HarperCollins Childrens Books
|Number of Pages
My Father Baliah by Y. B. Satyanarayana is a short account of the author's life and family over four generations.
The narrative of this story is lucid and deals largely with the way Narsaiah's grandson, Baliah, manages to educate himself and subsequently his children.
The novel showcases the struggle endured by the Madiga caste and the oppression faced due to the Nizam's revenue system. Narsaiah not only has to deal with the unfair arbitrary laws of the upper caste landlord, but also has to cope with the death of his wife. Unable to cope with the series of misfortunes, he takes up a job at the railways.
The family still remain under the oppressive hand of the upper caste owners despite their move from the feudal village to a capitalist town.
Growing up, Baliah faces his share of personal problems and is subjected to cruel treatment from his stepmother. Things turn for the better when he gets married and procures a job at the railways. However, he struggles with his drinking habit and an extramarital affair.
Baliah's education enables the family to manage their financial conditions better. From then on, the novel traces the slow and steady success story of the author and his brothers.
My Father Baliah is considered an exemplary work in Dalit literature as it deals with important themes like untouchability within the prevailing caste system. The author keeps his familial traditions alive by incorporating the Telangana dialect and vividly describing the local streets he grew up in.
The author strives to highlight the importance of improving educational facilities for the underprivileged. This has been partly inspired from the policies of B. R. Ambedkar.
About Y. B. Satyanarayana
Y. B. Satyanarayana is best known for his book, My Father Baliah. He has worked extensively with Dalits and founded the Center For Dalit Studies.
Satyanarayana was associated with a college in Hyderabad where he served as the Principal. He even has a doctorate in Chemistry.