MY LIFE: The Journey of a Dalit Sociologist
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Professor Wankhede’s life-trajectory helps me to expand my horizon, and sharpen the liberating power of empathy. I being to understand what it means for a young Dalit to resist the tyranny of hierarchiacal/oppressive practices implicit in a caste-ridden society, overcome the age-old silence, acquire a new language of resistance, strive for the light of emancipator education, and establish himself as a distinguished sociologist/educationist. This blend of biography and history, or lived-experience and rigour of analysis has given a refreshingly different meaning to the book that ought to be read by all those who have not yet lost their dreams.
-Avijit Pathak, Professor of Sociology at JNU
Although there are few autobiographies written by Dalit literati and activists, this is the first by a Dalit academic sociologist. It is self-reflective and not anecdotal. It provides glimpses of Dr. Ambedar’s Samta Sainik Dal (SSD), a social movement for inculcating social and educational awareness among Dalits of Maharashtra during the 1950s…As a sociologist, the author provides ethnographic information of his village society in general and the Dalit habitat, in particular, social role formation among siblings, community culture and power relations in everyday social life, education institutional network in a non-metropolitan area and role of Dalits. Prof. Wankhede not only tells us his story but also his critical views on education policy and its functioning. His reflections on the present education system offer valuable Dalit perspective. The book would be useful for students and researchers of sociology and anthropology, and also, anyone who is interested to understand the lifeworld of the first generation educated Dalit.
-Ghanshyam Shah, Former Professor of JNU
Written as a self-reflective autobiography with pride, passion and humility, this book commends itself to a very wide readership. This includes those interested in and involved with social inequality, the continuing struggle for equality and recent Indian history and education. The author’s experiences are unique, insightful, inquisitive and intriguing.
-Ivan Reid, Professor at York St. John University