First published in 1973, Bharathipura reveals U.R. Ananthamurthy's (b.1932) lifelong preoccupation with moving beyond caste and class interests in a modern society. Set in contemporary India, Bharathipura revolves around the life of an 'enlightened' modern Indian, Jagannatha, who in order to get rid of his personal burdens commits a 'scandalous' act. His attempt to take 'untouchables' into the local Manjunatha temple exposes the complexities of the caste system and the myth of social justice in modern India. Further, the novel brings to light how the contemporary world recreates and reconstructs the past to protect hierarchical structures prevalent across societies, and also portrays the altering destinies of individuals and communities. In Susheela Punitha's hands, the translation retains the cultural and linguistic ambience of the Kannada society. The detailed Introduction by N. Manu Chakravarthy sets the work in the context of twentieth-century India. The in-depth interview of the author by Chakravarthy, a special feature of this volume, opens a window to Ananthamurthy's art and worldview.
Publisher: OUP India