Dalit writing, global contexts: The River Speaks by Bojja Tharakam stands as a poetic beacon against injustice
Even more than their content or literary merit, Bojja Tharakam’s poems stand tall for the history of resistance against oppression they narrate.
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: The tour de force that is Manoranjan Byapari's Interrogating My Chandal Life
Being a pioneer of Dalit literature in West Bengal, Manoranjan Byapari has ensured that the stories which were historically neglected and rejected by Brahminical literary pundits no longer need their mercy or even their attention.
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.
Dalit writing, global contexts: Om Prakash Valmiki's Joothan is the shining pinnacle of Hindi Dalit literature
The English translation of Joothan — a magnum opus of Hindi Dalit literature — is an event in which we have witnessed both, the importance of translation as well as how translation of Dalit literature has many political dimensions that are yet to be unravelled.
Dalit writing, global contexts: Re-examining the legacy of Lal Singh Dil, Punjab's 'Poet of the Revolution'
Lal Singh Dil — affectionately known as Dil to his friends and admirers — was a poet, a lover, a wanderer, a truth-seeker, tea vendor and above all, among the most brilliant minds Punjab produced in the field of literature
Dalit writing, global contexts: In Days Will Come Back, Kamal Dev Pall unmasks an unseen, unspoken of Punjab
What makes Days Will Come Back significant is not only its status as the first Dalit Punjabi poetry collection to be translated in English, but also the literary imagination it offers; indeed it change the very way in which we look at the idea of Punjab.
Simplicity is what muscles poet and acclaimed translator Loknath Yashwant’s poetry. His work stands out from Dalit poets of the past and present because he is able to process sentiment rationally. He became a household name because his poems offered wisdom and astonished the reader, allowing them to look and assess their own lives with a renewed vision.
Dalit writing, global contexts: JV Pawar's poetry collection Blockade embodies the spirit of the Dalit Panthers
JV Pawar is an activist – more a Dalit Panther than a writer – and this reflects in his works. The poems in his collection Blockade speak of the Dalit community’s everyday life, their struggles, their agonies, and their hope amidst it all, as the purveyors of Babasaheb’s legacy. Despite his reputation as a historian-writer in Marathi, Blockade remained untouched, unreviewed and outside the discussions of English readers and critics
Neerav Patel, poet and pioneer of Dalit literature in Gujarat, passes away; but power of his verses lives on
Perhaps the first Dalit poet writing in English, at the centre of Neerav Patel’s poems was always the life of his people, his community, and his verses helped establish non-Brahmanical aesthetics and literary narratives in Gujarat.
Ambedkar Jayanti: A selection of Dalit literature, from Maharashtra's shahirs to contemporary songs of resistance
On Ambedkar Jayanti, a selection of Dalit literature ranging from the songs of Maharashtra's shahirs, to the works of radical writers in Maharashtra like Nagraj Manjule and Namdeo Dhasal, and works by contemporary writers
Adarsh Shinde was born into the tradition of Shinde-Shahi which spans three generations in his family. He embodies the change that the world of Ambedkari shahiri has undergone
If we listen carefully, Kadubai’s voice does not make us emotional. It puts to rest the confusions and incertitude within the anti-caste movement.
At a time when technology has enabled the propagation of Brahminical values at a mass scale, Sambhaji Bhagat continues to perform in slums and neglected neighbourhoods across Maharashtra
Suresh Bhat, who had failed his exams and faced humiliation because of a deformed leg, found the strength to fight because of the Ambedkarite literature he read
Vilas Ghogare portrayed the dreadful life of the workers that he observed up close, since he was a worker himself in Mumbai. He also spoke of his life as a Dalit — a life that he had inherited.
Despite creating a body of influential work and being one of the Dalit shahirs who took Ambedkar and his ideas to some of the most marginalised people in villages, Arjun Hari Bhalerao's work is still not known to many today
Dalit shahir B Kashinand was optimistic, determined and a dreamer of the Prabuddha Bharath (Enlightened Bharath)
Though his songs were popular and even sung by established singers, Uttam Mule was never given due credit