Saturday, August 13th, 2022 20:40:02

An Ingenious Anthology

By Ashok Kumar
Updated: July 6, 2019 1:33 pm

Indian English Literature has, no doubt, taken an interesting departure from traditional literature to the study of Dalits and Tribal literature. As is well-know to all, literature is an important component that not only drives us towards some superb realisation but also enriches our lives. It is nothing but a very stark reflection of our lives and culture. It is commonly held and eventually understood that the  growing impact of social media and information technology like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., apparently has not exerted any significant influence on the lives of Tribals and Dalits. However, new literature, which has emerged from these two neglected communities, actually being eluded from mainstream literature, is undergoing faster metamorphosis. In future course of time, literature may not be restricted to any given genre. It will surely cross the daunting boundaries to reach all the people.

Against this backdrop, this book is a humble attempt to make Dalit consciousness deep rooted in the literary minds of all readers and writers who are dealing with new expressions and experience, continuously struggling with different social issues and problems pertaining to Dalit identity and consciousness. The very word ‘Dalit’, derived from Sanskrit, means ‘ground’, ‘suppressed,’ ‘crushed,’ or ‘broken to pieces,’ is used to describe the people or communities that have remained downtrodden and who are historically and structurally suppressed and excluded from the mainstream of society. After the Government Act was passed in 1935, the word ‘Dalit’ got its English translation a ‘Depressed Classes’ to refer to downtrodden people of India, hitherto referred as ‘Harijan’ by Mahatma Gandhi. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar used Gandhi’s term so as to give a new, respectful and empowering identity to the so-called untouchable castes in preference to the term ‘Harijan’, which means ‘people of God’.

Dalit Literature:  Journey from Repression to Resistance

Edited by:- Dr S. Chelliah,

Dr Bijender Singh

published by: kalpaz publication

Price: `1250

Pages:314

Dr S Chelliah and Dr Bijender Singh’s anthology, a collection of twenty- six papers, is a wonderful addendum in the present warehouse of Dalit Literature. The first paper has been written by the editors encompassing a brief introduction on Dalit consciousness in India, writing in English. Dr Pallavi Saxena, Dr Suruchi Sharma, Dr V.Nagarajan, Dr F. Vincent Rajasekar, S. Divya and Dr Sakunthala A.I. have shed light on different works on Dalit themes in Indian writing in English. Dr C. Ramaya, Neha Raina, N. Kaushi Reddy and Dr Prachi have also focused on different aspects of Dalit Literature. Harish Mangalam, Dr V.Nagarajan, Dr S. Pushpalatha , Dr Jayashree Hazarika have focused on the general themes on Dalit Literature while Dr Shalini Saxena, Dr M. Richard Enrico, Dr V. Nagarajan, K.M. Keerthika, Sanjay Kumar, Disha Sharma, S.F. Filomine White Sheela, Dr Kusum Kanger, Dr Sumitra Singh and Dr Sadhana Agrawal have analysed different Dalit autobiographies from various perspectives.

One paper takes into consideration how despite so many years of Independence, India has still a long way to go in the case of uplifting the life of the Dalits, especially their women. The paper explores the writing trends on Dalit Literature and the feminists stand on it. Thus, all the papers yield this book a very ingenious look.

 

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