A Lesser Known Mutineer

It is peo­ple like these, from remote parts of India, that some­times show us the way.

The BBC reports:

Gau­r­is­hankar Rajak is a poor, “untouch­able” wash­er­man, who bare­ly went to school.

But the six­ty-some­thing Dalit from Dum­ka in the east­ern Indi­an state of Jhark­hand has pub­lished a news­pa­per every week with­out fail for the past 21 years, high­light­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion against the poor and local cor­rup­tion.

Mr Rajak’s four-page, hand­writ­ten Hin­di-news Din Dalit is pho­to­copied 100 times and sold to sub­scribers or past­ed onto Dumka’s main traf­fic lights, bus stands and roads.

Din Dalit is not just anoth­er small town news sheet — the news­pa­per is reg­is­tered with India’s Reg­is­trar of News­pa­pers, thanks to the efforts of India’s first Dalit Pres­i­dent, KR Narayanan, after Mr Rajak wrote to him.

He still wash­es clothes for a liv­ing, and spends his own mon­ey to bring out the news­pa­per. The ques­tion burn­ing in my mind is, why does it take 21 years for us to know about this?

Read the CNN-IBN report here, and watch the video here.
Pho­to Cred­its: BBC

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  • I’m sure the media, Mayawati-Mulayam and co will make noise over this mat­ter cit­ing caste based dis­crim­i­na­tion, when in real­i­ty to me it sounds more like an issue of rur­al voic­es (not) being heard.

  • Mr. Rajak is indeed a noble soul. Wish there were more like him.