ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Hori and the Dynamics of Injustice: Mahasweta Devi's Water

Hori, the protagonist in Munshi Premchand's classic Hindi novel Godan written in 1936 represents the marginalised Indian peasant down the ages. Maghai, the landless untouchable farmer and water diviner in Mahasweta Devi's Water written in 1972 continues Hori's tale of despair. The story explores the interweaving of the dynamics of rural poverty with the machinations of the local landed elite in collusion with local officials and the police. The village teacher and Maghai's son are both aware of the corruption but are afraid to protest too loudly for fear of being arrested as Naxalites. In view of the reports of fraud and corruption in the functioning of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in many villages, this article looks at the different forms of cheating practised in the name of providing relief to the poor with specific reference to Devi's story.

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