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As a writer who became active in the 1930s, Mulk Raj Anand conceived writing action as a form of political action. The Thirties were the decade that saw the birth of the Indian movement for independence and the organization of Marxist political parties. These were a clear influence on his writings of the era, including Coolie (1936), which powerfully link India's social problems to the caste system as a necessary product of capitalism and British rule. In his preface to the second edition of Two Leaves and a Bud (1951), Anand explcitly commented that his choice to write about the oppressed rather than the rich was dictated by the need to explore the topic of class exploitation that nationalist writers had so far neglected. Coolie describes the life of Munoo with a polemical intent, painting a vast picture of the different social realities and geographical landscapes of India. The book is clearly designed to provoke indignation and promote social change.
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