The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
B. Kesharshivam born and raised in poverty in the dalit moholla of Kalol in north Gujarat, passed the Gujarat Public Service Examinations to become a mamlatdar, a revenue officer, and finally a Class 1 officer who held many significant postings including comptroller of the household to the governor of Gujarat. Yet as he says, ‘At every step in life I was made aware of being a dalit.’ Translated from the Gujarati original, Purnasatya, this is the first autobiography of a dalit in Gujarati. Beginning with his life as a child who plays in the dust of the bone meal factory, where he later works, going on to labour with his parents in the ‘cotter mill’, the book presents a non-sentimental account of a childhood where friendships exist, sometimes across castes, and discrimination and abuse are constants. The second part of his story relates to his working life, his struggles on behalf of the dalits and the tribal populations against a backdrop of continuous discrimination.