Dalit Literature

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Abstract: Dalit literature is literary assertion of Dalit self-hood. Whereas post-colonial literature in Indian subcontinent incorporates exclusively the dominant Hinduistic literature, Dalit literature with a definitive view to engender justice, emancipation and empowerment in all possible sense of the terms for the Dalit-bahujans, encompasses an inclusive treatment of Dalit-life in this country. Joothan: A Dalit’s Life by Omprakash Valmiki is a veridical exercise of this Dalit literary sensibility and the present paper attempts a humble exploration of that alternative literary aesthetics which, underscoring a resistance to the hegemonic mainstream literature, find itself embodied in Joothan in particular and entire Dalit literature in general.…show more content…
The beef-eating Hinduism (or strictly speaking Brahminism which is the proper name of Hinduism in its earlier stage) absorbed the non-violence theory of Buddhism and became a religion of vegetarianism. But there is one thing which Hinduism has never been able to do- namely, to adjust itself to absorb the untouchables or to remove the bar of untouchability.” Evidently this hierarchical social order in India has traditionally been conducing to the homogenizing process of post-colonial subalternization and Dalit literature registering its strong protest against that process has emerged as a powerful ‘writing back’ against the canonical supremacy of Hinduistic literature in this…show more content…
He imbibed the succulence of great literature by writers like Pasternak, Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Pierre Louis, Tolstoy, Pearl Buck, Turgenev, Dostoevsky but his literary sensibility is more convincingly indebted to Dr. Ambedkar’s biography, Marxist literature and the writings of Marathi Dalit writers like Daya Pawar, Namdev Dhashal, Raja Dhale, Gangadhar Pantavane, Baburo Bagul, Keshav Meshram et al. Arun Prabha Mukherjee whose English translation of Valmiki’s Hindi text has brought Joothan in the world forum for aboriginal studies precisely recounts Valmiki’s this radical view of aesthetics. Mukherjee refers to his suspicion in the essentialist philosophy of Kalatmakta or formal beauty and Sarvabhoumikata or universality ‘as touchstone for judging literary merit.’ Literature is neither a luxurious escape hatch to evade the social realities nor a ‘tool’ to exclude the story of the common man in order to achieve universality. The very definition of literature as distilled through the consciousness of a Dalit writer like Valmiki unequivocally takes a humanist stance: ‘Literature is that discourse which stands on the side of a human being who is oppressed, who is in great peril, who wants to live. Literature should infuse him with the urge to live. Literature should shake him up, teach him to do

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