1 May So Bama Faustina published her milestone work Karukku privately in a passionate and important mix of history, sociology, and the. So Bama Faustina published her milestone work Karukku privately in a Her works have been translated into English, German, French, Telugu, and. 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, .

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The novel cannot be completely categorized as autobiographical because of the presence of fictional elements. For making such observations, Bama was ostracised by her own people who took time to realise that she was working for their common good. She writes of the oppression she faced within the convent to practice her religion and daily life in a particular manner. Focused on the observations and thoughts of the narrator, at times the story seemed to exist in a vacuum.

Her illustration of culture within Christian convents is shocking. She describes a college party that she did not karukku by bama in english because she could not afford to buy a new saree, karukku by bama in english in the bathroom until it was over.

Introduction To Karukku

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. Lists karukku by bama in english This Book. Aug 25, Ritu rated it really liked it Shelves: The politics of caste is not discussed in an extensive manner in this short-read; however the novella does portray oppression and the extent to which prejudice and hatred interferes karukkuu different sections of the Indian society owing to caste.

The book was originally written by her in Tamil in and translated into the English version that I read by Lakshmi Holmstrom in Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It was in that Bama left the convent that she had been a member of for seven years.


Karakku, very interestingly, also tells a story of Tamil Dalit Catholicism in the vocabulary that it uses, particularly in karukku by bama in english central chapter which describes her spiritual journey from childhood faith to her return home after departing from the convent. Varun rated it it was amazing Dec 31, Karukku, he says, is a singular example of a piece of writing which achieves this.

A masterpiece in Dalit and feminist literature, the latter without the author even realizing it. My first encounter with Dalit writing – and it was heartbreaking, beautiful and powerfully moving. And yes, that is how it had to be. Incidentally, both Valmiki and Bama do not seem to have heard of or read about Dr. The story of that conflict and its resolution forms the core of Karukku.

We are given a very full picture of the way in which the Church ordered karukku by bama in english influenced the lives of the Dalit Catholics. Bama captures a moment that contains a paradox: Karukku means palmyra leaves, which, with their serrated edges on both sides, are like double-edged swords.

Karukku by Bama. But parallel to this religious life is a socio-political self-education that takes off from the revelatory moment when she first understands what untouchability means.

Karukku is an intense autobiography that gives a karukku by bama in english 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 uses a Dalit style of language which overturns the decorum and aesthetics of received upper-class, upper-caste Tamil.

I owe it to Bama and her book for this simple realisation which has dawned karukku by bama in english me. Hence often there is a spin or a turn-around of meaning; a freshness in some of the coinages, and different routes and slippages in the way Catholicism has been naturalized and sometimes not into the Tamil of the text.

Karukku by Bama

Bama had her early education in her village. Can’t stop thinking about the strength of her writing. It is also in many ways an unusual autobiography. Bama remembers their games as children where they did role play as upper caste men insulting Dalits or as karukku by bama in english who went for work and came home to beat their wives up!


The first autobiography by a Dalit woman writer and a classic of subaltern writing, it is a bold and poignant tale of life outside mainstream Indian thought and function.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Advertisement opens in new window. But, in general, what put me off was this feeling of hypocrisy on the author’s part about caste discrimination – she tells us how her Paraya community was discriminated against but the tone she uses karukku by bama in english the communities that are even lower on the caste hierarchy gypsies, for example was quite discriminatory and stereotypical too.

Retrieved from ” https: By a felicitous pun, the Tamil word karukku, containing the word karuembryo or seed, also means freshness, newness. It is also important to note that Bama emglish uses the language of popular Catholicism, eschewing very largely, the terminology of theologians.

In Kerala, “pedigreed” Christian families – who claim to have been converted by St. With the encouragement of a friend, she wrote on her childhood experiences.

Introduction To Karukku

I have recently decided to read more of Indian literature, and subaltern literature in particular. The power of her narrative is in that she leaves the question of how women, Dalits, and in karukku by bama in english Dalit women will ever live in an easier world, unanswered.

An autobiography by someone ‘untouchable’,actually touch your heart and mind. Karukku broke barriers of tradition in more ways than one. Saturday, July 28, The English translation, first bg in and recognized as a new alphabet of experience, pushed Dalit writing into high relief.

Log into your account. They karukku become aware that they too were created in the likeness of God. Vivek Chander added it. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.