Libmonster ID: IN-1316
Author(s) of the publication: E. KALINNIKOVA

"Listen, O brother,
 Man is the ultimate Truth,
 Because there is nothing higher than him."

Chandidas*

December 12, 2005 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous Indian writer Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004), winner of the International Peace Prize in 1953 and the prize of the Literary Academy of India, one of the initiators of the creation of the Association of Progressive Writers in the country. There are many wise and humane people in India, but there is no one like Mulk Raj Anand. Representatives of different faiths live in this multi-ethnic country, and temples, mosques, churches and churches have been built on its land. However, not in the creator god Brahma, not in the guardian god Vishnu, not in Allah, not in Jesus Christ, but in an ordinary person, the Indian writer and public figure Mulk Raj Anand believed. It was a simple worker that he sang praises, saying: "I believe in Man!" And this statement contains his religion, this is the deep meaning of his works, the pathos of his work.

Mulk Raj Anand was born in Peshawar to the Punjabi family of Lal Chand Anand, a member of the Anglo-Indian Army. The boy was named Mulk, which means "country" or "state"in Urdu. Now we can say with confidence that the parents gave their son a suitable name. Mulk fully justified it, because all his life, all his creative forces were devoted to the liberation of his native country from the foreign yoke and the creation of a new state - the Republic of India.

HE IMBIBED PATRIOTISM WITH HIS MOTHER'S MILK

Mulk was born in an unforgettable year of India's national liberation struggle, when the song "Bande Mataram"-"Greetings to you, Mother Country", written by Bonkimchondro Chottopadhyay - was played over the country. Subsequently, it became the anthem of the freedom fighters, it was sung by the people who rose up against colonialism, and this "Indian Marseillaise", you can say, became a lullaby for the newborn. The baby absorbed patriotism along with its mother's milk.

Mulk's paternal grandfather and great-grandfather lived in the ancient city of Amritsar. Even their most distant ancestors belonged to the caste of tathiars, metal carvers. They were popularly known as the best coppersmiths and silversmiths. So they are called by Anand himself in his autobiographical works "Seven Years" and"The Face of Dawn".

However, Lal Chand, breaking caste traditions and refusing to inherit the profession of metal carver, chose military service in the army and later even received the rank of an officer. Probably, his father's service in the army allowed the writer to say in the book "Apology for Heroism" that he was born in a family belonging to the Kshatriya varna, that is, to the highest caste, if we start from the old couple-


* Chandidas Ananta Badu-a popular 15th-century Bengali poet, lyricist and humanist.

** Chottopadhyay Bonkimchondro (1838-1894) - not just a writer, but an era not only in Indian culture, but also in the national liberation movement.

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There are three categories of brahmans (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), vaishyas (merchants), and sudras (servants).

Mulk's father, who had neglected the caste profession, was not a fan of rigid religious traditions. He did not believe in God and was careless about taking food from the hands of a Muslim or Christian, considering the orthodox rules of Hinduism superstition.

Mulk's mother, Ishwar Kaur, a fellow countryman of the great poet Muhammad Iqbal and a native of the village of Daska in Sialkot district, came from a devout Sikh peasant family and was a very kind and deeply religious woman. However, it is difficult to say what kind of faith she professed. The naive woman thought that by preferring one of the gods, she would incur the wrath of others, and to please everyone, she worshipped everyone without offending anyone. Later, Mulk wrote in his recollection:: "My mother used to put pictures of the gods of the Hindu pantheon on the shelf next to the crucifixion of Christ, and there were also portraits of the Aga Khan and Guru Nanak."

This attitude of parents to religion was passed on to children - Lal Chand was child-loving: there were five of them in the family.

Later, Anand himself told in the article "How I became a writer":: "As a child, I was physically inferior to my peers, and therefore somewhat different from them, I tried to stay away and watched the mood and feelings of the players more. Because of my early loneliness, I was drawn to the mountains, valleys, forests-to the picturesque nature, where my childhood dreams arose in my imagination. All this increased my innate curiosity. My parents were very concerned about my behavior."

Since childhood, he has developed an increased sensitivity, sensitivity to everything around him, and a tendency to fantasize. "A child is the father of a person," the proverb rightly says, because the moral and intellectual foundation that is laid in childhood, as a rule, determines the essence of the future person. It is also known that a person has the maximum memory, i.e. the ability to absorb the largest amount of information, at the age of 6 to 16 years.

