Viramma: Life of an Untouchable

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9781859841488: Viramma: Life of an Untouchable
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Viramma tells her fascinating life story with the unsentimentality, humor and dramatic sense of a born storyteller: her carefree childhood; her marriage before puberty; giving birth to twelve children ‘very gently, like stroking a rose’; adult life as an agricultural worker ‘condemned to bake in the sun’; tales of gods and malign forces, like Irsi Katteri ‘the foetus-eater’, who cast their shadow over her daily life.

Told over ten years to Josiane and Jean-Luc Racine, this is an intensely personal and moving self-portrait, informed by a sense of profound social change in contemporary India. To emancipationists Viramma is a Dalit, one of the oppressed; to Gandhians she is a Harijan, a daughter of God; in her village she is still treated as an Untouchable, a Pariah. In this remarkable book she reveals the world of an extraordinary woman living at the very margins of Indian society.

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About the Author:

Josiane Racine grew up in Tamil Nadu and researches popular culture in southern India. Jean-Luc Racine is a director of research at the Centre for Indian Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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ISBN 10: 1859848176 ISBN 13: 9781859848173
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9789231031458: Viramma: Life of an Untouchable

UNESCO, 1997
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