Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dalit movement & literary phenomenon

In 2004, the French Institute of Pondicherry provided a platform for about a dozen Dalit writers in Tamil to reflect on their experiences in the Dalit literary movement. What they said on the occasion, along with extracts from their writings, were published later. And the book under review is an English translation of that publication. David C. Buck, an American academic who has translated some medieval Tamil texts, has joined the editor of the Tamil volume, Kannan M., in this venture.

The Dalit movement had a late start in Tamil Nadu, when compared to Maharashtra and Karnataka, largely because of the dynamics of the non-Brahmin Dravidian movement. It was only in the early 1990s — in the wake of the Mandal–Masjid developments, and in the context of Ambedkar centenary and the break-up of the Soviet Union and its impact on the Left movement — that the Dalit movement first manifested itself as a literary phenomenon in Tamil Nadu.

Full report here Hindu

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