With April being observed as Dalit History Month, here’s a list of new and classic titles that throw light on how caste discrimination continues to haunt India
Followers celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, on April 14, 2016 in Bhopal. File pic/Getty Images
The Dalit Truth
Edited by K Raju, national coordinator for the SC, ST, OBC and Minorities Departments of the Indian National Congress, this new collection of essays by Penguin Random House, scheduled for release on April 18, will bring together a range of voices that hope to offer insights into the social, educational, economic and cultural challenges faced by Dalits. The authors featured in the volume come from various fields of social existence; some of the names include economist Sukhdeo Thorat, academic Badri Narayan, activist Bhanwar Meghwanshi and youth thinkers like Jignesh Mevani and Suraj Yengde.
Price: Rs 699
Coming Out as Dalit
In this Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar-award winning book, journalist Yashica Dutt shares how Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s tragic suicide in 2016, changed something inside of her. She realised she had to stop living a lie, and admit to something that she had hidden for over a decade—that she was Dalit. “Living in a small town in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were no careers more coveted or respectable than medicine and engineering. But as a Dalit student who was growing up learning how to hide her caste, those career choices for me were neither easy nor accessible,” Dutt told mid-day in an earlier interview.
Price: Rs 599
This soon-to-release novel by veteran Gujarati author Dalpat Chauhan, who is one of the pioneers of Gujarat’s Dalit literary movement, is based on the murder of a Dalit boy by Rajput landlords in Kodaram village. It tells the story of Iso, a tanner by birth, who goes from being a child labourer to an adult serf on the estate of Mavaji.
Price: Rs 599
One of the first Dalit autobiographies published in India in 1978, Baluta written by Dalit Maharashtran poet and writer Daya Pawar, and translated by Jerry Pinto in 2015, is a recollection of memories about hardships, humiliation and honour. Pawar was born to a Mahar family in Dhamangaon, Maharashtra in 1935. In this no-holds-barred account, set in Bombay and rural Maharashtra of the 1940s and ’50s, Pawar throws light on the horrors of caste-based violence and untouchability. At the same time, it’s self-reflective, and delves into his
own personal failings.
Price: Rs 399