“Novelist as Social Reformer:
Charles Dickens and the Dickens of India (Mulk Raj Anand)”
02-03 March, 2013
Besant Hall, B.T. College, Madanapalle, Chittoor Dt. (AP)
Dickens is not only the first great urban novelist in England, but also a great moralist and a perceptive social commentator who uses fiction effectively to criticize economic, social, and moral abuses in the contemporary society. As a social commentator, Dickens sees the need for the reform of English society urging that the wealthy and privileged exhibit a greater humanitarianism towards the poor and the vulnerable. In his novels of social analysis he becomes an outspoken critic of unjust economic and social conditions thereby exposing the ills of the industrial society including class division, poverty, bad sanitation, privilege and meritocracy and the experience of the metropolis. If his early novels expose isolated abuses and shortcomings of individual people, his later novels contain a bitter diagnosis of the socio-economic condition of England. Beginning with his second novel, through Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, Dombey and Son, Bleak House, Hard Times, and ending with Little Dorrit, Dickens totally rejects the claims of classical economics and shows his moral concern for the social well-being of the nation.
A prolific writer with a social purpose, Mulk Raj Anand has been rightly described as a ‘veritable Dickens’ or “the Dickens of India”. The themes and subjects of his novels are aimed at presenting the contemporary social, economic and political situation from the viewpoint of a humanist. His novels like Untouchable, Coolie, Two Leaves and a Bud and The Old Woman and the Cow aim at raising the suppressed and oppressed members of society from the poverty, apathy, and despair in which they are sunk to self-awareness and human dignity. As a result, the sweeper, the coolie, the indentured labourer, the peasant, the factory worker, and the underprivileged woman--- all emerge alive from his novels anguished and hungry, yet essentially human. It is this marvellous quality to bring out the essentially human element in such a variety of characters that makes Mulk Raj Anand the humanist laureate of Indian writing in English.
Both Dickens and Mulk Raj Anand are committed writers using the novel as a repository of social conscience. Believing as they do in the ethical and political potential of literature, they treat their fiction as a springboard for debates about moral and social reform. They are essentially novelists with a social purpose and a humanistic mission, rousing the social conscience of the public to create in the affluent and powerful people a sense of responsibility towards the victims of injustice and exploitation. Naturally, their novels contain some of their most trenchant pieces of social satire. Their deeply-felt social commentaries helped raise the collective awareness of the reading public. As social commentators, both the novelists exerted a profound influence on later novelists committed to social reform implicitly or explicitly, but artistically.
Call for Papers
The two day seminar is organized mainly to mark the 200th Birth Anniversary of Charles Dickens who is immensely relevant to India and who has greatly influenced writers like Mulk Raj Anand. Abstracts of Papers on the topic---The Novelist as Social Reformer : Charles Dickens and the Dickens of India (Mulk Raj Anand) ---are invited so as to reach Dr. K. Kizar Mohamed, HOD, English and Seminar Coordinator Mobile: 9440585044
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 25-2-2013. The papers could be on the individual writers, Dickens or Mulk Raj Anand, as a committed writer with a reformatory zeal or on a comparative study of their respective novels.
No Registration fee is charged for the Seminar. The outside participants will be provided hospitality (board and lodging) and the local participants lunch and tea for two days. The outside participants are requested to inform the date and time of their arrival. They will be received at the Railway Station / BUS Station and taken to the place of their stay.
Let us all get together to pay homage to the immortal novelist Charles Dickens and fondly remember Mulk Raj Anand.
Dr. R. Thulasiram Naidu, Smt. K. Soujanya Kumari,
PRINCIPAL, BT College Correspondent, BT College
Prof. K. Venkata Reddy, Sri. M. C. V. Prasad
President, “PARIVARTHANA” Secretary, “PARIVARTHANA”