| Book Awards 2022 | Translated into English
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.