Bhimayana  -  Experiences of Untouchability

Bhimayana - Experiences of Untouchability

Product ID: 29736

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Author: S Anand
Srividya Natarajan/
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Durgabai Vyam/Subhash Vyam
Publisher: Navayana
Year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 105
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788189059170


What does it mean to be an untouchable in India? Why do some Indians despise the touch of others? Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891–1956), one of India's foremost revolutionaries, recounts his experiences of growing up untouchable and being routinely discriminated against: in school at the age of 10, in Baroda after his return from Columbia University, and while traveling.

Battling odds, Ambedkar drafted the Constitution of India and eventually embraced Buddhism. Experiences similar to Ambedkar's continue to haunt a majority of India's 170 million dalits.

They are still denied water, shelter and the basic dignities of life.
In this ground-breaking work, Pardhan-Gond artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam interweave historical events like the Mahad satyagraha with contemporary incidents. Defying conventional grammar, they infuse fresh energy into the graphic idiom through their magical art mounted on an epic scale.


“An extraordinary book… No more rectangular framing or unilinear time. No more profiled individuals. Instead, a conference of corporeal experience across generations, full of pain and empathy.”
–JOHN BERGER, author of Ways of Seeing, in his Foreword.

“The story of the life of Bhimrao Ambedkar, one of India’s most important thinkers, has been deliberately sidelined for decades. Bhimayana re-tells it in the most unusually beautiful way. It is unforgettable.”
—ARUNDHATI ROY, author of The God of Small Things

“The artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam have dropped most of the West’s and manga’s typical comics conventions and boldly use of their own artistic heritage, the Pardhan Gond tradition, to craft a distinctive graphic biography of one of India’s bravest and greatest leaders, Bhimrao Ambedkar, an ‘untouchable’ and a fierce critic of Gandhi. Heavy in symbolism and motifs, Bhimayana is challenging in all the right ways and still conveys with flair who Ambedkar was and why his revolutionary ideas about the caste system still matter so much to the India of today.”
–JOE SACCO, author of Palestine