Untouchables and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$48.60
Qty:1
  • List Price: $54.00
  • Save: $5.40 (10%)
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India Hardcover – October 11, 2005


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$48.60
$1.99 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India + Flammable: Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown
Price for both: $62.78

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743270797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743270793
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,467,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Jadhav, head of economic research for the Reserve Bank of India, is a member of India's Dalits--or untouchables--a group that numbers 165 million. His moving memoir is a tribute to his parents, who made it their goal to educate their children, especially his father, Damu, who stood up to the caste system. Jadhav paints a sweeping picture of the twentieth-century human-rights movement led by Babasaheb Ambedkar, leader of the Dalit movement and Damu's lifelong inspiration. Hearing Babasaheb's urging to "educate, organize, agitate," Damu finds the courage to defy his role as the village servant, a tradition dating back 3,500 years. Jadhav embellishes his tale of politics and the rights movement with poignant glimpses into his parents' everyday lives: how their hut leaked during the monsoons, shelling tamarind pods for pennies a day, the devastation of the plague on families packed into tenements. One of his most surprising revelations is that even today he is asked about his caste, which remains "an inseparable part" of his identity. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"A loving paean to courageous parents, and an indicting portrait of prejudice in modern-day India. This Indian bestseller will strike a chord in the U.S."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"Captures the life of India's villages and Bombay's slums with an anthropologist's precision and a novelist's humanity."
-- Asia Times

"A dramatic piece of writing that forces us to acknowledge the inhumanity and injustice of a social order that treats humans worse than animals."
-- The Tribune

"It's a story about dreams coming true -- the kind that audiences all over the world find irresistible."
-- The Hindu

"A searing narrative of a Dalit family's odyssey through oppression."
-- Sahara Times

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Wave Tossed on November 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book and ended up reading the entire book in one night -- it was that enthralling. This is a true account of a Dalit ("untouchable") family in India. The author -- Narendra Jadhav -- born into a Dalit sub-caste, has recorded the journals his father had kept of his parents' resistance against ancient prejudice.

Inspired by the Dalit leader, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Damu Jadhav (the author's father) finally had reached his limit on all of the indignities that had been thrust upon him by the higher-caste authorities. He refused to perform an unconscionable duty demanded of him by a village official; for this refusal, he was brutally beaten. This was the beginning of the family's quest for freedom. There are stirring accounts of demonstrations, led by Dr. Ambedkar, where Dalits (including Damu Jadhav and his wife) had demanded their human dignity. This account relates the Jadhav family's struggles, set against the Dalit human rights struggle.

Finally the reader sees how the Jadhav family emerged in triumph, having escaped their onerous discriminatory conditions, going through all sorts of conditions to make sure that the children would all receive a good education. Dr. Narendra Jadhav grew up to became an esteemed economist and his brothers and sisters also became eminent in their fields of study.

In the cities, prejudice against the Dalits has greatly diminished. Unfortunately, in India's vast rural areas, caste-based discrimination and violence continues to exist in far too many instances. This book lays out a foundation for ways to continue the fight for Dalit human rights.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dan K on April 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm Indian but I grew up here in the US and I wanted to learn about the caste system as I was raised Christian and my family does not believe in this backwards tradition. I've heard stories about the caste system but I thought this book would give me a better understanding of it's origins and ideology.

The book is actually very easy to read and you could finish it off in a day or two. The language is easy to understand and it flows very well. The story being told is the author's translation of his parents recollections during the early 1900's under the caste system in India. The book starts out well and hooks you immediately. The beginning story of how the author's father was beaten and treated as less-than-human really helps you to see how cruel the system is. Unfortunately that is really the only part in the book when you are able to see the cruelness of this system. The rest of the book reads more like a narrative. Somewhere in the middle, I started to lose my interest because I was expecting to see more of this cruel injustice but the author started discussing how his parents were walking on the beach, having kids, and traveling back and forth to Mumbai. That didn't sound like oppression to me. As an Indian, I've visited India and I have seen low caste people get treated like garbage and it breaks my heart because, as Americans, we just can't understand that in this society. I was expecting to understand why they do this in India but I didn't get that in this book. Actually, the first thing that came to my mind was that the way the author portrayed the caste system wasn't nearly as bad as what African-American's had to go through here in the US not so long ago.
Read more ›
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Rajamani on January 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Written in a rather spare style this book is not Arundhati Roy, but does provide a honest view of a Mahar family in the villages of Maharashtra and the slums of its capital Mumbai. In terms of the Indian caste ladder, Mahars are at the lowest rung and were (and in some mental pockets still are) considered 'untouchables'. The correct term for this lowest rung is "Dalit", and Dalits are found in almost all the regions of India, speaking each region's local language, at about 15-20% of the population. But the Mahars have been a little more fortunate than other regional Dalit communities, in their recent history. During the British Raj they were designated as a martial caste, and military regiments were organized from amongst them. Also B.R. Ambedkar, a lesser known visionary from early 20th century India, the 'architect' of free India's constitution, and a Mahar himself, was an inspiring force in showing the way for socio-economic progress.

I have some reservations about the English title of the book, and the original Marathi title, "My father and mother" just resonates a little more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Khatri on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of the authors parents and their lives as lower caste members of Indias social system. It is a great reminder of how tough the road for some people was/is because of the name their family carries. In India to this day a persons last name can attach to him or her heavy social baggage. Baggage that comes with social behavior not fit for animals. Mr. Jadhav writes about how his dad was determined to free his children from the bonds of caste by educating them.This book should be read by all young people of Indian origin. It is an important part of Indian history. Very akin to what the African American population faced during the years of segregation. This is a book worth owning.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?