Watch: April's Firstpost Book Club | In conversation with Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd and Omprakash Mahato
The Firstpost Book Club read Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd and Karthik Raja Karuppusamy's The Shudras: Vision for a New Path in April.
The undying beat of the Dappu: How a traditional drum signifies dignity, revolution for the Madiga community
To upper caste communities, the Dappu is an untouchable's instrument, a drum to be played only at funerals. But for the Madigas, who are the only ones to create and play this instrument, it is a tradition with roots in folklore, an integral part of their lives, and a way of protesting oppression
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
Through the story of his life growing up in a basti, the discrimination Dalits face everyday and the love and creativity that binds the community together, Suraj Yengde challenges many notions in his book Caste Matters. In this conversation, he speaks about his experience as a Dalit in the West, the radical rebellion that is Dalit love, and how Brahmin participation in the anti-caste movement can be made more meaningful.
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.
Discourse around Zomato controversy fails to acknowledge role of caste in dictating our experiences with food
The Zomato controversy turns weary if it is reduced to yet another story brimming with stale clichés of communal cleavage or pious exemplars of communal harmony
The anti-caste movement, I guess, forgot to tell those like Dr Payal Tadvi, when they were alive, that it needs them — now and always; it forgot to tell them that their lives are precious.
The Radical in Ambedkar studies Babasaheb in context of global resistance, but is limited by privileged perspectives
The Radical in Ambedkar argues for a possible solidarity between the Dalit and African-American struggles against racist, castiest oppression by discussing similarities and differences between these two movements
Prahlad Shinde sang many of the Ambedkarite movement’s songs. But he also sang ‘devotional’ and ‘folk’ songs which brought him widespread popularity.