Land Guns Caste Women


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Author: Gita Ramaswamy

Why I had to write this book

This is the story of my reckoning with myself and the world around me. I was born into a Tamil brahmin family with roots in Kerala. For over five decades, the rugged Deccan landscape of Hyderabad and its surrounding districts has been my home. While burning the bra was considered radical in the West, in my family, wearing one when I was fourteen made me a slut. My younger days were marked by small insurrections and a passion for mathematics. I gravitated towards the Naxalite movement in the 1970s and went underground during the Emergency. My parents thought I had been brainwashed. They bundled me away to Madras, and sought to ‘rebrainwash’ me by subjecting me to shock treatment (electroconvulsive therapy). My memory got scrambled. Rescued and returned to Hyderabad, I could not recognize the man I wanted to marry. I was disoriented. To evade arrest during the Emergency, my husband Cyril Reddy and I moved to the north of India where we lived amongst the halmikis of Ghaziabad, teaching them English among other things. I often contemplated suicide. When we returned to Hyderabad in 1980, there was no family or party waiting for us. Yet this city was home. With the help of friends, we founded the Hyderabad Book Trust, a publishing house that Specializes in low-cost books. working mostly with leftists and Ambedkarites. It worked like a drug against my depression! woon became the face of HBT and I still am. Yet I could not…………….



Gita Ramaswamy