Untouchable : An Indian Life History book cover
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Untouchable
An Indian Life History





ISBN 9781138634572
Published September 3, 2018 by Routledge
434 Pages

 
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Book Description

Nearly 16% of India’s population – or over 100 million people – are untouchables. Most of them, despite decades of government efforts to improve their economic and social position, remain desperately poor, illiterate, subject to brutal discrimination and economic exploitation, and with no prospect for improvement of their condition. This is the autobiography, first published in 1979, of Muli, a 40-year-old untouchable of the Bauri caste, living in the Indian state of Orissa, as told to an American anthropologist. Muli is a narrator who combines rich descriptions of daily life with perceptive observations of his social surroundings. He describes with absorbing detail what it is like to be at the bottom of Indian life, and what happens when an untouchable attempts to break out of his accepted role.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Muli: An Indian Untouchable  1. Introducing Muli  2. Collecting Muli’s Life History  3. The Setting of Muli’s Life History  Part 2. Youth and Hopes  4. Muli’s Childhood, 1932-44  5. Bauris ‘Lift Up Their Faces’, 1947-8  6. A Guru for the Bauris, 1948  7. Koki’s Abortion, 1948  8. ‘I Like You Sixteen Annas’ Worth’, 1948  9. Grandmother Dungi’s Death, 1948  10. Koki’s Marriage, 1948-9  11. Doctor Babu, 1949  12. Dash Babu’s ‘Hot Disease’, 1949  Part 3. The Reluctant Householder  13. Muli’s Inauspicious Marriage, 1950-2  14. Travelling with Lakhi the Prostitute, 1953  15. Kia Possessed, 1953-6   16. Grandfather Dharma, 1956-7  17. The White Bullocks, 1957  18. Starvation and Family Quarrels, 1957-8  19. Brother Anadi, 1950-60  20. Kia’s Illness, 1960  21. Marrying and Divorcing a Tree Trunk, 1961  Part 4. Bad Times  22. A Successful Business Venture, 1962  23. Muli’s Other Wife, 1962  24. Living with Two Wives, 1962-3  25. ‘We Sit Under People’s Feet’, 1965-9  26. Transvestites and Prostitutes, 1969-72  27. Kia’s Attempted Suicide, 1971-2  28. ‘The Taker of Discarded Rinds’, 1970-1  29. Harvest Tragedy, 1971-2  Part 5. Interpretations  30. Analysis of Muli’s Life History  31. Conclusions

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