Mulk turned out to be such a child and the most capable of the many children in the family. His father, who was particularly fond of his son, gave him the best education possible in Punjab. The boy learned to read and write at the age of five. This was partly due to the father, who revealed the secrets of the alphabet to his inquisitive son. Lal Chand Anand was the chief clerk, and he was greatly respected by all the sepoys as the only literate man in the regiment to whom they could come and ask to read a letter or write a petition. Lal Chand sent Mulk to an Anglo-Indian school, where the Indian tradition was not respected, teaching was conducted in English, and students were instilled with a sense of obedience to the British crown. Soon the impressionable boy began to unconsciously reach out to everything English, Western European.

At school, his English skills were very pronounced, he was considered the best student in the class, and he was jokingly called "homegrown Plato". And for good reason.

As a teenager, Mulk, looking at the river, thought: where did this river come from and where does it go? At this period of his life, intoxicated by the instinct to know and understand everything, he was already striving to link all phenomena together and find an explanation for everything.

The dialectical perception of life even then indicated Anand's philosophical turn of mind. His passion for learning about everything around him made him turn to books, which he needed like air. In addition to the school curriculum, Anand regularly read a huge number of books in three languages - Punjabi, Urdu and English. For example, the work of William Jevons "What is philosophy?" he read at the age of 12, and since then his interest in philosophy has not waned. At the same time, he began to read Indian classics: Tagore, Premchand, Iqbal, Mir Takimir, Talib, Sarshar. As he grew older, he began to pay great attention to Western literature: Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Thackeray, and Dickens, as well as Goethe and Heine.

He was deeply impressed by Mahatma Gandhi's political writings, especially Hindu Swaraj, which emphasized the two sides of Gandhian doctrine - patriotism and humanism.

After graduating from Amritsar College in the spring of 1925, Mulk Raj Anand, who felt that the cup of knowledge could not be filled to the limit for him, went to England in the fall of the same year to complete his education. In 1929, he received a degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph. D. in Philosophy.

Since the 1930s, Anand's work has been firmly embedded in Indian literature. The writer, along with Premchand, Krishan Chandar, H. A. Abbas, R. K. Narayan, was rightly considered a bright representative of the realist trend.

PAIN FOR THE VIOLATED HUMAN DIGNITY

In the work of M. R. Anand, the central place is occupied by a man of labor: a coolie, a plantation worker, a rickshaw driver. These images were a new phenomenon in Indian literature in the 1930s. "By preferring to describe the pariahs and the humiliated rather than the representatives of a high-ranking society," Srinivasa Ayyangar, an elder of Indian criticism, compares the work of Anand and other Indian writers, " he (M. R. Anand. - E. K. ) invades a literary sphere hitherto ignored by writers... Describe the life of the lowest


Aga Khan-48th Imam of the Ismaili sect (1838-1884), Guru Nanak-founder of the Sikh religion.

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This was Anand's task, to show the West that the literary East includes something more than just Omar Khayyam, Lee Bo, Tagore... And he described the homeless Munu in Coolie, the untouchable Bakhu, the plantation worker Ganga, and placed them in the very center of the brutal and exploitative system that held India in a tenacious grip."

It was not by chance that Anand's attention was drawn to those who stood at the bottom of the social ladder, because he was able to discern the truly human qualities in people who were rejected by society.

The hero of his first book, "The Untouchable" (1935), belongs to one of the most despised castes - cleaners of sewage. In the preface to this novel, the famous English writer, author of several books about India, E. M. Forster writes:: "The cleaner of filth is worse than the slave, because the slave can change his master and even become free, and the cleaner of filth is bound forever by his birth to a position that he cannot escape and by which he is cut off from communication with people and from the consolation of his religion."

The untouchable Bakha lives at the bottom of society. The canons of Hinduism are inviolable: born in the family of a cleaner, you are doomed to be a sewage disposal worker for life. Anand describes just one day in the untouchable's life, but the reader is acutely aware of the pain for his violated human dignity.

In another novel, Cooley (1936), Anand sees the caste problem in a different light. This time, the central character belongs to the kshatriya caste, one of the highest in the traditional hierarchy. However, Munu experiences no less hardships than the untouchable Bakha. "Caste doesn't matter," Munu says, " I am a kshatriya and I am poor. Varma (Munu's friend-E. K.) is a brahmana and also a servant, because he is poor ... apparently, there are only two kinds of people: rich and poor." The orphan hero comes to this conclusion after long wanderings, working first as a servant in Sham Nagar, then in the" hell of the underground factory " of Daulatpur as a coolie carrier, then as an elephant driver in the Bombay Zoo and a rickshaw driver in Simla, where he dies. So ingloriously ended the "odyssey" of a lonely teenager who worked honestly all his life and knew only hunger and deprivation.

