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.