Monday, September 13, 2010

"Dalit literature an integral part of Indian literary history"

Dalit literature, whether oral or written, has been an integral and enlivening part of Indian literary tradtions for centuries, eminent writer and academic U R Ananthamurthy has said. For the depressed classes like tribals and those destined to live in the lower rungs of the social hierarchy literature had always been a means to achieve "self-respect", the Jnanpith laureate said in Thiruvanathapuram last evening.

He was delivering a lecture on the "Contributions of Dalits to Indian literature", organised by Dr K Ayyappa Panicker Foundation, in honour of the late Malayalam poet and scholar. Quoting from Kannada and other Indian languages, Ananthamurthy said while non-Dalits could write about the Dalit situation they could not claim to represent the Dalits.

There had been several examples of non-Dalits writing on Dalit situation, like the famous Kannada novel "Chomana Dudi" by Shivaram Karanth. But there was a kind of arrogance when non-Dalits claimed to represent Dalits, he noted.

Full report here Hindustan Times

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