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 DonovanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"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