SYAMAMMA

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - BOOKS -

Dalit fem­i­nist and Te­len­gana ac­tivist Gogu Shya­mala’s short sto­ries were all poignant and mem­o­rable, but one char­ac­ter stood out: Syamamma. Born into a Dalit fam­ily in ru­ral In­dia, Syamamma’s life is marked by chal­lenges, not the least of which is the prac­tice of mak­ing Dalit girls ‘ jogi­nis’ ( which means she’s avail­able for sex­ual ex­ploita­tion by all the up­per caste men in the vil­lage). The short story ‘ Raw Wound’, based on Shya­mala’s own life, is about how Syamamma es­capes this fate. She, like Shya­mala, is a cham­pion. In­sert roar­ing ap­plause here. cure older women we usu­ally see in pop­u­lar cul­ture. Plus, as far as we are con­cerned, any­one who helps an­other get an auto is a hero who de­serves all the adu­la­tion in the world.

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