Paraja has 93 ratings and 4 reviews. Anuradha said: Paraja by Gopinath Mohanty is originally an Oriya novel, translated by Bikram K. Das, based in the tr.. . GOPINATH MOHANTY’S PARAJA: A STUDY IN 4TH WORLD PERSPECTIVE Bikram Keshari Mohanty Department of English Swarnachud College,Mitrapur. PDF | This article suggests that the concept of the moral economy of the peasant, as defined by James C. Scott, in the context of Southeast Asia, provides a.

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The money-lender’s clutches are like a spider’s; and tor the victim the web is invisible until too late. The passage to inhuman bondage of Gopinath Mohanty’s tribal protagonists takes just a moment – the quick clink of the moneylender’s coins.

Scores of articles and novels have been written about the stranglehold of money-lenders and of their usurping the righls of tribals.

Yet, hardly has any outsider penetrated the bamboo curtain to present these people as individuals. But Mohanty’s gripping novel Paraja has succeeded in doing just that: Readers can see the yellow olsi flowers of their hillsides: Paraja is a story of the inexorable descent of the family of Sukru Jani, the “granite-faced” gopinaht patriarch – poor but proud – into bondage. Destiny sucks him and his sons, Mandia and Tikri, and daughter Jili into its vortex with the tragic inevitability of a Hardy novel.

The men are tricked goopinath becoming bonded labourers to the moneylender: The protagonists, the wretched of the earth, are really the victims of a changing world and its see-saw dynamics: The novel – the translation of which from Oriya to English took over four decades – also studies the encroachment of the world of materialism on the simple life mohantj the tribal.


The most telling passages are about the court where an optimistic – mphanty finally defiant – Sukru Jani sues the money-lender-for his land only to find his whole world crumble before him. He finds that the court writer and the temple priest, after fleecing him have deliberately misled him about the date of his appearance in court, resulting in the dismissal of the case. Worse still is thermal severing of the ancestral umbilical cord from the land which is more than just a means of livelihood for the tribal: The novel, at one level, is about the corruption of the tribals: The red turbans or bands of the tax collector or forest guard are enough parama chill their simple souls.

Of inhuman bondage – Society & The Arts News – Issue Date: Jun 15,

The loss of innocence is movingly delineated in the change in Jili: Paraja is a mohnaty of this loss of innocence. Where Jnanpith award winner Mohanty goes wrong in an otherwise compelling narrative is the insertion of explanatory asides which is like the intrusion of documentary footage in a feature film.

The social anthropologist in Mohanty often gets the better of the writer in him. For example, the author moahnty to define the tribal’s perceptions of poverty and its relationship to possessions: On the surface, there is little evidence of class snobbery or prejudice, but sooner or later its existence becomes inescapably obvious.

There are however, metaphors and passages of prose that have the power of poetry. The cameo of the pwraja bonded labourer, the village idiot, touchingly gross like the hunchback of Notre Dame, remains etched in the reader’s mind: The shadow kept its distance, but it was a shadow nevertheless. Or the relationship between man and mohanry He can grip the soil in his fist, but it laughs, and waits; and one day he drops down, and the soil is enriched. Grass and mandia and rice grow out of him, and they too fall back into the soil The soil was rising higher and higher inside Sukru Jani’s paeaja body.


Mohanty’s vision is grim indeed. There is no escape for the tribal dispossessed.

Gopinath Mohanty

gopiinath Unlike Job, Sukru Jani does not even possess the patience to test the gods. In fact, his gods are cruel: And their gods laughed.

gopinayh Gopinath Mohanty’s ‘Paraja’ The money-lender’s clutches are like a spider’s; and tor the victim the web is invisible until too late. January 7, Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app.

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Paraja by Gopinath Mohanty

Extract From every hill the red tracks came down and converged at the Sahukar’s house like the threads in a spider’s gopinaht, and along these tracks came many a tribesman from the remotest hills. Some brought mohannty wives’ ornaments to the Sahukar, wrapped in bits of rag.

Others brought the produce from their fields. Others again had nothing to pledge but their own bodies. And the Sahukar’s house swallowed everything up, and nothing that entered ever came out again; and the house grew and bulged.