Bahka goes to prison

“It was a discord between person and circumstance by which a lion like him lay enmeshed in a net while many a common criminal wore a rajah’s crown.”   pg 94

This quote serves to point of how unfair the caste system is. It is saying how a good person like Bahka, described as a lion, can suffer under the “common criminals” that are randomly assigned to be the upper class. This quote shows more of the injustice within the social hierarchy.


“Both Ram Charan and Chota were surprised. Never before had they seen Bakha behave like that. Ram Charan was admitted to be of the higher caste among them, because he was a washerman.”

Mulk Raj Anand. Untouchable. (New York: Penguin Books, 1940). 83.

This excerpt has a lot of choppy and easy-to-understand sentences which I feel is a description applicable to the entire book. It is not too hard to analyze.


“He halted suddenly, and facing the shopkeeper with great humility, joined his hands and begged to know where he could put a coin to pay for a packet of „Red  Lamp‟. The shopkeeper pointed to a spot on the board near him. Bakha put his anna there. The betel-leaf-seller dashed some water over it from the jug with which he sprinkled the betel leaves now and again. Having thus purified it he picked up the nickel piece and threw it into the counter. Then he flung a packet of „Red Lamp‟ cigarettes at Bakha, as a butcher might throw a bone to an instant dog sniffing round the corner of his shop.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. (New York: Penguin Books, 1940). 42.

This passage really sums up the caste system and shows how social interactions and much of life was really affected. Even today, the caste system is still much in place. My sister worked for a non-profit who built wells in villages that did not have access to clean water. She learned that because of the caste system higher class citizens already had access to clean water while lower class citizens did not and did not have many opportunities to pull themselves up.


“But he kept up his new form, rigidly adhering to his clothes day and night and guarding them from all base taint of Indianness, not even risking the formlessness of an Indian quilt, though he shivered with the cold at night”

Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable (New York: Penguin Books, 1940), 12

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.



“He seemed a true child of the outcaste colony, where there are no drains, no light, no water; of the marshland where people live among the latrines of the townsmen, and in the stink of their own dung scattered about here, there, and everywhere; of the world where the day is dark as the night and  the night pitch-dark.”

Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable (New York: Penguin Books, 1940), 84

This description of Rakha as the “true child” of the Untouchables paints a desolate and dark picture about life as a lower caste individual.