Rangnath’s unforgettable journey to Shivpalganj (where he goes to recuperate from illness) leaves him disillusioned. His uncle Vaidyaji controls the affairs of the village through his henchmen. All the benefits of development under the Five-year Plan go to Vaidyaji, directly or by Proxy and not to the institutions they are meant for. Shrilal Shukla’s comments on the prevailing situation are marked by wit and dry humour. This critical study takes up the text (translated by Gillian Wright) and attempts to answer critical and textual problems arising therefrom for the benefit of our university students. Shakti Batra has been Vice-principal, Dyal Singh College (University of Delhi), has also taught at the Kabul University and the University of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.

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