…when, as a consequence of the growing age of human society, the swaddling cloth of its infancy starts oppressing its body, would it not be better at that time to create for it an extensive cloth of new ideas? Must we constrain its body such that it fits within its old limits?’—these words are a part of the introduction by the writer Yashpal for his seminal political novel that was considered a pioneer in the world of Hindi literature and was published in the early 1940s. What makes this novel an important read is that it is not only capturing the political side of India of the 1930s and 40s but extends to become a reading of human psychology. The intricate patterns that relationships bring with them have been unfolded beautifully and powerfully with the help of the characters in this novel. The men and the women have been provided equal space to express themselves and attempts have been made by the writer to break with the stereotypes that surround an individual at the level of their roles in a society.
December 2022, volume 46, No 12