Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hindu: A Novel

Hindu: A Novel
By: Sharankumar Limbale. Translated from the Marathi by Arun Prabha Mukherjee

demy octavo pb 155pp  ISBN: 978-81-85604-95-4 Rs 250 Feb 2010
Focusing on what happens in a village where dalits are assertive, Limbale reveals the shocking violence of everyday life. Hindu’s propelling event is the murder of Tatya Kamble, a dalit theatre artist whose folk theatre talks of a different world where dalits abandon fear and deference to resist and gain social justice. The plot and narration are unconventional. There is neither an all-absorbing love story nor a hero. The first person narrative, full of self-recrimination and self-justification, is followed by an omniscient narration, which brings about a kaleidoscopic effect. Through multiple juxtapositions and characters’ voices, we experience the many layered nature of events as these unfold and reach the public domain. The novel also shows the horse-trading that catapults the high caste supported Dalit candidate into the minister’s chair. Dramatic and matter of fact, Limbale brings issues that India grapples with in its search for becoming a modern nation based on equality.

Sharankumar Limbale was a member of the Dalit Literary movement that took Maharashtra, and its capital, Mumbai, by storm in the late 1950s, continuing in strength to the 1970s. He has written 40 books, fiction and nonfiction, and is perhaps best known for his autobiography, Akkarmashi, written when he was twenty-five (translated into English as The Outcaste, Oxford University Press, 1984). Arun Prabha Mukherjee is Professor of English, York University, Toronto. She has translated Omprkash Valmiki, Joothan: A Dalit’s Life.

Published by: Samya

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