Award-winning journalist Valerie Mason-John will launch her latest book – Broken Voices: ‘Untouchable’ women speak out – in Glasgow on Friday evening.
Broken Voices documents the lives of the most oppressed people in India. It includes oral histories of the women, once known as untouchable, now commonly known as the Dalits giving first hand accounts of dowry burnings, marriage, living in villages and slums, begging and trafficking and includes contributions from professors, political activists, and artists.
Said Mason-John: “Broken Voices highlights the continuing issues of Human Rights and caste discrimination in today’s India. It’s original because it has been written by a Black British author of African descent, who is interested in oppressed peoples. I had the opportunity to work beside the women in rice fields, sleep in their homes in the slums and villages and I have tried to remain authentic to their voices by not editing out Indian English. It is rare that Indian Dalit women have the opportunity and courage to speak out about their lives.”
Broken Voices includes an accessible chapter on the background to the caste system and its origins and affect on the Indian population today. It also includes a chapter on the role of the untouchable Indian campaigner, Dr Ambedkar who was the main architect of today’s Indian constitution, and responsible for the introduction of positive discrimination (reservations) for untouchable people in employment and education.
Broken Voices will be launched at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre, 329 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3HW on Friday 18th April 08 at 7.30pm. Two women working in social projects with the Dalit women in India will also be present at the event. All are welcome.