Untouchables

“He had begged one Tommy for the gift of a pair of trousers. The man had given him a pair of breeches which he had to spare.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London, England: Penguin, 1986. Print. 11.

Earlier in the paragraph Bakha had gone on about how he admired British clothing, despite its lack of warmth, that style was more important, even being mocked by his father for it. It shows he is embracing the change in India’s culture, unlike his father. This act of mimicking western style of clothing was done all over the world, but specifically it is with the military that Bakha is doing this with. I can attest through other individuals that this act of exchanging military gear and clothing is still done today, in fact it is often the highlight of joint training events with other nations.

British Obsession in Untouchable

“Now that he had been to the British barracks and known that the English didn’t like jewellry, he was full of disgust for the florid, minutely studded designs of the native ornaments. So he walked along without noticing the big ear-rings and nose-rings and hair-flowers and other gold-plated ornaments which shone out from the background of green paper against which the smiths had ingeniously set them” (45).

Repudiation of upper-caste fashion through idealizing/desire to emulate imperialists’ fashion; Bakha’s admiration for the rulers–British– of his rulers–elite castes. Bitterness toward (his) oppressor manifests through appreciation of the Ultimate Oppressor–a bit ironic.

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London, England: Penguin, 1986. Print.