It is high time savarna Indians confronted their role as conspirators in perpetuating casteism, Brahminical patriarchy
We perpetuate the caste system by negating the existence of caste, trivialising the experience of people from marginalised castes, unseeing the absence of a large part of the country’s population from institutions.
India's Dalit Muslims, marginalised historically and in the present day, find scant mention in mainstream discourse
In times when Muslims are actively resisting state oppression and savagery, and valiantly propagating a counter-narrative to Islamophobia, they must also look to issues within the community.
Palasa 1978 does not merely narrate the resistance of Dalits — the film sings it.
Indian cinema and the Dalit identity: Veyilmarangal's searing depiction of displacement, dreams and hope
Bijukumar Damodaran’s Veyilmarangal — like his other stories — is also dream-like, but set in a reality we ruthlessly ignore.
Indian cinema and the Dalit identity: In Dhanush's 2019 film Asuran, the rise of a new national hero
Asuran is a story of a Dalit, Sivasamy (played by Dhanush), and his family. It is an unusual story in that it doesn’t succumb to violence or revenge, but rises about it.
'How can you be an artiste and not reflect the times?' The inside story of Arivu's fight against oppression
From ‘Sandai Seivom’ (Let's Fight, a protest song against the CAA) or 'Snowlin' (about the teenage girl shot dead during the Sterlite protest), Arivu's music — like his existence — is political.
With Maadathy — An Unfairy Tale, Leena Manimekalai skewers the blindness of dominant castes to oppression
Maadathy is a story woven from the day-to-day lives of Puthirai Vannar women. Maadathy is also the name of one of the mother goddesses worshipped in rural Tamil Nadu.
Dalit writing, global contexts: In ND Rajkumar's poetry, echoes of folk rhythms, myths and local history
ND Rajkumar's poetic voice is distinct, for it carries the stories of his ancestors, who did not bow down to their oppressors – oppressors who wanted to erase their existence from history. His style, on the other hand, has the rhythm of a folk artist
In Communist Kerala, S Joseph emerged as the forerunner of the Malayalam Dalit literary tradition. He was able to challenge Brahminical poetic traditions while offering verses that soothed the wounds of the lower caste people
Dalit writing, global contexts: Neerav Patel's Severed Tongue Speaks Out skewers casteism, with humour
Even as a bilingual writer (English and Gujarati) and despite being possessed of a poetic imagination far more creative than his contemporary Arun Kolatkar (upper caste, and bilingual), Neerav Patel wasn’t exempt from the prejudiced and casteist nature of Indian literary criticism. Savarna critics immortalised Kolatkar and invisiblised Patel.
Raja Dhale passes away aged 78: Remembering the tireless Panther who fired the Dalit literary imagination
Raja Dhale’s words gave voice, and a philosophy, to the grief of the masses — something that no writer of his time had hitherto been able to provide
To understand why Article 15 is not as progressive a film as it's being made out to be, we need to look at the Nagraj Manjule-directed Fandry
India and the Indian: My nationalism competes with China, not Pakistan, writes Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd
Our political life, lived around only village panchayats before 1950, is now connected to a larger constitutional democracy. In the future, this nationalist view will gain more prominence. The RSS nationalism will slowly but surely wither away.
Telling BR Ambedkar's story is difficult; for Bahujan filmmaker Jyoti Nisha, it has proven to be even more so
It is hard to tell Ambedkar’s story. Ironically, it is harder to tell his story if you are Dalit or Bahujan.
Pariyerum Perumal: Examining the anti-caste perspective of Mari Selvaraj's critically acclaimed film
The movie Pariyerum Perumal, directed by Mari Selvaraj, has been widely debated for its explicit discussions on caste. But is it really anti-caste?
Prahlad Shinde sang many of the Ambedkarite movement’s songs. But he also sang ‘devotional’ and ‘folk’ songs which brought him widespread popularity.
“Song is not a means of livelihood for me [sic]. It is a weapon to bring awareness in society,” Prakash Patankar said
Though his songs were popular and even sung by established singers, Uttam Mule was never given due credit
Kaala is not a 'Rajinikanth movie': A Dalit-Bahujan reading of the anti-caste politics in Pa Ranjith's film
Kaala contains within itself a Dalit-Bahujan life-world with an explicit anti-caste politics at the centre
Wamandada Kardak's work as a Dalit shahir was a breakthrough in terms of defining ‘culture’ in a Hindu Brahminical society