Born: December 12, 1905
Died: September 28, 2004
Achievement: Mulk Raj Anand was among the first writers to
incorporate Punjabi and Hindustani idioms into English.
Mulk Raj Anand was an Indian novelist, short-story writer. He was among
the first writers to incorporate Punjabi and Hindustani idioms into
English. Mulk Raj Anand's stories depicted a realistic and sympathetic
portrait of the poor in India.
Mulk Raj Anand was born on December 12, 1905 in Peshawar. He graduated
with honors from Khalsa College, Amritsar in 1924. Mulk Raj Anand went
to England and studied at University College London and Cambridge
University. He completed his PhD in 1929. Mulk Raj Anand also studied -
and later lectured - at League of Nations School of Intellectual
Cooperation in Geneva. Between 1932 and 1945 he lectured intermittently
at Workes Educational Association in London.
Raj Anand was initiated into the literary career by a family tragedy,
instigated by the rigidity of the caste system. Anand's first prose
essay was a response to the suicide of an aunt, who had been
excommunicated by his family for sharing a meal with a Muslim. Mulk Raj
Anand's first novel, "Untouchable", (1935), was a stark
reflection of the day-to-day life of a member of India's untouchable
caste. The book was widely acclaimed and Mulk Raj Anand was hailed as
India's Charles Dickens. His second novel "Coolie" depicts the
plight of India's poor through the story of a 15-year-old boy, trapped
in servitude as a child labourer, who eventually dies of tuberculosis.
In the 1930s and 1940s Mulk Raj Anand divided his time between London
and India. He joined the struggle for independence, but also fought with
the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. After the war Anand returned
permanently to India and settled in Bombay. In 1946 he founded the
fine-arts magazine Marg. He also became a director of Kutub Publishers.
From 1948 to 1966 Anand taught at Indian universities. Mulk Raj Anand
was fine art chairman at Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Arts
from 1965 to 1970. In 1970, he became president of Lokayata Trust, for
creating a community and cultural center in the village of Hauz Khas,
Mulk Raj Anand died on September 28, 2004.