Dalit literature: Decoding voices of resistance and despair | The Hindu On Books podcast

In this episode, Soma Basu reviews books by diverse authors that enrich the Dalit history month, celebrated every year in April.

April 30, 2024 09:51 am | Updated 05:49 pm IST

Celebrated as the Dalit History Month, April is the time to reflect upon Dalit literature. There are many books in multiple Indian languages that raise issues related to caste and casteist patriarchy, oppression of the marginalised communities and their quest for equality.

The Dalit history month was started in India in 2015 by a group of young women activists who came together to assert their rights and resistance to the existing class conscious system.

April also commemorates the birth of Babasaheb Ambedkar besides celebrating and honouring the prominent figures of the community who have contributed to the Dalit movement.

Dalit literature has its origins in the exploitation, persecution and exclusion of Dalits. The subjugation also gave birth to people who fought against race and ethnicity and championed civil rights movements. Treated as a strong and separate category of literature, the documentation of Dalit history and experiences lent a new voice to a more inclusive understanding of the community.

There are many books that have ushered in fresh perspectives for empowering those who have challenged oppression for social equality and human dignity. The books included in the podcast and the Bibliography are:

1. Annihilation of Caste and The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables by Dr.B R Ambedkar

2. Ambedkar: A Life by Shashi Tharoor

3. Harijan by Gopinath Mohanty

4. Baluta by Daya Pawar

5. When I Hid My Caste by Baburao Bagul

6. Jina Amucha by Baby Kamble

7. Karukku by Bama

8. Koolamaathaari by Perumal Murugan

9. Chandal Jibon by Manoranjan Byapari

10. Joothan by Omprakash Valmiki

Read the full article here

Edited by Jude Francis Weston

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