Friday, October 17, 2008

Lokamitra in the news

Lokamitra has an article about him, republished I think, on BNN.

I have not met him, but I have met his friends and co-workers from India, and correspond with one of his assistants (who is, I think, getting ordained soon--sadhu!). I hope some day to travel to India and meet him. And Lokamitra

I sometimes fantasize about going to India and pitching in with the good work being done out there, in the fights against the injustice against Dalit's or ex-untouchables. Meanwhile I'm trying to establish myself in a career (meaningful and I think right livelihood) to support my wife and small children (another good cause). I hope to travel to India before my children go off to college, but I'm not sure if that's realistic. Who knows, the future is uncertain. Nothing is given. My wife declined my suggestion of living in India for a year. So I wish I could go there and pitch in. I can see the worth of such work.

Lokamitra did get there 34 years ago, and I admire him for that.

Another friend is involved with the work out there, and more likely so in his upcoming retirement. Another friend, who is visiting soon, has been out there and wrote a book about it called Jai Bhim, which used to be free on Sangharakshita's site, but now I can't find it. You can get it on Amazon. There are 4 copies for a dollar, used, but with s&h it's $5.

I'm trying to read The Prisons We Broke, which is described as follows on the website: "Writing on the lives of the Mahars of Maharashtra, Baby Kamble reclaims memory to locate the Mahar society before it was impacted by Babasaheb Ambedkar, and tells a consequent tale of redemption wrought by a fiery brand of social and self-awareness. The Prisons We Broke provides a graphic insight into the oppressive, caste and patriarchal tenets of the Indian society, but nowhere does the writing descend to self-pity. With verve and colour the narrative brings to life, among other things, the festivals, rituals, superstitions, snot-nosed children, hard lives and hardy women of the Mahar community. The original Marathi work, Jina Amucha (serialized in 1982 and published as a book in 1986) re-defined autobiographical writing in Marathi in terms of form and narrative strategies adopted, and the selfhood and subjectivities that were articulated. It is the first autobiography by a Dalit woman in Marathi, probably even the first of its kind in any Indian language."

I say I'm trying to read it, because it's like the sun, it hurts to look at such horrors. I'm reading it slowly.

If you want to donate money to what I consider a worthy cause, check out the website of Jumbudvipa. I don't know what they would do with American money, they only have ways of giving in India, England and Taiwan, but I'm sure they'd cash a check. When I get out of the red, and we're in a position to be giving away money again, I hope to test that theory.

To get one small sliver of some of the negative stuff going on there with caste based oppression, check out the blog Atrocity News. I dare you.