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. Readers can see the yellow olsi flowers of their hillsides: taste the sweet liquor of the mahua lowers which makes that path to bondage all the shorter: hear the sounds of the tiger-infested jungles, the teasing laughter of the women: and feel the frenzy of their orgiastic harvest festivals. Paraja is a story of the inexorable descent of the family of Sukru Jani, the "granite-faced" tribal patriarch - poor but proud - into bondage.
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Discussing in detail the length and the breadth of Aboriginal writing during , Shoemaker elucidates specific issues that articulate black past and other forms of Australian literature with authenticity. It offers a detailed analysis of the texts that range far back into the centuries of civilized life from Latin America. Gordon establishes that the term Fourth World has been claimed by native people to describe their own world which explored the threatened present condition and political history that stretches beyond the discovery of Colombus.
Womack, Jace Weaver, Chadwick Allen etc. Hence, the concept mainly concentrates on the plight of the aboriginals, dalits and the tribes and offers an extensive detail on their life style, their tradition, culture, beliefs and the consequent suffering that they endure through the process of living neglected and exploited by the mainstream of the society.
Celebrated Oriya novelist, Gopinath Mohanty distinguishes himself contributing to the Oriya fiction immensely with Fourth World Perspective. His long association with the tribal of Southern Orissa, especially with the aboriginals of Koraput, has given him impetus to write on them revealing their customs, traditions, superstitions and their plights as well.
He pursues sincere attempt to bring out their trials and tribulations to exist against the adverse situations; sometimes against the natural calamities and sometimes against the man-made despondencies. Mohanty has projected their suffering in a very realistic manner and with an intimate language. His lived experiences among them have been presented in all details with novelistic touch and with a grand craftsmanship. His delineation of characters is an art with him. He depicts his individuals with sympathy and understanding.
He creates them with their fervent primary human emotions and innocence and they deserve our sympathy. Even in their failures that they appear to be grand, majestic and bold. In his famous novel Paraja, Mohanty has delineated his people both with their plights and with their constant struggle for existence.
Their existential angst forms the theme of the novel. He has patterned the fabric of his novel with their quintessential struggle living against all oppression and exploitations. The most important aspect of the novel is that these tribal people maintain a spirit to rebuild and restructure their ways of living without accepting defeat.
They face life that Providence has granted them. It is through their struggle that they grow and emerge before us as the real victors even in their defeat. Their ways of facing these problems are unique and different. The way Sukru Jani tolerates the injustice done to him by the forest guard, Sahukar Ramchandra Bisoi, the village Headman and others, proves his strength.
His constant trials and the consequent suffering and his relentless endeavour to save the situation are some of the important traits of his character. His way of accepting the life of goti indentured labourer at that old age, despite the humiliation and the insulting words hurled upon him, projects his tenacity and his calm way of struggle for existence. He endures everything without protest even when he is duped by the court people and loses his favourite land to Bisoi.
But it becomes too much for him to tolerate when Bisoi scolds his wife. Bring her to me. I shall take your wives; I shall drive you from court to court through the length of the country. I shall make you sweat out your lives as gotis, and I shall rub your nose in the dust. His innocence melts into anger. He fails to control himself anymore and joins his sons to hack him.
He loses in his struggle but comes out victorious. His patience, endurance and his ability to compose himself during his struggle make him the hero but his anger makes him grand. Their innocence and their fervent spirit to speak truth absolve them of their crime. Sukru Jani appears to be pure and pristine both in his action and in approach as savage Santal Ghinua who fails to understand the complex web of the laws that verdicts him with capital punishment.
This existential problem also makes Jili and Billy the victims. Struggling without food for days in the absence of their father and brothers, Jili and Billy at last go out of their house against their Paraja tribal tradition to earn their food but get trapped by the Supervisor. They fall victim to his vicious plan and get sexually abused. It is for his poverty that Mandia loses Kajodi.
Hence, the poverty and the struggle for existence is the main thrust of the novel. These characters fail to materialize their dreams and stand as hapless victims despite their relentless efforts to realize them.
Thus, the novel chronicles the endless plight of these tribal people, who endeavour a marathon struggle against the adverse situations to pursue their living. But they really grow before us in their failures. He establishes the victory of his individuals he peoples his novels with, in their failures and disappointment.
