The Other and Othering in Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable
Untouchables constitute the bottom layer of the hierarchy of Indian caste system. The menial jobs assigned to them and the way they are treated in society certify their role as the 'other'. Manual Scavenging is a practice still existing in India which creates self othering in outcastes. Mulk Raj Anand's novel Untouchable lays down the stigma associated with manual scavenging by exploring the life of Bakha, an untouchable. This paper analyses Untouchable as a seminal work dealing with the othering and oppression meted out to the lowcastes. The hypocrisy of the upper castes and the influences of British rule and Christianity have a role in the process of othering of the untouchable in Indian society. For an outcaste like Bakha, even the hope of equality and freedom from untouchability and poverty is futile. The democratic constitution of India, offering equality of status and opportunities to its citizens fails to eradicate the divisions and discriminations based on caste system. The scientific knowledge and technological inventions have brought changes in labour based divisions in society. But occupations like manual scavenging exist in the central belt of India segregating the population.