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About casts and inequalities in India - The pink sari gang

It is funny: I had just finished a book about poverty and inequalities in India, when my (foreign) colleagues started asking me tons of questions about untouchability and the moment I got back in India, I got stuck in many parades of untouchables...

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A parade with cars blasting music and displaying pictures of Ambedkar and Buddha (explanation in the next post)

First, I’d like to talk about the book. It is written in French and called I, Sampat Pal, head of the pink sari gang by Sampat Pal and Anne Berthold (2008).india,castes,casts,caste,system,untouchability,intouchables,pariahs,pink sari gang,sampat pal,ambedkar,inequalities,poverty,discrimination

This is the incredible story of a small shepherdess who skipped field work without authorisation to attend school at a time when girls had no access to education. And then the little shepherdess with a very strong personality grew up and began to learn to sew. She became self-sufficient, independent and even starting sewing to other people. She discovered that one can change things – which is far from being obvious in India, since the caste system is inseparable of an unquestioned sense of the order of things.


She rebelled against the injustices inflicted to lower castes by higher castes or to women by men, against corruption and stealing of subsidised food, lands, jobs which the Government reserves for the poorest.


Most notably she realized that fighting together is the only way to be heard and she gathered thousands of women: the gang of the pink sari (their website: here).


An uplifting read!


To be continued in the next post…

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