Drawing realistic pictures of the lives of factory and plantation workers (including the novel Two Leaves and a Bud (1938), as well as the ruined artisans in The Big Heart (1945), who were turned into living ghosts by grueling exploitation and constant need), Anand essentially presented an indictment of British imperialism. The pages devoted to the long-suffering Indian peasantry are also an indictment of the entire colonial system.

Who is a peasant in India? "He is the most important person," Anand replied. As the proverb says, " The peasant is India, and India is the peasant." The writer devoted a trilogy to the life of peasants, consisting of the novels "The Village" (1939), "Beyond the Black Waters" (1940) and "Sword and Sickle" (1942). The trilogy is based on the fate of Punjabi Lalu Singh. His life is "walking through the torments" of first an Indian peasant, then a soldier of the First World War, and finally a leader of the peasant movement. Ruin and misery reigned in the Punjab village (novel "The Village") on the eve of the First World War. Endless taxes to the landowner, taxes to the colonial authorities, usury and bribery of community elders drove the peasants to despair. Local authorities bought crops from farmers for a small fee, artificially knocking down prices in the market. Grain was poured into barns, and after a certain time it was sold at inflated prices. Hunger and the need for seeds forced the people to turn to the moneylender, who made huge riches from human grief. Among the hard-working peasants was the young Lalu Singh, who was maturing a protest against social injustice. The war of 1914 was a disaster. Lala Singh and thousands of other Indians were drafted into the British army and sent to the front.

CONDEMNATION OF MILITARISM AND WAR

The theme of denouncing militarism and the struggle for peace and friendship between peoples plays an important role in Anand's work, and it is vividly revealed in the second novel of the trilogy-"Beyond the Black Waters", which is entirely devoted to the First World War.

In it, Anand, like E. M. Remarque in the novel "On the Western Front without Changes" and E. Hemingway in the novel "Farewell to Arms", showed the life of the trenches. Indian soldiers frankly say that they went to serve in the British army because want and hunger drove them to the front. Corpses floating in the water, the smell of burning human flesh, blood, destroyed towns and villages, the suffering of civilians-all these horrors of war gradually forced Lalu Singh and other soldiers to think about the expediency of what was happening, about the benefit for which thousands of their compatriots were dying: "He (Lalu Singh. - E. K. ) looked at the situation. to Mars, the war star, which he recognized among the others by the reddish light, and it seemed to have no meaning other than that brilliance."

This stylistic device, which debunks the bloody god of war, provides the key to understanding the whole novel. Indeed, it was pointless for Indian soldiers who were cut off from their native land and driven "across black waters" to foreign countries to die for the selfish interests of the imperialists.

The aims of the war were alien to the soldiers of all nations: the Indians, the British, and the Germans. Anand realistically shows that white, brown, and black fighters of different armies, different religions are eager to end the war, make peace.

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BLAMING THE COLONIAL SYSTEM

The harsh school of war convinced the soldiers that their real enemy was imperialism, and helped to awaken in them a sense of internationalism. Anand drew scenes of fraternizing soldiers filled with vital truth. German and British soldiers ran over to each other in the trenches, shook hands, laughed, and offered each other cigarettes. When a German came out of the trench and brought a Christmas cake to the British soldiers, one of the sepoys wittily commented:: "This is the crown of the German Badschach, which is carried to the British army, it means the end of hostility."

Anand called the last book of his trilogy "Sword and Sickle". The meaning of the title is easily deciphered. In Anand's novel, the sword is a symbol of the violence of British imperialism, and the sickle is a symbol of the labor and peaceful life of the people of India. After several years of wandering on the fronts of the World War, being wounded and captured, Lalu returns to his native village, where he felt new trends. The newness was felt in everything, even in everyday conversations. If earlier the peasants talked about rain, prices, and pilgrimage to holy places, now they discussed completely different issues: the brotherhood of Hindus and Muslims, the shooting in Amritsar, the content of the future constitution, the activities of Mahatma Gandhi, etc. Lalu Singh was glad to see the Punjab come out of its slumber. Yes, and in Lalu Singh himself, changes have taken place. The hard times of war, his stay in Europe, and his acquaintance with progressive ideas did not pass without a trace for the war veteran. Lalu Singh learned the main thing: from now on, the meaning of his life should be to fight for the complete liberation of India, both from the external enemy - English imperialism, and from the internal one - national reaction, which was embodied in the village by landlords and usurers. This is the evolution of the hero from the downtrodden peasant to the leader of the national liberation movement.

