Women's Autobiographies In The Dalit Women

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The Dalits, called by different names like Dasyu, Dasa, Atisudra, Panchame, Tirukutdba, Adikarnataka, Adi Dravidia are actually the ‘Depressed Classes’ of Indian society. They are the people who are economically, socially and politically exploited since centuries. They have been systematically pushed to the periphery by the traditional Brahmanical structure of oppression. This exploitation is due to the discrimination followed by age old caste hierarchical tradition in the Hindu society. It has subjected them to a life of poverty and humiliation. Even after independence Dalits have not been allowed to live a life of dignity and equality. It is this idea of ‘equality’ which sparked the beginning of the Dalit Movement in India, as a protest to the age old atrocities committed against them.…show more content…
It is quite evident from Dalit women’s autobiographies that this was a major issue among the women. Its complete dismissal in the men’s narratives shows their apathy and the complete denial of violence at home. Dalit men like men of all classes and caste thus espouse the beating of wives and the general physical, mental and emotional trauma which the womenfolk have to bear within a household. In the narratives of Dalit women the everyday is a very important theme. The day to day private life as depicted in the autobiographies reveals the dark side of a patriarchal structure. We get a women’s perspective on things – what makes her world, her take on societal evils and her anguish, hopes and fears and also a remembrance of the past. The autobiographies are different not just because they reveal different experiences and different views but also because they unravel the bigger questions of memory, experience, general relations and familial structures which are the same across all societies and classes. Dalit autobiographies help us to think about the genre itself and its deployment by the two sexes. (DU Journals

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