MánMelá Promotions invites you to help us publish the first illustrated Centenary edition of Mulk Raj Anand’s classic.
Salt of The Sarkar
The project launched at the House of Commons in October 2014 with the publication of the World War One Centenary edition of the novel Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand. We plan to continue throughout the centenary years of the First World War, and beyond to reach a new audience of over a million.
During our journey, we’ve unearthed many surprising photos and letters which eloquently tell the soldiers’ stories.
Launch of the Centenary Edition of the novel Across the Black Waters took place at Housmans Bookshop, London on 22 October 2014. Photo George Rosen Darrell
A collage celebrating the novel’s author Mulk Raj Anand, and history being brought to life through his fiction. Courtesy: Marilyn Stafford, Stewart Fraser, Alastair Niven, Imperial War Museum & Mán Melá Theatre Company
Performers in the 1998 production included left to right Qasim Kazmi, Vincent Ebrahim and Laura Whittard. Mán Melá Theatre Company
Mulk Raj Anand in London in 1930 & in Bombay in 2000. Courtesy Kewal Anand 1930 image, Stewart Fraser 2000 image
Postcard of the first Indian troops to arrive in France to fight in WW1 in the autumn of 1914 exactly as portrayed In Across the Black Waters. Purchased by Dominic Rai in Flanders in 1998
The Launch of the project Salt of the Sarkar took place on 13 October 2014 in Westminster. LCpl Prakash Rai, Bugler (2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles) played the bugle for The Last Post. Photo Credit: George Rosen Darrell
Those gathered in the House of Parliament’s Attlee Suite paid their respects to over 1 million soldiers from Undivided. India who fought for the British Empire in World War One. Photo Credit: George Rosen Darrell
Those contributing to the Launch Programme, hosted by John McDonnell MP, included Lt Col Marcus Reedman (2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles), Col James Robinson (Brigade of Gurkhas), Baroness Flather (Memorial Gates Council), Dominic Rai, Pia Khan (Reader), Alastair Niven (Friend of Mulk Raj Anand & Man Booker Prize Judge 1994 & 2014) and John Perkins (Head of History, Guru Nanak Academy Hayes) with a group of students. Photo Credit: George Rosen Darrell
The Launch on 13 October was the 1st time the Centenary Edition of Across the Black Waters, with images of Indian soldiers on the front cover, was available for purchase. Photo Credit: George Rosen Darrell
Dominic Rai shares both fiction and history at Heritage Day, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, in May 2016 during the run of the play Wipers by Ishy Din. Photo courtesy: Belgrade Theatre Coventry
Dominic Rai shares at the Guru Nanak Sikh Academy Awards Ceremony in July 2015. Photo Credit: Caroline Goffin
April 2016 and an opportunity to share with the Anand Mangal Group as part of Charnwood Arts Great War Centenary Project. Photo Credit: Madeleine Coburn, Charnwood Arts
An enthusiastic audience for Caroline as she shares a Bite- Size talk at Brighton Museum in June 2016. Photo Credit: Nina Emett
Caroline’s inspiration – historical facts surrounding Mulk Raj Anand’s novel which brings everything to life. Photo Credit: Caroline Goffin
The original War Diary for the 57th Wilde’s Rifles in November 1914. The origin of the ‘black hole’ is even mentioned in Mulk Raj Anand’s novel! Photo courtesy of National Archives Kew
Caroline’s first research trip to the Imperial War Museum in 1964, and she even brought home a picture of the 57th Wilde’s Rifles taken in October 1914 at a time and place featuring in Across the Black Waters Photo Credit: Caroline Goffin
Our Fundraising Journey
Help us publish the first illustrated edition of
Across the Black Waters
In February 2017 we launched our fundraising journey towards illustrating Mulk Raj Anand’s classic, Across the Black Waters. We kicked off the drive with our first Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. We raised 21% of the total we need to complete this illustration. Here is the video we created for that first crowdfunding campaign.
In May 2017 we created a short film, as part of our ongoing fundraising, about the Mirrorpix photography archive which will play an important role in illustrating Across the Black Waters.
Across The Black Waters
Our partner, Shalimar Books is the major supplier of books from India and multicultural books for children in the UK. We have worked with them to research shows since the late 1990s. With their expertise we are delighted they are our partners in publishing and distributing the WW1 Centenary edition of ‘Across the Black Waters’ by Mulk Raj Anand.
About Mulk Raj Anand
‘It has taken nearly one hundred years for the contribution of Indian sepoys in the First World War to be properly recognised. Yet back in 1939 one of India’s greatest novelists, writing in English but forged by a Panjabi sensibility, described their bravery, suffering and bewilderment as they became cannon fodder in the trenches.’ Alastair Niven, Man Booker prize judge 2014
Mulk Raj Anand
‘It has taken nearly one hundred years for the contribution of Indian sepoys in the First World War to be properly recognised. Yet back in 1939 one of India’s greatest novelists, writing in English but forged by a Panjabi sensibility, described their bravery, suffering and bewilderment as they became cannon fodder in the trenches. Alastair Niven, Man Booker prize judge 2014
Mulk Raj Anand, the son of a soldier, is the author of ‘Across the Black Waters’, one of the most powerful and perceptive war novels ever written.’
Alastair Niven, Man Booker prize judge 1994 and 2014
“Our aim is to tell the little-known story of the soldiers from Undivided India – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and others – through the novel Across the Back Waters by Mulk Raj Anand, who met them on their return to India as a teenager. And through Soldiers Letters Home, historical facts behind the fiction which we are discovering through archive documents and images and speaking to descendants of soldiers.
Over a million soldiers fought for Britain and the wider international community in World War One, we wish to reach a new generation of over one million people with their story.”
Dominic Rai and Caroline Goffin are co-directors of Salt of the Sarkar, a project of MánMelá Promotions Ltd. They are the creative team behind Mán Melá Theatre Company that produced the Across the Black Waters production in 1998.
Click this link to read the History of Salt of the Sarkar – downloadable pdf opens in new tab
Dominic is a writer, director and founder of the Mán Melá Theatre Company. His commissioned work includes a drama about honour-based crimes for 43 police constabularies, two bilingual community health plays about diabetes and cancer awareness for NHS Derby City and librettist for the Ballad of Bethnal Green for the BBC Singers. Two key themes of his work are the story of Indian soldiers in World War One and the Partitiion of British India and creation of Pakistan in 1947: A Lifetime on Tiptoes by Mazhar Tirmazi https://amzn.to/16cJEtE and Panjab 1947 – A Heart Divided, creative director to the National Archives project about the Partition of India and creation of Pakistan: https://bit.ly/1eFOY6z
In 1993 Caroline discovered the history of Indian soldiers fighting on the Western Front via a play written by Dominic Rai. Due to the impact this play made she used her lifelong administrative skills in Mán Melá Theatre Company (1994 to date) including the dramatisation of Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand in 1998, and linked symposium at the Imperial War Museum in London for Remembrance weekend, combining literature and history. Her interest is in the way fiction and the voices of individuals bring historical facts to life.
Welcome to Salt of the Sarkar Network
Sign up to Salt of the Sarkar Network !
Join us as we explore, with a new generation, the story of over a million soldiers from Undivided India who fought in The Great War.
Signup for news about our events and fundraising campaigns
Donate as a private or corporate sponsor for one of our upcoming programs
Help write funding applications
Book a Salt of the Sarkar workshop, presentation or a talk for your school, book club, or community group