Raising uneasy questions subtly


Published: Sunday, Mar 11, 2012, By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore |

In a rather unusual ceremony, SK Biswas, former director of Indian Institute of Science, released four books by social activists MC Raj and Jyothi Raj in the city on Saturday.

Unlike run-of-the-mill book launching events, the discussion that followed the release was not confined to these four books alone. Larger issues that concern the society like identity politics, development, moral policing and sexuality were interestingly dealt with.

The authors are well-known for having led one of the most powerful Dalit movements in Karnataka. They are the founders of Rural Education for Development Society (REDS), a people’s movement that was started in Tumkur district, and, by now, has spread across almost 2,000 villages of Karnataka.

Shouldn’t it reflect on basic aspects of life like health and sanitation? Saying that these questions are something that he often grapples with, Raj said his novels touch upon them subtly.

Of the four books, three are novels—Blissed Out, Raachi and Yoikana. The fourth book, World Parliament of Indigenous People, is a testament co-authored by Raj and his wife Jyothi. It is based on a first-of-its-kind conference of indigenous people organised at Booshakthi Kendra in Tumkur last year.

“The big question that Raj poses in all his books is that can human beings free themselves from the multi-dimensional hierarchy of caste, class, and gender posed on individual identity by the society,” Biswas said.

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