Hindu

Sharankumar Limbale is a well-known dalit activist, writer, editor and critic. His books have been translated into a number of Indian languages, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Tamil, and of course into English. Presently he is the Regional Director of the Yashwantrao Chavan Mararashtra Open University, Nashik in India. Limbale's autobiography, The Outcaste Akkarmashi (published in 1984 by OUP) was written when the author was just 25.

Hindu by Limbale has only recently been translated from Marathi into English, and is published by Samya, Kolkata. Reflecting contemporary conflicts in India, this novel [...] is set in a village in Maharashtra, where panchayat elections are due. Roused by the new Ambedkarite jalsa, folk theatre, of Tatya Kamble that graphically portrays the dalits’ role in their own enslavement, dalits stand up for their self-respect and turn to political participation. Under the rules of reservation of seats in politics, the post of the village sarpanch falls to their share, and a dalit candidate is successfully fielded by his upper caste employers, leaving the upper castes frustrated and angry. What happens to caste relations, th
e new political consensus that emerges slowly, if violently, are delineated perceptively.

The text switches from the first person narrative of a dalit, Milind Kamble, a friend of Tatya Kamble and also of the corrupt and dissolute upper caste twins, Gopichand and Manikchand, who aim to make politics a successful business investment. A third person narrator also exists, the text alternating between the two, playing up a dual perspective. Vividly showing the contradictions within most individuals and the plight of women who suffer gender injustice regardless of their caste, this novel points to our own compromises and complicities."

The novel has been translated by Arun Prabha Mukherjee of York University, Toronto.

In our Indian Literature in Translation section, paperback, 185 pages, Rs. 250. ISBN 9788185604954

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