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Dispossessed: Stories from India’s Margins


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AuthorAmod Shah, Anhad Imaan, Annie Baxi, Ashwin Parulkar, Rhea John, Saba Sharma, Shikha Sethia
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year2017
PublisherSpeaking Tiger
Ships By2-3 days


In 2005, starving members of the Bhuiya clanin one of Bihar’s poorest villages dug up a long-buried dead goat, cooked and ate it. Sixteen people died within days, twelve of them children.

Bengali-speaking Muslims who had moved to Rajasthan from West Bengal in the 1970s and ’80s were summarily declared Bangladeshi terrorists in the aftermath of the 2008 Jaipur bomb blasts. They remain stateless in their own country.

Landless Lodhas, members of an erstwhile ‘Criminal Tribe’ in Bihar, grapple even today with centuries of shame and dispossession.

These storiesÑalong with those of women with mental and physical disabilities in rural areas, homeless men living in Yamuna Pushta, inNew Delhi, and patients in a leprosy colonyin OrissaÑreveal both stigma and support,harsh lives, an uncaring, corrupt stateand moments of resilience.

Drawn from interviews and conversations as part of a study on destitution by the Centre for Equity Studies, Dispossessed: Stories from India’s Margins takes a wide-ranging view of what it meansto be destitute, displaced and marginalizedin contemporary India. Equally importantly, through these personal accounts of their research, the authors explore their own privilegesin comparison.

Written with sensitivity and care, this is an important book that perceptively questions India’s engagement with the people at its marginsand should be essential reading for all.

About the author
Ashwin Parulkar, Saba Sharma, Amod Shah, Shikha Sethia, Rhea John, Anhad Imaan and Annie Baxi have all worked with the Centre for Equity Studies on a study on destitution in India.

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