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Raag Darbari takes a satirical look at the decay in moral values in the Indian society post-independence. It exposes the nexus between politicians, businessmen, criminals, and policemen, and highlights the way in which they collude to exploit society for selfish reasons.
The protagonist is Ranganath, and the book is narrated through his perspective. Ranganath is a research student who majors in the subject of History. His university education has taught him to aspire for the highest of ideals and moral values.
Ranganath moves to a village called Shivpal Ganj to stay with his uncle Vaidyaji for a few months. Vaidyaji is at the helm of the political scene in the village. He is very diplomatic and articulate. He also happens to be the manager of the local college.
Ranganath discovers that all the village politicians, including his uncle, misuse their positions of power to manipulate the village people and fulfil selfish ambitions. As Ranganath learns more about the workings of the village, the differences between the corrupt nature of the village politicians and the high moral standards that he aspires to become glaringly obvious.
In this book, the author seeks to highlight the negative aspects of rural life through the viewpoint of an educated person. Some of the other characters in the book are Ruppan Babu, Principal Sahib, Badri Pehelwaan, Chhote Pehelwaan, Khanna Master, Sanichar, and Jognath. The helpless common man is represented by Langad, who seems to have no choice but to bow to the corrupt people in power.
Raag Darbari was originally written in Hindi. It was first published in 1969. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1970. This particular edition of the book is a 2008 reprint in Hindi. The book was adapted for theatre by Girish Rastogi and it was staged by Bahroop Arts Group as Ranganath Ki Waapsi. An English translation by Gillian Wright is also available. It has also been translated into fifteen other languages.
About the Author
Shri Lal Shukla was an Indian writer who wrote in Hindi. He is best known for his works of socio-political satire.
He has written several novels, short story collections, satires, literary critiques, and memoirs. Some of his works include Raag Darbari, Makaan, Kuchh Zameen Mein Kuchh Hava Mein, Raag Viraag, Aadmi Ka Zahar, Khabron Ki Jugaali, Bisrampur Ka Sant, Pehla Padaav, Dus Pratinidhi Kahaaniyan, Amritlal Naagar, Iss Umra Mein and Mere Saakshaatkaar.
His writing has a distinct satirical quality. Through his works he depicted the deterioration of moral values in India post independence. He used satire to highlight the negatives of urban and rural life in India. His contribution to Indian literature won him several awards, including the prestigious Jnanpith Award and the Padma Bhushan.
Shukla was born in 1925 in a village called Atrauli, which is part of the Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, India. He graduated from Allahabad University in 1947. He worked for the Uttar Pradesh government as a Provincial Civil Services officer. He later joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Shukla attended literary conferences, seminars, and award functions in various countries including Yugoslavia, Poland, and Germany. He retired from civil service in 1983. After going through a prolonged illness, he passed away on October 28, 2011, in Lucknow.
|Number of Pages||334 Pages|
|Awards||Sahitya Academy Award|
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One of the best social-political-satire written in any Indian languages, including Indian English writings. The narratives are brilliantly photographic and humorous and the depiction of events is so live and vivid that it will remain with you forever. The language of the novel is a new experiment in Hindi as the events have been described in most hilarious and funny manner bringing out the strength of words to its best. This is a must read to experience rural and semi-urban India and its social-political constitution and their conflicts. The best part is that by the sheer strength of its narratives made in a most funny language, it will not allow you to stop laughing while making you experience the disturbing truths of our social political life.
If you can read Hindi, please read the original to have the best experience of this amusing novel.
One of my most treasured gifts from my father is this book. I read it for the first time when i turned 18, when my dad gifted me this and said,"now that you are going to vote, just ensure u dont encourage what u read inside"
This book is not only a great mirror to the state of Indian politics, but also a great read for someone who wants to understand how to paint a picture with words.
There were times when i would stop in between and just laugh for a long time because of the liberal usage of wit to send across a very serious message.
In the last few years I have repeatedly gone back to it just for having a good laugh.
I had heard about this book so much since I was a child that I had to read it. The book however proved to be way above my expectations. It is a masterpiece by Srilal Shukla that he himself was never able to match up to again.
The picture of Indian villages as painted by Srilal Shukla ji is just beyond words. While you read this witty and extremely funny book you realize that Indian villages still remain the same as they were in the 60s and 70s.
You wont find a word in this book which is either extra or useless. A must read for those who love and live Hindi :)
One of books to be read for those who have interest in Hindi Literature. The story is set in post -independence India, but doesnt seem stale or out-dated. In fact, some of villages may be having the situation depicted in the book. The author has good command over the local slangs and dialect of Awadh region and this is very well reflected in the language. The story is absolutely hilarious and the language, though in some places seems to too adult/brash, has been used such beautifully that reader will have a good time in reading this book.
This book is undoubtedly one of the funniest to have come out of India. The author has created his own genre and is so downright funny that one cannot do with just one read. You would want to read it again and again. Although Bawasir, Mela, Panchayat Scenes, Introduction of Chotte...stand out for me, I can bet if you pick any random page and read any random paragraph, you cant just help feeling playfully amused!
The book is truly out of this world and is my favorite of all i have read in english and hindi ( and i have read some 400 odd b...Read More
One of books to be read for those who have interest in Hindi Literature. The story is set in post -independence India, but does...Read More
राग दरबारी एक ऐसा उपन्यास है जो पिछले 40 सालों से उ...Read More
I am a passionate book lover and have read some of good Hindi authors like Munshi Prem Chand, Dharamveer Bharti and others, whe...Read More