Please Wait...

Dust on the Road: The Activist writings of Mahasweta Devi

Dust on the Road: The Activist writings of Mahasweta Devi
$29.00
Item Code: IDE451
Author: Ed. By. Maitreya ghatak
Publisher: Seagull Books
Language: English
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 817046143X
Pages: 258
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5" X 5.5"
From the Jacket:

Mahasweta Devi is one of the India's foremost writers. Her trenchant, powerful, saitiric fiction has won her recognition in the form of the Sahitya Akademi (1979), Jnanpith (1996) and Ramon Magsaysay (1996) awards, amongst several other literary honours. She was also awarded the Padmasree in 1986, for her activist work amongst dispossessed tribal communities.

In the late 70s, Mahasweta Devi turned her attention to the marginalized tribals and untouchable poor of eastern India, particularly Bihar and West Bengal. She travelled widely, living with and building an intimate connection with them; and she began to contribute articles to several leading newspapers and journals, drawing on firsthand experience. In 1980 she started editing a Bengali quarterly, Bortika, which she turned into a forum where poor peasants, agricultural labourers, tribals, factory workers, richshaw pullers and all those who have no voice elsewhere, could write about their lives and problems.

This volume is a collection of her activist prose written between 1981 and 1992, including most of her articles in English from journals and newspapers like Economic and Political Weekly, Business Standard, Sunday and Frontier, several Bengali pieces in translation, and editorials from Bortika. The selection has been careful to include all her important writings on the issues which have preoccupied her over the years: short-sighted rural development projects, the degradation of tribal life and the environment, land alienation, and the exploitation and struggles of the landless and small peasants, sharecroppers, bonded labour, contract labour, and miners. She bears stern testimony to the harsh reality of their lives.

About the Author:

MAITREYA GHATAK, who has edited and introduced this collection, is a social researcher with considerable field experience, who has been closely associated with Mahasweta Devi's activism over the years.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTIONvii
THE BONDED LABOURERS OF PALAMAU
Back to Bondage1
The Slaves of Palamau10
Palamau in Bondage: Foreover?15
Report from Palamau24
CONTRACT LABOUR
Contract Labour or Bondage Labour?30
An Eastside Story: Construction Labourers in West Bengal41
NO ESCAPE
Witch Sabbath at Singbhum48
A Countryside Slowly Dying58
Eucalyptus: Why?64
LAND AND EMPLOYMENT
Land Alienation among Tribals in West Bengal70
The Call Never Comes81
Palamau, a Vast Crematorium87
POLITICAL AND CULTURAL DIMENSTIONS OF DISCRIMINATION
The Jharkhand Movement and Separatism96
Tribal Language and Literature: The Need for Recognition107
LADHAS AND KHERIAS OF WEST BENGAL
Lodhas of West Bengal114
Kherias of West Bengal 132
The Story of Chuni Kotal 139
ORGANIZATIONS OF THE RURAL POOR
Samitis: Change through Participation146
Organizing Unorganized Rural Labour153
SUPERSTITION, CASTEISM AND COMMUNALISM
Witch-Hunting in West Bengal: In whose Interest?166
Death of a Crusader181
Beyond Communalism186
The Chains of Untouchability188
Untouchability in West Bengal191
A TRIBUTE
Remembering Asoke Bose196
A Brief Note on the Rural Administrative Structure212
Glossary214

Add a review

Your email address will not be published *

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Post a Query

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Related Items