Realism in "Paraja" by Gopinath Mohanty

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Gopinath Mohanty's Paraja belongs to the genre of realistic novel. This genre was popularized in France by novelists like Emile Zola and Andre Gide in 19th century. The roots of the novel lie in Romances which were popular in Europe for many centuries. Romances dealt with usually love stories, where courtship and adventure assumed great importance. In spite of their popularity for centuries, they fell out of public favour in course of time. Cervantes' Don Quixote is a parody of Romances. Realism became popular in the 19th century France and novelists instead of fantasizing human relationships and making them unreal, depit human life in very realistic terms without glorifying any emotion. Thus creativity assumed a new meaning; it no…show more content…
The tribals are very innocent and are mortally scared of forest officials and police. When the forest guard comes on a routine visit, he is treated as a demigod. They offer him animals, money and gifts. They are so afraid of him that when relations between the guard and Sukru Jani turn sour, no villager goes to the help of the latter. The depiction of Sahukar and his ways hold up a faithful mirror to the evil ways of the money lender. There is a strange custom called `Jholla' among the parajas. Jholla means bride-price. If one wants to marry a girl, he has to offer bride-price to the girl's father. To raise this amount they approached Sahukar for loan. Since the interest on this loan is compounded one can never clear his loan and thus become a slave to the money lender. The Sahukar also lent grain and millet to the tribals. They would return them after the harvest with interest. The innocent tribals never questioned the Sahukar's accounting. Through his insidious ways the Sahukar fleeced the gullible tribals of their produce. When there was nothing to pledge to Sahukar, some people pledged their bodies and became his `gotis' (bonded labourers). Sukru Jani and his sons become `gotis' and when they want to free themselves and the land from the Sahukar by repaying their loan amount, he refuses to give the land back. Mohanty shows how the innocent tribals are exploited and cheated by the court personnel, besides the ones like forest guard,

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