Growing up Untouchable in India


Some of you may have already read or heard about Mr. Vasant Moon's autobiography " Vasti" translated into English tilted as " Growing up Untouchable in India" by Dr. Gail Omvedt. But for those of us who have not read it the following may be of interest:

Dr. Eleanor Zelliot has sent me a flyer and a small personal note saying, " You probably read the Marathi " Vasti" but you still might be interested in our English version - the 1st Dalit autobiography to be published in English outside India." I and many of us will certainly be interested in reading it. Coming from the such wellknown scholars like Moon, the writer ; Gail Omvedt the translator; and Eleanor Zelliot herself as the introduction writer; this book should be a must for many of us. I do not recollect any other book on Dalits in which the work of so many known scholars has come together.

We all know Dr. Zelliot as an authority on Dalit issues and Dalit history. But how many of us know that she is writes and speaks Marathi too ? I myself was surprised to know it when I first met her through Dr.Pramod Kale in 1967. I never met Gail Omvedt, but her stay of last 20 years in a small place in the heart of Maharashtra ,where all local population speaks Marathi, should have made her also, by now, expert in Marathi. This unique qualification of these two American-born scholars makes them ideally suitable to bring out the present translation for the Westen audience. I thank both Ms Zelliot and Gail Omvedt for taking troubles in bringing out this publication.

For our Christians and non-Marathi readers this book will throw light on the city of Nagpur where from Mr. Moon, who is the editor of the 17 volumes of Dr. Ambedkar writing and speeches, comes from, and which is the site of "Vasti". Incidentally, it should be remembered that Dr. Babasheb had a special love for Nagpur; He used call it his "fort''. Well guys, I have not read the book yet, and it will be just wishful writing for my part. I will comments on it in details sometime after reading both versions.

This book can be had from : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 15200 NBN Way, P.O. Box 191, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214. ( books code : ISBN 0-7425-0881-1 Phone no. 1-800-273-5720; Price $19.95).


Madhukar Kamble

Source: Dalit E-Forum
Referred by:Madhukar Kamble
Published on: February 19, 2001
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