Relation, Money and literature
Dr. ManishKumar C. Mishra
Associate – IIAS,Shimla &
Assistant professor in Dept. of Hindi
An Economic condition of a person plays very important role in his personality and in his overall behavior and attitude. Same has great effect on personal relations also. I personally feel that Finance/Money is an important part of the “process of thought making.” I should note that when I talk about finance somewhat loosely, i include closely related aspects of economics and life in general. As a person of literature I can say with great responsibility that Financial Fraud is an important and serious topic of study in modern literature, and if still not then it should be.
Every aspect of modern literature has had a relation with fight for rights and to show how a particular class is still far away from the main stream of the society. And in such type of writing economical aspect / condition/rights is an important issue. Literature is not only a mirror of society but also a common laboratory of historiography and sociology. In today’s globalized word when marketing has become the heart of the relations then in such a terrific condition pattern of literary criticism must be changed. One can say that literature is something which is concerned with physical as well as metaphysical world, reality as well as with imagination of writer but a literature which is not concerned with social problem or with emotion; such writing is useless for me.
Cherry picking must be a habit of a great writer. Hindi writer Premchand is the biggest example for this. His story like “kafan” or novel such as ‘Godan”,“Gaban”and ‘Sevasadan” can be reviewed as an example for the said above points. Premchand is considered the first Hindi author whose writings prominently featured realism. First his writing approach was idealistic but latter on he turned towards realism. His writing describes the problems of the poor and the urban middle-class in a very simple and interesting way. His works depict a rationalistic outlook, which views religious values as something that allows the powerful hypocrites to exploit the weak. He used literature for the purpose of arousing public awareness about national and social issues and often wrote about topics related to corruption, child widowhood, prostitution, feudal system, poverty, colonialism and on the India's freedom movement. Matter of corruption, prostitution, poverty etc. all is well connected with the matter of economic condition of a person.
Gaban, one of the most celebrated and popular novels of Premchand, was first published in 1931. It tells the story of Ramanath, a charming but morally weak young man, who in order to fulfill his beautiful wife's – Jalpa – excessive craving for jewelry involves him in complex economic and personal relationships, which eventually leads to his apparent ignominy, and his escape from home. He doesn't even bother to realize that by doing so he brings disgrace to his family honor and leaves his dear wife alone. However, Jalapa’s brave attitude brings a sense of redemption in Ramanath and they unite again. One of the classics of Indian literature, Gaban gives an engrossing picture of Indian society. It also captures the social and economic conditions and conflicts of a North Indian society in pre-independence India.
In the words of Christopher R. King,“Premchand also showed the polluted conditions of police system in Indian society. The peoples who are supposed to protect innocent persons are making them suffer. In the novel when Ramanath run away from home and started to live in Calcutta he was always afraid of policeman because he illegally used government money for his personal use. Jalpa had a change of heart and she started to love his husband more than jewels. She returned the money taken from municipal office but Ramanath did not know about this. When police arrested him he gave fake name and address to hide his identity. Police used this opportunity to take advantage of him so they keep him in dark forced him to give false testimony. They made him their agent to give fake testimonies. Jalpa used chess prize trick to find Ramanath. She tried to contact Ramanath but he was prisoned in big house so she wrote him letter to tell the whole truth. When Ramanath read the letter he was so ashamed of himself. He decided to change his testimony and told the police that he did not committed any crime so he is no longer police service man. Police decided for comfort him but Ramanath did not listen to them. In the end police threaten him that they will put him and his family in jail. Ramanath got scared to death after hearing such threat from police. He knows that police will take his family into custody by any mean so he remains silence.” Novels like this directly show the effect of poor economic condition on once life.
In the same way we can take the example of premchands most popular novel Godan. This starts with the story of Hori who takes a loan of 80 rupees to buy a cow. Possessing and keeping a cow is a symbol of prestige in rural India. But at last in his whole life till death, his economic struggle continues. Premchand has always given importance to social problems in his literature.
At last I can say that finance/money is an important part of life as it plays very important role to make once personality.