Life itself suggested new subjects to Anand, and his pen recorded the course of history. The surge of the national liberation struggle, workers ' strikes, peasant unrest - all the heated political situation in India forced the writer, who strove for an objective image, to introduce the masses to his works.

Sharp critical focus, national pathos of the struggle, optimistic outlook on the future, internationalism, high artistry are the main features of his trilogy, which can be called an epic both in terms of the scale of events, the imaginative embodiment, and the depth of psychologism.

Anand's reference to history was not a departure from the past. By debunking the imperialist policies of the First World War, he was exposing the aggressive nature of fascism that unleashed the Second World War. It was in the 1930s and early 1940s that an Indian writer created an epic and expressed his political credo with an artistic word.

THEY KNEW M. R. ANAND IN RUSSIA

Since the 30s of the XX century, Mulk Raj Anand has become famous in our country. The first translations of his realistic short stories "Lullaby Song", "Kashmir Idyll" and others were published in the pages of the magazine "International Literature" (later renamed "Foreign Literature"). So Mulk Raj Anand is one of our recognized Indian authors, and we have been honoring the "patriarch" of English-language literature in India for 75 years. Of the 60 books written by Anand, 26 are works of fiction: novels and collections of short stories, and the rest are devoted to the history of art, philosophy, and journalism. Some novels and collections were published in Russian: "Coolie" (1941), "Two Leaves and a Bud" (1955), "Big Heart" (1955), " Gauri "(1964), "Untouchable" (1987), etc. Most of them were included in the collections of his works "Banana Tree" (1954)," Favorites "(Goslitizdat, 1955)," From Darkness to Light "(1961)," Rural Wedding "(1970)," Favorites "(Raduga Publishing House, 1987).

M. R. Anand was very fond of Russian classics: Tolstoy, Nekrasov, Gorky, Sholokhov, etc. Anand expressed his impression of the novel "War and Peace" in his artistic essay " Symphony of 1812-

page 59


yes", and the novel "The Old Woman and the Cow" ("The Old Woman and the Cow"), published here under the title "Gourry", was generally written under the influence of the poem "Who lives well in Russia".

Since the 1930s, Anand has also been known as a public figure. In England, he met with anti-Fascist writers: Ralph Fox, John Cornford, Christopher Caudwell, Jack Lindsay. Under their influence, he joined the International Brigade fighting for the liberation of Spain from fascism, and in 1936 was accredited as a correspondent for the Indian magazine Life and Letters Today.

In June 1935 in Paris, at the international congress of writers in defense of culture, who, according to Gorky, "perceived the approach of fascism as a personal danger," Indian writers were also present: Sajjad Zahir, Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. Inspired by the congress's decisions, Anand and Zahir initiated the creation of the Progressive Writers ' Association of India (APPI). The idea itself was conceived in 1935 in London, but was organized in April 1936 in India, in Lucknow. APPI's "pioneers" also included Faiz A. Faiz, M. D. Taseer, Sen Gupta, J. Ghosh, and others.

Meanwhile, the official circles of India met the creation of APPI with hostility. The British authorities were afraid of the anti-colonial nature of their works. Local traditionalists and conservatives were also unfriendly towards APPI, did not share the trends of the new literature of the 30s-a departure from the previous purely educational trends, frank didactics and edification. Anand and his associates sought to elevate Indian literature to a European artistic level, imbuing it with modern ideas of national liberation and social progress. Even while living in London, the capital of the metropolis, Anand fought for the independence of his India.

"THE MOTHERLAND, LIKE ONE'S OWN HEART, CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN..."

The fate of an emigrant is always tragic, because the homeland cannot be carried away with you on the soles of your sandals. The pain and longing for her do not disappear, they are blunted, then sharpened, torment the soul and break life. Therefore, Anand did not give up the idea of returning to his homeland. Some members of the Indian community urged him: "India is an idea, a way of life, so when someone leaves, he carries a piece of India, keeps the process of Indian existence in his mind, and there is no need to touch the Indian soil with his feet." Anand knew something else, in tune with the poems of our Russian poet S. A. Poddelkov: "The motherland, like one's own heart, cannot be forgotten, lent or replaced" (poem "To the Son" - E. K.).

