Author: Vibhavari Shirurkar
Translator(s)/ Edito: Yashodhara Deshpande Maitra
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126023562
The several nomadic tribes that existed in India were labeled ‘criminal tribe’s by the British Government, and were incarcerated in specially created settlement, called the ‘chorbasti’’, supervised by missionaries appointed by the British.
The ‘chorbastiwalllahs’ lived a sub-human existence, at the mercy of the elements, the British the missionaries, and the indifferent outside world.
Aaba, the protagonist of ‘The Victim’, is spirited away from the chorbasti by his uncle at age five, and is educated in a Gandhi boarding school. After completing his education, he returns to the chorbasti, determined to use his newly learned ideals of cleanliness, honesty, to make a difference in the lives of his breathren.
The chorbasti reeling under the harsh rules imposed on it, pulled apart by opposing forces: the British and the missionaries, the Communists, the millowners, try to accept and put into practice Aaba’s teachings…
The Victim is the first novel about Dalits; stark, simple and heartbreaking.