Social Importance of an Autobiography with an Example of “The Branded (Uchalya, 1999)”
Keywords:autobiography, social context, communication, the literature of the socially backward, contemporary context.
: The Branded (Uchalya), by Laxman Gaikwad, is originally written in Marathi which is later translated into English by P.A. Kolharkar. Laxman Gaikwad tried to depict the poverty and conditions of the misery of the Nomadic Tribes in India due to societal and political up-turnings in the mainstream literature. ‘Uchalya’ is one of the communities of the Nomadic Tribes. A tribe that is classified as ‘criminal’ in nature by birth since the British Rule till the later as to 31st August’ 1952. After Independence, the suffering still continues, by the own country people.
Even today, their condition has not changed in the Republic of India. The stigma of the criminality of the tribes still exists. We can have a contemporary example from an episode that recently happened in the Dhule district of Maharashtra where five men were lynched to the death by the angry villagers due to the child lifting rumours. These five people belonged to the Gosavi community (Nomadic Tribe) who had gone to that village for begging. People belonging to such small tribes have always been a victim to such atrocities since time memorial. Even today their economic conditions are poor because they don’t have their own land for their livelihood.
The main reason for such conditions of the nomadic tribes is the ‘rootlessness’ which is focused as the main theme of ‘Uchalya’. So, when we look around, we can simply find the existence of above-mentioned situations of nomadic tribes. This book focuses on the conditions of the nomadic tribes in a socio-economic context. So, the book is not only an autobiography but also a social document.
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