Bama is the pen-name of a Tamil Dalit woman, from a Roman Catholic family. She has published three main works: an autobiography, Karukku, ; a novel, . Bama’s Karukku: Dalit. Autobiography as Testimonio. Pramod K. Nayar. University of Hyderabad, India. Abstract. This essay argues that Dalit autobiographies. Karukku is the English translation of Bama’s seminal autobiography, which tells the story of a Dalit woman who left her convent to escape from the caste.

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Nick O’C rated it really liked it Feb 04, What I katukku the most about the book is how Bama writes an honest, vulnerable version of herself in it. A simple read and a karuku look into the lives that are largely left unaccounted. Kxrukku this manner, she presents the pervasiveness of caste oppression — how it not only punctuates everyday life, but is an integral part of it, even in the memory of a community.

And I wonder if caste has seeped in much deeper than we realise. The book has to be written in this language, sorry the story has to be told in this way. Focused on the observations and thoughts of the narrator, at times the story seemed to exist in a vacuum. Bama focuses on two aspects, religion and caste to throw karukkku on the oppression Dalits fac Karukku is an intense autobiography that gives a searing account of the life of a Tamil Dalit Christian woman against a society which still discriminates on the basis of caste and practises untouchability.

She describes in detail her childhood in her village, her coming to terms with the reality that she is a Dalit, thus an untouchable and that she lived in a world that was hostile towards people like her. It is otherwise a partly nostalgic journey through her growing years, full of resentment on what life offered her or didn’t because of her caste and karukkk struggles to overcome it, albeit a tad unsuccessfully.

On graduation, she served as a nun for seven years. As she describes her journey from childhood to adulthood, she narrates how caste and religion shaped her life and identity, and how it also worked as an oppressive force in the lives of Dalits. Though she was a good student, she never hesitated to do household work or help her mother and grandmother earn some extra money by working in a farm.

Ambedkar till in their 20s. Can’t stop thinking about the karujku of her writing. The living condition of the Parayas, as Bama describes it, is pitiful; and the way they are abused by everyone up bam the caste ladder they karuoku to be on the lowest rung with even the police colluding is horrific.


Carolyn rated it really liked it Dec 08, Bama is the pen name of a Dalit Christian, a former nun who decided to renounce her habit and come out of the convent to fight for the rights of her community when she realised that in India, even the hallowed halls of the Roman Catholic church was contaminated with the po I have recently decided to read more of Indian literature, and subaltern literature in particular.

Apart from her experiences, Bama’s lucid prose makes this book interesting. Bama is the pen name of a Dalit Christian, a former nun who decided to renounce her habit and come out of the convent to fight for the rights of her community when she realised that in India, even the hallowed halls of the Roman Catholic church was contaminated with the poison of caste.

The dialect brings in the musical cadences of the language, each inflection and enunciation adding a specific meaning to the writing. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Chimmamanda Ngozie Adichie who is one of my favourite authors, says in The Danger of a Single Story, that there is an inherent danger in reducing human beings to just a single story; by doing so we are dehumanising them.

She writes of life there in all its vibrancy and colour, never making it seem like a place defined by a singular caste identity, yet a place that never forgets, and is never allowed to forget its caste identity. He provides lots of details and names of people around, and his story really starts taking shape as he comes in touch with other Dalit activists. Nevertheless, it still narrates the plight of a dalit, precisely of a dalit woman.

Retrieved from ” https: And yes, that is how it had to be. Preview — Karukku by Bama.

Karukku by Bama. Part of that disillusionment also came from the difference between what most religions preach and what they practice – speaking of poor but living in luxury, speaking of a benevolent and loving God but prescribing strict rituals to please him. Bama is the most celebrated contemporary Dalit woman writer. An autobiography by someone ‘untouchable’,actually touch your heart and mind.

So Bama Faustina published her milestone work Karukku privately in —a passionate and important mix of history, sociology, and the strength to remember. It is we who have to place them where they belong and bring about a changed and just society where all are equal. Nov 09, Jayasankar added it.


‘Karukku’: An Autobiography By Bama Exploring Her Tamil, Dalit And Christian Identity

By a felicitous pun, the Tamil word karukku, containing the word karuembryo or seed, also means freshness, newness. Open Preview See a Problem? The Classic Horror Stories H. Karukku broke barriers of tradition in more ways than one.

Karukku by Bama

Cody rated it liked it Oct 25, But if you read this in Tamil you are i Karukku reads as a serrating monologue, Bama packs a vicious punch in this svelte autobiographical novel. She recalls how she was treated differently from others as a Dalit woman and admonished harshly every time she tried to stand up for herself, think for herself or speak on behalf of those the convent was actually meant to serve.

Bama attributes education as the absolute reason for all her achievements bwma life and emphasises that only through education a change can happen. I wish to believe that my first hypothesis is true inspite of enough evidence in favour of the second one.

Originally written in Tamil, this translation catapulted this book into international recognition and it has been widely read and celebrated, discussed and analyzed in variety of ways.

Its nuance is incredible, as she describes not only her experiences as Dalit and a woman, but also the loneliness of her everyday life. Maybe I karuukku the wrong expectations, I don’t know.

Karukku – Bama Faustina, Lakshmi Holmström, Mini Krishnan – Oxford University Press

Aravindh Sachidanandam rated it it was amazing Jan 23, I have always loved reading about the emotionally open and evocative relationships that women share with themselves, their bodies, their several identities. Was it entirely my fault that I did not stumble upon her Let me oarukku this review by making a confession.

Ultimately, Bama decides that enough is enough and gets out. Bama’s novels focus on caste and gender discrimination. He seems to have been overshadowed by Gandhiji during the initial decades of independence.

Here’s an excellent introduction written by the Bamma Holmstrom which appeared in Outlook. Bama is unabashed with her admissions and her random musing in her writing.