“If Indo-Anglian novel as secured a place of prestige, it is mainly the result of the of the contribution of the leading writers like Anand, Narayan and Raja Rao. Each of them has contributed in his own way to the rich thought and technique of the poem. If Raja Rao has virtually ‘indianized’ English in his narrative, Narayan forte is his genial ironic comedy, whereas Anand’s strength lies in the pathos of the lives of his characters.” Mulk Raj Anand was born in Peskawar in the year 1905, which saw the partition of Bengal by Lord Curzen. Anand, son of a soldier, was educated in the cantonment schools. After completing graduation he went to London to study philosophy under Prof. Dames hicks, the great Kantian scholar.
When Anand took to pen, Indian life was seething with unrest. Punjab was the very vortex of nationalistic activities. It was in that province that the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was perpetrated and Anand was just eleven at that time. With Anand, as with Bankim Chandra before him, political action took the form of writing novels. What made him take this course is written, somewhat voluminously, in the autobiographical novel Morning Face. Anand was also associated with the Progressive Writer’s movement in India.
His first novel Untouchable introduces us to the world of the outcastes. It appeared in 1935, and has been described as a “minor classic”. The novel records the events of a single day in the life of a sweeper boy Bakha, who is also thnovel. Bakha represents a whole class of social outcastes and the exple hero of the oited poor. His writing quivers with an outraged social conscience and his indignation at the society that so treats a fellow human being is unmistakable. The tenderness and pity that Anaud feels for his characters mark something new in the modren serialagical novel. His next novel ‘Coolie’ is the study of a village lad who goes to work first as a servant in a middleclass household, then in a medieval pickle factory then in a Bombay cotton mill and finally as Riksha-Pullar in Shimla. Two Leaves and a Bud tells the story of peasants and their exploitation by Assam Tea-Planters;and many of his short stories are all concerned with problems of ponerty and houger, economic explatation and class distinction. Anand was a self-chosen mouth piece of two haue-nats and of the downtrodden. Next he wrote a sequence of three novels-‘The Village’, Across the Blackwatters, and the Sword and the Sickle