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What did Ekalavya see?

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam and S. Anand imagine the world as Ekalavya would have seen it, in their book and exhibition at Khoj Studios, Delhi—"Finding My Way". Here, there's no question of an adivasi learning archery from a city brahman, forget giving up his thumb. Ekalavya just gives them a lesson in life and ethics, and inflicts an easy defeat on the Pandavas.

Finding My Way: A Walkthrough

Did Ekalavya really give up his thumb? What did Ekalavya see when all that Arjuna focused on was the eye of the bird that Drona wanted him to see? How does Venkat Shyam (Venkat Raman Singh Shyam) turn his days of hunger and plying a rickshaw in Delhi into conceptual art in Khirki Extension?

S. Anand, co-author of Finding My Way, will conduct a walkthrough at Khoj Studios, where you will see a wheel spin, a monkey dancing on a tight rope, and a tiger from Kanha bearing witness.

The exhibition is open to all till 11 May, and copies of Navayana's special edition of the book are available for browsing at the exhibition.

Drop a mail to anand AT navayana.org or suresh AT khojworkshop.org to register.

Time 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm
4 May 2016—Wednesday
6 May 2016—Friday
8 May 2016—Sunday
11 May 2016—Wednesday

Venue: Khoj International Artists' Association with Juggernaut Books. For all those who missed the opening, here's a chance to catch up.

To make sure you find your way, follow these directions:
Map: http://khojworkshop.org/contact/

Nearest metro is Malaviya Nagar on the Yellow Line. Exit and take an auto towards Saket malls. Take the lane bang opposite Select City Walk entrance. Turn left along Hanuman and Shiv Mandir, and ask anyone for Khoj Studios—they will show you.
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‘Strong in culture, not weak in pain’
Against the Madness of Manu
B.R Ambedkar’s Writings on Brahmanical Patriarchy

A Brahman ‘mega convention’ in contemporary Pune reasserts faith in endogamy for ‘national interest’, and imposes new codes on Brahman women. A Brahman Congress leader suggests that a Dalit chief minister be raped and paid compensation. In his 1916 paper “Castes in India”, the 25-year-old Ambedkar offered the insight that the caste system thrives by its control of women, and that caste is a product of sustained endogamy. Since then, till the time he piloted the Hindu Code Bill, seeking to radicalise women’s rights in the 1950s, Ambedkar deployed a range of arguments to make his case against Brahmanism and its twin, patriarchy.


While Ambedkar’s original insights have been neglected by sociologists, political theorists and even feminists, they have been kept alive, celebrated and memorialised by Dalit musical troupes and booklets in Maharashtra. Sharmila Rege, in this compelling selection of Ambedkar’s writings on the theme of Brahmanical patriarchy, illuminates for us his unprecedented sociological observations. Rege demonstrates how and why Ambedkar laid the base for what was, properly speaking, a feminist take on caste.


Sharmila Rege (1954–2013) was a sociologist who headed the Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre, University of Pune. She is the author of Writing Caste/Writing Gender: Narrating Dalit Women’s Testimonios.



‘A brilliant and timely intervention in feminist scholarship in India, Dalit studies, legal sociology, and the sociology of caste’Kamala Visweswaran, author of Un/Common Cultures


‘In this volume, Sharmila Rege provides us a theoretically advanced interpretation of Babasaheb’s thinking on the interstices of the caste and feminist questions. Rege’s work assumes significance especially in the context of limited engagement with caste in mainstream feminism’—Gopal Guru, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

ISBN 9788189059538 | Rs 350 |
Paperback | 266 pages | 5.5 x 8.5” |  All rights available


In the Media

After finishing the manuscript of Against the Madness of Manu, in which she positioned Ambedkar as the central figure for the women's movement in India, she told her students and colleagues that now that the book was complete, she could die peacefully.—Obituary in The Hindu 


To read this book is to mine a world of layered scholarship and the rewards are diverse and rich. Against the Madness of Manu is an invitation to practise maithri, social fellowship of the most fundamental kind, and in that sense, it echoes that deeply moving and brilliant text, The Buddha and His Dhamma.—V. Geetha in EPW 


This book of under 250 pages manages to cover an enormous terrain along with commentary that delves into Ambedkar’s life and times, offering valuable and thought-provoking interpretations of his work... read this excellent book from which there is much to learn.—Mary John in Outlook


Against the Madness of Manu is a treasure! ... Rege has laid out the context beautifully, making the essays accessible to even a reader who may not have had any exposure to debates on caste in India... This book should be essential reading for all students of social science.—Janaki Abraham in Hindustan Times 

Read an Excerpt