writers, he has made a significant contribution both to the novel and short story. His short stories shares a thematic colouring of his fiction. Anand has truly shared the feelings of untouchables, poor, downtrodden and marginal. He searches for meaning in life. He reacts against the age old concept of caste in India which symbolizes inhuman classification of people. Anand enables his protagonist, think, act, doubt, love and resent. He gives him honour and dignity. Anand depicts the inhuman plight of the oppressed Indian masses typical of which are a sweeper, a coolie, a peasant, a tea plantation labourer, a road maker and a village barber who are all the victims of exploitation, poverty, problems of untouchability, social injustice, cruelty, class hatred and race hatred. The Barber’s Trade Union is a story by Mulk Raj Anand from the collection of stories The Barber’s Trade Union and Other Stories (1944). The protagonist, Chandu, is a village barber boy, shaving and hair cutting at the houses of high-class notables in the morning, after his father’s death. One day he dressed like a doctor before he was setting off on his July, 2010 daily round for shaving and hair cutting. When he reached the house of the landlord, he had not allow him to enter the house and said, “Go away you, swine, July, 2010 go away and wear clothes befitting your low status as a barber.” (The Barber’s Trade Union, P. 169). For some time Chandu is not allowed to shave, during these days he did good business in town and saved money. Chandu convinces all the barbers of that area that, “it was time the elders of the village came to the barbers than they should dance attendance upon their masters.” (The Barber’s Trade Union, P. 176). He...