This is an IDF Exclusive for thinking readers of novels and biographies in 1400 words on what the novel AN UNDERHAND AFFAIR -Adhyyan Books just released is all about (ISBN 9 789388 644167 Rs 250 Amazon & Flipkart) and Rs 150 at Kotah House Souvenir Shop.

This small illustrated bio novel has three distinct parts and this FIRST PART covered  by IDF is sparked by a NEWS REPORT that an’IAS Dalit Officer Has Accused Top PMO Official Of Caste Bias’,( Sic Print) and another disgusting  story in Times of India (TOI) Front Page on 8th May right top side of a terrible rape called the ALWAR rape of an innocent homely Dalit wife by ruffians who took turns for hours, and thrashed the husband with sticks and robbed them. (See Photo of Report from TOI)

The book of 150 pages in first part covers the period 1930s to 1943 in BRITISH India and describes the life of Dalits who scavenge and clean toilets and the rape of a sexy intelligent 15 year old Dalit girl Nirmala who is brutally and repeatedly raped by two ruffians in a Muslim dominated Nawab’s neighbor hood near Faridabad. They pay her Rs 2 and call her a prostitute (Randi).

Nirmala cannot report the matter as her mother Sumitrabai is the poor Dalit Jamadarni in the Nawab’s household and would lose her job if word spread.  Jobs were few and Nirmala’s father was the Drunken Coolie at Faridabad Station and lived with a woman in a hut nearby. Nirmala goes into deep depression with poverty all around. .The British nuns at Jesus and Mary College help her abort and send her to the Meerut branch of the College where she excels but a senior girl makes her tend to lesbian actions.

 In disgust Nirmala  joins the QUIT INDIA 1942 march of Mahatma Gandhi from Meerut Chowk. She is arrested and 12 political girl prisoners Hindu Muslim and Christians,  spend few months in Tihar Jail where the British Superintendent  of Jails and his wife make their life pleasant and teach English literature and allow dancing and song with tutors, the jail hires. All British were not bad. Two girls learnt tennis too.

AN explanation.

IDF served in the fine Indian Navy from the late 1950s as a Cub Cadet when the Navy saw the last of the British officers. Capt Brown handed over 8,300 ton INS Delhi to Capt Adhar  K Chatterji in 1950 who handed over to Capt SG Karmarkar both from the Dufferin. Vice Admiral RD Katari took over as CNS in 1958 from a British Chief Vadm Stephen Carlill .

They were able officers and when Adm Katari came to inspect us as Cadets he asked handsome Sardar Cadet JMS Gill whether he ‘sailed’,   in a  clipped British accent he had picked up in UK doing Long TAS Course …….Gill a sardar from a remote village replied, “Some times Sir, and the Chief said, “ do it more often”. When Cdr Dolly Mehta commented that .Gill never sailed, Gill said. “ Sir I thought CNS asked me if I shaved as I do trim my beard often.” Laughter followed and humour was essential at sea…….Now they have TV !.

Indian officers and men of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) excelled in World War 2 but the 1946 Navy Mutiny made sure no credit was given to the Indian Navy in the British Maritime History and Churchill had a poor impression of India as he served in India. It is in the book.

But that is the reason that generation of 1950s and 60s later produced Flag Officers and Chiefs who grew up as professionals in the Navy under Anglo Indians and Parsees and Indian Officers trained in UK and by going to UK brought back 11 ships including INS Vikrant, Mysore 3 Brahmaputras, 3 Khuskris s and 2 Blackwood class ASW frigates and trained two generations.

They worked and played hard, drank and even ate beef and instilled Integrity and ensured there was tolerance and equality of all castes, religions, colour and creed and ensured no one could claim any privilege on these grounds. Religion and prayer was to be personal left in minds and Murtis and Crosses and Koran were  to be left inside lockers , never to be flaunted in ships and establishments. Restricted holidays allowed every faith and go ashore for his belief.

No Muslim or any Muslim could object to cook pork which was part of the allowance for breakfast. No Hindu could object to Corned Beef being eaten by officers bought from the Canteen. No vegetarian could say he will not eat from a plate a .non vegetarian has eaten. He did not object to clean his plate, No one could say I want Jhatka or Halal meat and that was the Navy that hastened victory in the 1971 war.

Many like me did not know that there were Dalits in India and many of our Topasses (Toilet Cleaners) with Naval rank and progression were Dalits. But caste is alive in India. A Chief Secretary-rank IAS officer has accused P.K. Mishra, additional principal secretary to the prime minister, and three other senior bureaucrats of committing atrocities against him under the SC/ST Act, and thwarting his career growth due to caste bias. The novel talks for India and its fine Navy in Part 2.


Ranjit B Rai

My Birth as a Dalit is My Fatal Accident-This is My Song

India which is ancient, is rich and endowed with great antiquity—–

Here the Kshatriya Emperor Ashoka waged ruthless battles, and unified Bharat,

His advisers were the Brahmins versed in the Upanishads and the Vedas

These Chanakya Brahmins lorded over all, for they knew Pali and Sanskrit.

In AD-Hindu Dharma, a way of life, was threatened by Jainism, and then Buddhism.

Pandits converted Hinduism into a religion and stratified society into castes,

Muslims came from the land of Chengiz Khan, to rule India for 700 years

The British followed as traders from the seas, and ruled Hindustan for 300 years.

My name is Nirmala, an unfortunate Dalit Girl born in British ruled India

And I lived in pre-Independence India where the evils of caste, raged rampant,

Dalits are the downtrodden, lower than the lowest, called the untouchables

They are the poor manual scavengers who served the upper castes and classes.

My mother was the hapless ‘ayah’ in a Muslim Nawab’s household

Apart from my mother and another Dalit scavenger, most employees were Muslims,

My father worked as a drunken coolie at the local Faridabad railway station

The family just eked out a living, I walked daily to a Catholic school far away.

I am pretty and oozed sex appeal, the Muslims wickedly remarked!

No wonder I was violently raped by the Nawab’s driver and his friend,

Having done me, they threw money at me and called me a Randi (prostitute)

I dared not report it, so I bore the scars silently and as bravely as I could.

I experienced what depression is; no one, not even the Jyotish could cure me.


The kind Catholic nuns took me in, so I could abort the child I began to carry,

And sent me to a far-away Catholic school to study and be cared for,

The call of Independence rent the air, led by a loin-clothed leader called Gandhiji.

Fired by nationalism I got entangled in a movement called ‘Quit India’ in 1942

Hoping, the terrible caste system which Bapuji promised, he will unshackle.


With other women, the British jailed me for rioting—we refused to apologise

But the kind and educated British jailor cared for us, and enlightened our lives.

On release, I had nowhere to go, my mother had gone to what was to become Pakistan

My British benefactor helped me enroll as a nurse in Delhi’s Lady Hardinge,

I worked to become the loveless lonely head nurse living in the hospital hostel

But I was a Dalit with a scarred life, and love, happiness and marriage evaded me.

Unni Nair who had served in the Navy and London came a calling

It was love at first sight, our ages were irrelevant, life became worth living,

Marriage followed in Surajkund, in Shakuntala-style, when we merely

Exchanged garlands and committed to love each other. This was what I had dreamt of.

My life was no more scarred, Unni’s too blossomed, he said with a doff

In love I was, lucky,

My name is Nirmala,

This is our story, of Nirmala the raped

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