Is Untouchable relevant today?
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I would say that the work is relevant today, given how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh endorsed the 2004 release of the commemorative edition. The idea of ostracizing members of a community because they reach out to others is quite relevant on several levels. Given the globalized reality into which India is a significant player, the vestiges of the caste system and the tradition bound prejudice that might be present has to be eliminated. Anand's work speaks to this. At the same time, I think that the personal experience of how the author's aunt was shunned from her Hindu community simply for having dinner with a Muslim is something that speaks quite loudly to this. I think that this is relevant in the modern setting as there is a great deal of fear in the world today of "the other." Anand's work speaks to a world where accepting this dialectical reality has to be part of its configuration in order to find some level of happiness and success.
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