He was the shepherd of his village.
He would take his flock to the large green valleys for grazing. One day, he was grazing his flock, but he was bored. He wanted to have fun. When they arrived there, he began laughing at them. The villagers understood it was just a joke. They told him not to do this and returned to the village. Next day, he again wanted to have fun and did the same thing again.
The Shepherd Boy
There is a wolf! They got annoyed and warned him again not to do so. The other day, the boy was watching his flock grazing. Suddenly a wolf attacked to his flock.
The boy cried for help, but the villagers thought that he was joking again. No one showed up and the wolf ate up the half of the flock. The boy began to weep helplessly.
It seems to me that his entire oeuvre coheres as a single piece, as they have developed and matured in every following work. Hence, My Memoirs serves as a culmination of his writings and is a must-read. His writings, heavily experiential, narrate the trauma of a lower-caste individual growing up in independent India, which is moving toward Hindu nationalism at each step.
He sees danger in the hegemony of Brahmins and other twice-born upper castes that dominates the discourse on the nation.
Shepherd Boy Lyrics
His words hit hard while reading, for the lower castes as well for the upper castes. Ilaiah Shepherd underscores that none of the lower-caste leaders and intellectuals have ever written autobiographies, including Bhimrao Ambedkar and Mahatma Phule. With his memoir he intends to send a wider message of self-respect, emancipation, and dignity.
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The book is a valuable political, social, and anthropological document for understanding the caste system in India. Ilaiah Shepherd participated in the UN conference against racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia in Durban in , and a chapter in the book explains his observation of casteism among Indians abroad. His take on caste and class is worth reading, as the former takes preeminence in the South Asian context.
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For those who want to understand India from below and beyond Gandhi, yoga, and Bollywood, From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual is an indispensable resource. Skip to main content. Renew your Online Subscription.
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