Fellowship: People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI)

People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI): Documenting the everyday lives of everyday people. Founder Editor of PARI, P Sainath has called it living journal, a breathing archive of the world’s most diverse and complex countryside. As Sainath says, in section on the story of PARI, ‘there is surely much in rural India that should die. Much in rural India that is tyrannical, oppressive, regressive and brutal — and which needs to go. Untouchability, feudalism, bonded labour, extreme caste and gender oppression and exploitation, land grab and more. The tragedy, though, is that the nature of the transformation underway more often tends to bolster the regressive and the barbaric, while undermining the best and the diverse’. As part of my Fellowship for the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), I along with journalist and film maker Sunzu Bachaspatimayum have produced three short films and reportage on the lives and traditions of one community in Manipur. The films and the accompanying pieces can be found on the PARI website.

  • Pung: The king of musical instruments, the Pung is central to the spectacular music and dance of Manipur’s Meitei community.
  • Ima Keithel: The story of the women’s market, the Ima Keithel once known as the Sana Keithel, the royal market. Run entirely by women, this market represents the life and ethos of Manipur, a state where women driven commerce is sanctified, where women have been at the forefront of political protests, a state where women are the face and bear the brunt of many struggles.
    • Ima Keithel, Manipur Photograph by Anubha Bhonsle
      At the Ima Keithel, Imphal, Manipur