The novel brings out a social picture of how the Paraja tribesmen live in that remote corner of Orissa. It narrates how these simple folks are exploited by the money lender like Ramachandra Bisoi, the forester, revenue officer, court people and the police; how their fear of police, court and prison imprisons them under the usurpers for the rest of their life: how their illiteracy robs them of all their comforts of living.
Money lender Ramachandra Bisoi of the area controls their life - their process of living trapping them into his vicious web and takes their land which they attach the utmost importance more than their lives. The novelist narrates their attachment to their land in a very intimate language: …the land to him was not merely a patch of earth — it was part of his body. He knew every contour and depression in the land; every thorn, every ant- hill had a history.
He had watered the land with his sweat and nursed the seedlings with the warmth of his own body. It projects how the innocent tribal people go cynical when the society exerts pressure upon them and demonstrates how these aboriginals lose their strength using their strength; how they grow before us losing their power to control themselves.
His sudden violent action, in fact, proves his the strength in his character. He takes revenge on Bisoi not for the suffering the latter has inflicted on him but to save his personal honour as an honest human being. They can go to any length to preserve it at the cost of their lifetime comforts only listening to the dictates of the soul.
Hence, the novel presents a very sensitive theme of the problem of existential struggle and the consequent suffering and can be interpreted as a piece of protest literature. The novel projects the tradition and beliefs of the Parajas. It brings out how ceremoniously they celebrate their festivals. The novelist gives a detail account of how they observe these festivals and enjoy them: In December, the tribes observe one of their major festivals, to mark the gathering of the harvest; this is followed, fifteen days later, by the ritual eating of the new grain.
Tribal life is punctuated with many festivals, but chief among them is the Festival of Spring —a fortnight of revelry, hunting and feasting. Work is forgotten and the drums throb incessantly, day and night, to the rhythm of the dance; the old year is drummed away. Even in their suffering and in their struggle for existence, love sparks among them. Their system of living helps in promoting love among the young girls and the young men.
The very provision of Dhangidi Basa and Dhangda Basa in the tribal settlement facilitates them for match making and contributes to the institution of marriage. Observation of the tribal rituals is another important aspect of the novel. The Parajas have their long age old tradition of worshipping the Mother Earth and the Sun God jointly with the Domo tribe before the beginning of their festivals. They have ritual of animal sacrifice before they start cultivating their land. On the festival days, they go into the forest to invoke the forest goddess and enjoy hunting the animals.
When the male hunters fail to hunt any animal in their first day attempt, women accompany them in the next day and it has been proved that in the company of women the mission is always a success. In this way, it can be summed up that the novel not only posits the suffering of the Paraja and Domo tribes but also presents the tribal way of life with their tradition, rituals and superstitions. Bikram K. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, Panigrahi, Bhagabati.
Adhunika Kahani. Kshirodra Parija. Cuttack: Prachi Prakashini, Patteti, Raja Sekhar. Raja Sekhar Patteti. New Delhi: Prestige Books, Related Papers.
Book Review: Gopinath Mohanty's 'Paraja'
Career[ edit ] Mohanty joined the Odisha Administrative Service in and retired in He died at San Jose, California on 20 August His literary output was prolific. He wrote twenty-four novels, ten collections of short stories, three plays, two biographies, two volumes of critical essays, and five books on the languages of the Kandha, Gadaba and Saora tribes of Odisha. Sitakant Mahapatra describes the novel as " the story of shattered dreams". The trend which Fakir Mohan Senapati had started developed after the s.
Gopinath Mohanty dominated the Oriya literature for over four decades as a colossus and was hailed as one of the greatest prose writers in India. Virtually all aspects of the Orissan landscape, life-pattern, culture and heritage including those in the tribal land, came alive in his magical hand. He was a path-breaker in every way and left his distinctive stamp whether it was the prose-style, technique of handling characters and theme in novels and short stories, codifying the tribal groups and creating grammar in their language, or shedding new light on the time and place of existence of Sarola Dasa, the creator of the Oriya Mahabharata and regarded as the Father of the ancient Oriya literature. The new prose style that he introduced is vibrant as well as vigorous with words carefully chosen from the common living speech of villagers and deftly put together for expressing abstract ideas or delicate feelings. His pioneering work and writings on the tribals of Orissa is widely recognized and has placed him as a front rank anthropologist; he had a stint as an Adjunct Professor in Anthropology in San Jose State University , USA. He joined the Orissa Administrative Service in and retired from the service in