Narayan has a point when he says he’s not a Dalit writer, but an Adivasi author. Tribals, though classified under the Scheduled Tribe category, cannot be referred to as Dalits. Like other sub-castes who have their own identity, tribals too have a unique social identity, he asserts. “Tribals are the ones who are marginalised and dumped in the backyards of the society, primarily due to geographical compulsions. We are being sidelined by even the so-called Dalits. Tribals are nobody’s slaves. We are blessed with the practical knowledge for living,” he adds.
Narayan believes there’s an essential disparity between so-called Dalit literary works and indigenous tribal literature. “For modern society, however, everything — that is everything that’s not of the Savarna — smacks of the Dalit touch. I’m totally ignorant about the Dalit way of life. None of the Dalit writers are in touch with me.
“Tribal literature comprises those writings which originate from the ones who are sidelined by both mainstream and dalit literature,” observes Narayan, the first and the foremost tribal writer in Malayalam and the award-winning author of Kocharethi.
Full report here Express Buzz