Homeland is not only a geographical concept, but also a moral one. With each passing year, Anand's mind became more and more insistent: if you considered yourself an Indian writer, you should leave Europe immediately after the end of the war, step barefoot on your native land, walk along the forgotten path of childhood. Anand was impressed by the words of one of the Indian sages: "India holds the Indian too tightly, sits too deep in him... She loves her children too much, and as long as the god Shiva lives on Kailash and the sacred Ganges flows down his hair into the valleys, the Indians will not betray their country, because the mother is stronger than all political and economic problems, more important than castes and philosophies."

Nostalgia mercilessly stirred the writer's soul, and he rushed between the Alps and the Himalayas. He constantly wrote for Indian magazines, studied painting and drawing, and visited India on frequent trips to take part in the activities of APPI, settle publishing affairs, work with editors, visit relatives, see friends, and plunge into his native element. Finally, in 1945, his dream came true: he returned to his native India, settled in Bombay, and everything fell into place, but not for long.

In 1947, the country was divided according to religious principles, and the border passed through the holiest valleys and rivers of Punjab, splitting the writer's heart. Some of the cities dear to Anand - Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar - remained in India, others where he spent his childhood-Peshawar, Sialkot, Lahore-went to Pakistan. Communication with relatives, communication with friends, colleagues - everything was torn. As a result, the writer experienced a nervous crisis.

Time, persistent treatment and innate love of life won out: the disease receded, and new works were born: "The Personal Life of an Indian Raja "(1953), "Death of a Hero" (1963), "Confessions of a Lover" (1976), "Bubble" (1984), etc., in which he speaks out against Indo-Western culture.- Muslim strife, bloodshed and brutality. Faulkner's paradoxical dictum: "Who doesn't

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knows how to write a story, writes a novel" - has nothing to do with Anand, because he skillfully owns prosaic genres of both large and small forms. In addition to novels, nonfiction books, art history and philosophical treatises, Anand is the author of many short stories, essays, and allegorical miniatures. He wrote eight collections of short stories, each of which is a household sketch, reminiscent of the genre painting of V. Makovsky: the same clarity of design, concentration of ideas, colorful colors and loyalty to folk tradition.

During the Cold War, M. R. Anand was one of the organizers of a powerful international peace movement. He became a member of the World Peace Council. Joliot-Curie, Eugenie Cotton, Pablo Neruda, Jorge Amadou, Nikolai Tikhonov, Ilya Ehrenburg - these are the names that Anand's name was mentioned in the press of those years.

Anand held one of the leading positions among modern Indian writers, he is one of the founders of English-language prose in India.

"A modern English - speaking writer," said M. K. Naik, a well - known Indian literary critic, " resembles a tree whose roots are nourished by the juices of its native soil, and whose branches are exposed to the breath of western winds. It is clear that as long as the roots of this tree are firmly seated in the depths, in its trunk, inexhaustible life-giving juices will wander through it. Such a writer is not a hothouse plant, not a palm tree in a flower pot, but a mighty banyan tree firmly rooted in the ground, where shoots descend from its thick branches, which in turn take root, confirming the correctness of Tagore's lines: "Roots are branches in the ground, and branches are aerial roots."

The literary world of Anand is fanned by many winds, washed by waves of different seas and currents. This "depressurization", the result of the invasion of Western culture into Eastern thought, is one of the specific features of the writer.

HIS BOOKS WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR CENTURIES

But time is merciless, and it does not spare anyone. Mulk Raj Anand died in Bombay on 28 September 2004, just one year short of his centenary.

Indian media published condolences in connection with the death of the famous writer. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his sadness on behalf of the Indian Government. He called him a fighter for the country's freedom, noted his outstanding contribution to Indian literature and assured that the writer's truthful work, full of sympathy for the poor people in India, will never be forgotten.

The popular poet and writer Kamala Das Sureya, who knew Anand well, described him as a talented creator, a wonderful person, loved and respected by all: "He gave us good advice, inspired aspiring writers to creative ventures and always admired the worthy ones. To all of us, he was a generous guru, and we simply called him "Uncle Mulk."

Somnath Chatterjee, Chairman of the Lok Sabha House of Parliament, recalled Anand's role in enriching Indian literature with his works of fiction.: "With his death, the world of progressive writers has lost a lot and become poorer."


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