Anna Bhau Sathe is an illustrious Indian Dalit author, folk poet, staunch humanist and social reformer from India. National integration, unified and glorified Maharashtra, identity politics, class and caste struggle, eradication of caste, women's and tribal issues were some of the broad areas his mighty pen covered. Despite lacking any formal education, Sathe, the man of letters, produced 35 novels including Fakira (1959), which presently is in 46th edition and received 'Best Novel Award' from Government of Maharashtra. His 35 novels, a Travelogue: My Journey to Russia, 15 collections of short stories, 12 screenplays, 10 ballads including Ballad of Stalingrad, Ballad of Nanking, and Ballad of Berlin have gained a huge popularity locally and globally. Many of Anna Bhau's works have been translated in world languages. His novels Chitra, Fakira, short story Sultan, Khaprya Chor (A Balck Thief) have been translated in Russian, Police, Czech and many pan Indian languages.
Baliram Gaikwad (Translator)
Dr. Baliram Gaikwad is presently working as Registrar (I/C) of University of Mumbai and has served as Vice Principal and Head Department of English at N. G. Acharya and D. K. Marathe College Chembur, Mumbai for twenty two years. As Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow in University of Florida, he has accomplished Post Doctorate in 2013 and achieved Ph. D. in English from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra, India. Along with 22 years of teaching experience in English Literature at undergraduate and 15 years of Post-graduation level, he also guides Ph.D. scholars at University of Mumbai. Three researchers have acquired PhD under his guidance whereas five more are pursuing research work with him. Besides college administration as Vice Principal he has also shouldered responsibility as District Coordinator at the 50th Youth Festival of University of Mumbai.
Born into an untouchable community, Anna Bhau Sathe's upbringing and experiences shaped his writings and political activism. Winner of the Maharashtra Government's 'best novel' award, Fakira, among his best-known works, is one of the first prominent Dalit novels in Marathi.
The undaunted and ceaseless battle of the eponymous character, Fakira, for the collective welfare of his community forms the narrative. He revolts against the rural orthodox caste system and the British Raj to save his village from utter starvation, humiliation, and death. His efforts are dramatic and daring, and his methods in violation of the law. When attempts to capture him fail, the British authorities hold the community hostage, stating that unless Fakira surrenders, they will torture his people to death.
Translated by Prof. Baliram Gaikwad, Dalit magnanimity, fighting spirit, and thirst to live a dignified existence are at the core of the novel. Encompassing both historical and contemporary reality as well as the truest human emotions and situations, Fakira is part of a powerful literary genre that brings to the forefront the most encouraging, moving and realistic delineation of Dalit lives.
|Anna Bhau SatheBaliram Gaikwad