Late nineteenth century. Britain, the undisputed master of the Indian subcontinent, looks to control a rebellious multitude. They deem thuggery a hereditary defect, of those considered ‘born criminals’. Over two hundred communities across India are labelled as ‘Criminal Tribes’. They are forced into wired settlements, heavily monitored and subjected to humiliation. Post-independence, they are rechristened as Denotified Tribes. But the oppression continues. Identifying themselves as Vimukta or the liberated, the tribes that were imprisoned for generations have defiantly storied their freedom. This anthology, for the first time, collects their testimonies and the novel invocations of the Vimukta struggle.
Dakxin Bajrange is a filmmaker, playwright, director and activist born in Chharanagar, Ahmedabad. Besides helming several documentary films and ten plays, he made a feature-length film Sameer: The Perception.
Henry Schwarz is professor emeritus of English at Georgetown University, where he was director of the Program on Justice and Peace from 1999 to 2007. His books include Constructing the Criminal Tribe in Colonial India: Acting Like a Thief.
In the media
‘An extremely powerful narrative coming straight from the heart’—The Citizen
An excerpt from the book appeared in Scroll.in.
‘What a silly world. What stupendous strength and literature’—Ali Cobby Eckermann, Aboriginal poet and visual artist
‘What’s remarkable is the subjects speaking for themselves for the first time’—Bhangya Bhukya, author of Subjugated Nomads: The Lambadas under the Rule