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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.
|Publisher||Raj Kamal Prakashan|
|Number of Pages||334 Pages|
|Awards||Sahitya Academy Award|
|Authored By||Srilal Sukla|
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Jul 12, 2015
Good book having relevance in current arena also
Feb 6, 2015
Jan 12, 2015
Jan 2, 2015
Rag Darbari is Must read
Sep 20, 2014
Oct 13, 2011
Great workThere are two kind of persons in the world..one who have read it and others who have not...Be at the side of 'haves' as reading of this book will make you a different kind of person.................................
Nov 18, 2011
One of the best pieces of proseThis 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!
Sunil Kumar Jha
Oct 10, 2011
Raag Darbari, the best social-political satire of IndiaOne 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… (Expand)
Nov 29, 2012
Timeless ClassicOne 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.
Aug 2, 2012
Taking Satire To Another LevelI 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.
Dec 9, 2011
भारतीय समाज का सच्चा चित्रइस पुस्तक को खरीदने से मैंने नहीं सोचा था कि श्रीलाल शुक्ल जी ने भारतीय (ग्राम्य) जीवन का इतना सजीव चित्रण किया होगा। शुक्ल जी ने जटिल बातों एवं घटनाओं को इतने सरल एवं व्यंग्यात्मक तरीके के लिखा है जैसा पहले कभी नहीं पढ़ा। ४५ वर्ष पहले लिखी पुस्तक आज भी प्रासंगिक है।
Apr 16, 2012
a must read for any hindi literature and satire loverOne 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"
Jul 12, 2015
Good book having relevance in current arena alsoExcellent characters planted to tell the story making u read in one go until it finished. though the stories was of 40 years back but it holds relevance in current contemporary world.
Feb 6, 2015
a MASTERPIECEOne of the best hindi satire available. I could not stop myself laughing while reading it. Being from UP, I could visualize the scenes set by the author effortlessly. A very refreshing read indeed.
Jan 12, 2015
Classic!Must read for everyone who has spent their childhood in a vllage or a small town in Inda and also for those who did not. What a great mix of characters and their lives are presented to the readers. Every single line of this book is so relevant even today.