International Referred Research Journal ISSN- 0974-2832 VoL. II *ISSUE -18, July,2010 Research Paper—English 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 opened ‘Rajkot District Barber Brother’ hair cutting and shaving saloon and ceased shaving high class people in the village. The story foreshadows the coming trade unionism.
In the story Chandu fights to seek his identity. He become both the object and instrument of the revolutionary process. Chandu’s character is different in a sense that he can think for himself though he is a commoner. Anand’s protagonist is not a passive sufferer of the atrocities of high class society, but he protested against the evils in the society. Character of Chandu symbolizes the new mode of production and set of new values to overcome marginality. * Dept. of English, Gramin Mahavidyalaya, Vasantnagar, Mukhed Dist. Nanded (MS)
R E F E R E N C E 1. The Barber’s Trade Union and Other Stories, Jonathan Cape, London, 1944. 2. Gupta, G. S. Balram, Mulk Raj Anand, A Study of his Fiction in Human Perspective, Prakash Book Depot, Bareilly, 1974. 3. Naik, M. K. , Mulk Raj Anand, Arnold Heinemann, New Delhi, 1978. 4. Iyengar, K. R. S. , Indian Writing in English, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1962. 5. J. Bheemaiah, Class and Caste in Literature, The Fiction of Harriet B. Stowe and Mulk Raj Anand, Prestige Books, Delhi, 2005. 13 SHODH S AMIKS HA AUR MULYANKAN