Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand is a 1935 novel. The book was inspired by his aunt’s experience when she had a meal with a Muslim woman and was treated as an outcast by her family.
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With precision, vitality, and a fury that earned him praise as India’s Charles Dickens, Mulk Raj Anand recreates in Untouchable what it was like to live on the fringes of society in pre-independence India. Bakha, an attractive, proud, and strong young man, is also an Untouchable, the lowest of the low in India’s caste system. A sweeper and a toilet-cleaner, he must warn others on the street of his status so that he will not pollute them with his presence. In this urgent 1935 re-creation of one day in the life of an outcast, a violent encounter leads Bakha to question his fate—and to find an answer in the unlikeliest of places.
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