Branded by Law : Looking at Indias Denotified Tribes

Dilip DSouza, Penguin, 2001, xxiv, 200 p, ISBN : 0141007494, $11.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Branded by Law : Looking at Indias Denotified Tribes/Dilip DSouza

Contents: Introduction. 1. India’s denotified tribes: still criminal after all these years? 2. First encounters. 3. Respect, but only on paper. 4. A climate for an act. 5. The act and its use. 6. Things change. 7. Samples of history: post-independence. 8. Act after act. 9. A photographic interlude. 10. Police/administration attitudes. 11. One cop, some difference. 12. Three DNT stories. 13. Parallels in distrust. 14. Inside looking out. 15. Lessons. 16. On from here. Epilogue. Appendix. Bibliography. Index.

"How many of us know that there are millions of Indians, by some estimates 25 million, who were once branded ‘criminal’ by the law, and continue to live their lives even today under the burden of such a stereotype? It’s a startling thing, if you think about this and about the power of such a stereotype: how it affects those who suffer it and how it influences those who believe it.

Branded by Law raises such issues and demands such thought from all of us. It is the result of the author’s travels to meet with and talk to India’s once-criminal—now denotified—tribes all over the country. In this book, Dilip D’Souza examines the lives of these people and explores what it means to brand entire communities criminal, to live your life treated as a criminal simply because you are born in that community. The book also traces the historical and political reasons certain tribes were notified ‘criminal’ by the British, the constitutional attempts to denotify them after independence and their current situation.

The spirit of the book, however, is really an examination of prejudice. Too much goes on around us that is driven by meaningless, seldom questioned impressions we all hold about each other. Through the lives of these denotified tribes, perhaps India’s most forgotten, Dilip D’Souza seeks to challenge those impressions in your own mind, asking you to go further and question other prejudices you may live with."

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