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Mulk Raj Anand’s Across the Black Waters : remembering Indian soldiers in WW1

October 22, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

‘Mulk Raj Anand’s Across the Black Waters : remembering Indian soldiers in WW1’ with Alistair Niven
Wednesday 22nd October, 7pm

“This re-publication of Mulk Raj Anand’s ‘Across the Black Waters’ brings back into focus a writer of astonishing range and profound humanity. No other Indian writer in the 1930s thought to memorialise the contribution of Indian soldiers to the First World War, which had ended only twenty years before.

Anand wrote the book partly as a warning against another war. He was living in England at the time, where he could see close up how Europe was drifting back to the hostilities which only exhaustion, and political transformations in so many of the warring countries, had terminated in 1918. Anand had also recently witnessed the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Another world war would be the same, only writ much larger.” Alistair Niven

Please join Man Booker Prize judge Alistair Niven for an evening to discuss the politics of Indian soldiers involvement in the First World War, as explored in Mulk Raj Anand’s recently republished classic book on the subject, ‘Across the Black Waters’.
Mulk Raj Anandand the World Peace Movement

Mulk Raj Anand has been connected with the World Peace Movement since its beginnings in 1948 at a meeting of world intellectuals. He has often expressed the belief that he would be very much less a writer if he didn’t devote himself almost 90% to the quest for Peace.
In collaboration with other Indian Writers he helped organise the first All India Progressive Writers Conference in Lucknow in 1936. The essence of their manifesto was the inclusion of social and political cause in the inspiration behind their fictions and facts.
By the end of the mid thirties his feelings, combined with the struggle against British Imperialism with which he was already involved, led him to join the fight against fascism. In London in 1936 he was on the platform of the Anti Fascist Writers Conference, alongside such writers as Malraux.
His wish to support the Spanish liberal cause sent him to Spain in 1937 for another conference with Stephen Spender, Pablo Neruda, Ernest Hemingway and others. He returned to India in 1945 and worked with Nehru in The Indian Freedom Movement. About that time he explains:
“To me the idea of political freedom in India was always only a stepping stone towards that larger freedom of the whole world. As Gandhi used to say, “Let all the winds of the world blow in; let us open our doors and windows and only see that we are not swept off our feet by these winds.” There is so much knowledgeIcoming from all parts of the world that so much more interchange, a new consciousness, must take placeIthis means that prejudices against other ways of thought must stop. My idea of co-existence is co-discovery.”
He returned to England in 1948 where he received the invitation to attend that first conference of intellectuals in Warsaw, out of which was born the World Peace MovementIfor which he was Nehru’s representative. In 1952 he received the International Peace Award and became for a time the head of the cultural division of the World Peace Council.


October 22, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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