Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Dalit is not a caste but a realization and is related to the experience, joys and sorrows, and struggles for those in the lowest stratum of society. It matures with a sociological point of view and is related to the principle of negativity, rebellion and loyalty to science, thus finally ending as revolutionary.

The non-Dalits do not like to call themselves Dalits. They feel that to do so is below their dignity.
This is not only true of non-Dalits but also of the educated and secure among the Dalits themselves.

The word 'Dalit' traditionally connotes wretchedness, poverty and humiliation. Hence the term has become derogatory. The non-dalits, therefore, pose the question; why should we call ourselves 'Dalits' ? But with reference to 'Dalit literary movement', we have not used the traditional meaning of the term but have added a new dimension and content to it.

'Dalit' means masses exploited and oppressed economically. socially, culturally, in the name of religion and other factors. Dalit writers,  hope that this exploited group of people will bring about a revolution in this country(Introductuon: Arjun Dangale: Poisoned Bread:).

Today, through the word Dalit remains the most recognizable word at national level, it is probably true that the majority of the people classified as 'Scheduled caste' reject it for self-identification. It is rejected for varying reasons.  In some cases, as among the new Buddhist of Maharashtra. Dalit is felt to be negative and confining, while being Buddhist gives broader, positive and human indent y. At the same time, the difference among scheduled castes have become stark, negating any unity that might be expressed in the use of words like Dalits.

In almost every region of India, there are a multitude of castes who were originally considered untouchables and are now classed as 'Scheduled castes'; there are  generally two large communities, one more educated and first to organised, the other more backward in educational and economic terms. The second group is now mobilizing, often in opposition to the first group. The conflict between Malas and Madigas of Andhra has now becomes notorious; but there are also the Chuharas/Bhangi group of the north and west, who identifies themselves most as Valmikis, the Matangs of the Maharashtra and others.

In most cases the latter group is wooed by various Hindu forces to identify themselves as Hindus, not Buddhist. In tamil Nadu, the two largest groups have been the one time Paraiyas and Pallars; the first may call themselves Dalits and frequently identify as Buddhist; the second are taking the name DKVs, Devendra Kula Vanniyars.

Along with the growing hostility between Dalit and OBCs, these difference have made the very term Dalit a symbol of broad revolt problematic(Gail Omvedt: Preface: Poisones Bread).

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