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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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'

The Janata Database Durable Link to this BLOG
Announcing Janata Pages

This is a long pending dream of mine. You know how I always describe the subject of our pictures, pointing out the interesting aspects? I identify them by their caste, their attire, their community or their profession, but never by name. Unless they are famous people, I never identify them. But indeed, they all are real people with fascinating stories about them!

I do not identify them for two reasons -- first, they have not given us the permission to do so. As a publisher I must respect their privacy and choice to be anonymous; secondly, these photographs were taken long time ago, and I cannot identify them, because I have never met most of them.

Yet, for a number of years I have felt the strong need to document the pictures as a primary source of history. My father was a self-professed camera monkey, and he has photographed thousands of people. I cannot tell you how many times people contact us and ask and inquire whether we have a picture of their relative, because they do not have any, and more often than not, we do have it!

So I thought that as long as the photograph was not offensive or insulting to the subject, it might be OK to identify them. My claim is that by identifying them in a respectful way, and documenting the place and the year of the photograph, I am making them into historical figures!

Example: When by dad was a young boy (1940s), during the village festival teru, his foot got stuck under the temple chariot the devotees were pulling. In the chaos that ensued, a tribal man "Bedu Gowda" carried Bappa to the tribal doctor (you know the guy who fixes broken bones by tying bamboo stick plaster) on his shoulders. It is a great story, and in the year 1982, my father met him, and photographed him (shown below). So instead of becoming a farmer belonging to the Halakki tribe, he now gets his rightful place as a family friend.


Bedu Gowda, Honavar, 1982

Check out the Janata Database Microsite at Kamat's Potpourri. You will see famous people and not so famous people. You will see old photos of people who became famous. I welcome reader contributions as well.

Link Recommendation

Youngest Victim of Outsourcing -- this blog entry makes you ponder about globalization at so many levels.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, September 14, 2008
Last Modified: 9/15/2008 12:11:16 AM

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