Bijay Kant Dubey

Mulk Raj Anand (A Long Poem) - Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Mulk Raj Anand,
Say you, how to research you,
A novelist Indian
Whose novels read not the Indians,
But the foreigners
As for interpreting caste, class and society,
The ismic India of the ismic people?

While travelling in the trains and buses,
People asked about the caste and class
In touchable India
With the untouchable people,
The Aryans and natives,
A clash it was.

A coppersmith, you saw England,
Read the frank and free society of it,
But India was India,
Vast and varied,
A bundle of contraries and contradictions,
Just go on feeling Hopkins’ Pied Beauty
In rock-built temples.

Marx, Lenin, Stalin, engaged your space
Irrespective of Indian caste, class and society
And its narrow divisions,
Breathed you freely,
Widened your spectrum and horizon
After meeting Gandhi at Sabarmati
And the saint purged the impurities
Of your heart.

Gandhi as the critic, mentor and preceptor
Barbered and pruned
The book
To be a literary text
And other foreign thinkers and teachers
You went ahead
In highlighting their pity and pathos of living,
But how many of us could understand it?

Mulk Raj Anand as a writer of the have-nots,
The under dogs, weaker sections of society,
The proletariat and the downtrodden was he no doubt
As for being a goldsmith,
Bearing the brunt of caste and casteism then
When India was most backward, superstitious and undeveloped
As for poverty and misrule,
The darker medieval age
Full of raids, loots, plunders and coercions.

Mulk Raj Anand was like Ambedkar
Trying to think in terms
Of caste and its impact,
Inequality and injustice
Meted out to,
Subjected to
The poorer sections of society
Ethnic, racial and poor,
Underprivileged and suppressed
Which we could never feel in ethnic India.

We do not the society and culture of Peshawar of then times,
The house he was born,
The people he lived with,
The parents which they imparted to
And the opportunities he availed of
In being to England,
English, Christian, Mohammedan and Hindu,
All that he saw and understood,
Did a remix of all that
After taking to communism in full confidence.

An Indian Charles Dickens, he lived and gossiped
Which the Indians could not feel it then
And even if they came to know of,
This is as for a handshake with the local Angrez sahebs
From whom learnt he
The lessons in rationality, logic and reason
And humanism
Which we could never
As Daridranarayana concept could not take us far
After offering the kangal bhojana.

To comprehend the mind and vision of Mulk Raj Anand
Is to understand Indian life and philosophy,
The philosophies of Adi Shankaracharya, Kabirdas, Nanak,
Buddha, Ekalavya and Karna
As Dronacharya too was a conservative teacher,
India regressed and lagging behind
During the medieval times,
Laden and reeling under,
The unnecessary rituals too took a toll upon
As dealt with superstitiously.

The birds of a feather flock together is the with
Krishan Chander, K.A.Abbas and so on
Who tried to mix up
And saw the things
In all nudity,
Genration gap, madness of conservatism and it trail,
Communal disharmony, fundamental segregation
Which but Khushwant Singh elaborated upon later on
In his Train to Pakistan
Which but Nehru could not feel it
The wrath and vengeance of the Partition as for the chair.

It was British education and scholarship,
The bloombury influence,
The communist mixing
Which but you carried down
To India,
Marriage with Kathleen van Gelder in 1938
And its dissolution
And again remarriage with Shirin Vajibdar,
Say you something,
Something about your life, Anand?

Did it not sound a death knell to her with whom
You had a daughter
Named Susheila,
Couldn’t you feel for her,
Didn’t you, Mulk Raj Anand
And again married you Shirin Vajibdar,
A dancer
To see life just by this way,
But why did you leave alone,
Why couldn’t you afford and accommodate them?

A propagandist were you no doubt Shavian,
But in addition to these, of course a Red,
A socialist writer
Falling short of being a politburo member,
Progressive, revolutionary and rebellious,
But compromising with,
A writer of the have-nots no doubt
With the impressions Marxistic.

The red flag with the hammer and the sickle fluttering,
The wheat sheaves embossed upon,
The festoons and banners all around,
You holding a meeting with the peasants and the labourers
To put human dignity on the right track,
Trying to glorify
Human toil, tears and sweat,
Of course blood is the same,
Blood red,
So, why to differentiate in between?

Topic(s) of this poem: art

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 2, 2015

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