Translated from Kannada by Susheela Punitha
Manu, the ancient lawgiver of Hindu mythology, decreed that those of the untouchable castes must hold a pole with jingling bells tied to one end, and pound it on the ground at every step. They had to call out “Samboli! Samboli!” as they walked—away from the main streets and only around noon, so that their shadows would not pollute people of the ostensibly higher castes by falling on them. But in this autobiography, an account of how he came to terms with the discrimination he faced, the Dalit writer and activist Lakshman says that “Samboli!” could also be a clarion call for Dalits to fight for their humanity.
Niyogi Books, 200 pages, Rs 295