An Introduction to Dalit Literature through Poetry [Bi-Lingual Course]

Home/ An Introduction to Dalit Literature through Poetry [Bi-Lingual Course]
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSUSEL19144

Semester and Year Offered: 5th Semester, 2018

Course Coordinator and Team: Mrityunjay Tripathi

Email of course coordinator: mrityunjay[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Course Objectives/Description:

This course will introduce students with the political and cultural context in which Dalit literature as a distinct domain of knowledge production emerged in modern India. It will also discuss how Dalit writing as a distinct form of writing creates a different contemporary and historical understanding of the society and how it challenges the mainstream literary conventions. It will also introduce some of the important debates in Dalit literary criticism to the students. Dalit literature asserted itself in the beginning of 1990s in Hindi Literature. It was welcomed with a great denial and rejected by the upper caste literary establishment. These rejections were based on the arguments like immaturity of forms, lack of literary techniques and use of abusive language. At the same time Dalit women writers also struggled to make their point as doubly oppressed group in a deeply patriarchal society. They are questioning the oppression by caste hierarchies and the patriarchy. Since 1970s Dalit literature has travelled a long way. It has silenced its critics by enormous creativity and exposed the caste biases of the critiques. Initially poetry and short stories were not considered as main form of Dalit expression but today this is not the case. This course is a modest effort to understand and trace the changes in Dalit literature through poetry and selected readings/essays and train students in parallel aesthetics created by Dalit literature.

Course Outcomes:

  1. भारतीय समाज की वंचित समुदाय की साहित्यिक अभिव्यक्ति से परिचय कराना।
  2. दलित लेखन के उभार की गंभीरता की समझ पैदा करना।
  3. विद्रोह से लेकर विकल्प तक की दलित चेतना की वैचारिक यात्रा को स्पष्ट करना।
  4. दलित कविता और नए सौंदर्यशास्त्र की विशेषताओं को उजागर करना।

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Introduction to Dalit Literature:

Ambedkar and Dalit literature, Achhoot, Harijan and Dalit: Changing identities and assertion of Dalit consciousness, Svanubhooti Vs Sahanubhooti, Parallel Aesthetics

Module -2: Smashing Sublime: Dalit Poetry:

Tracing roots in Marathi Dalit poetry, Changing Landscape: Rural-Urban, Class-Caste-Gender

Module -3: Poems:

अछूत की शिकायत (हीरा डोम), सुनो ब्राह्मण (मालखान सिंह), ठाकुर का कुवाँ (ओम प्रकाश वाल्मीकि), अम्माँ (पूनम तुषामण), तब तुम्हारी निष्ठा क्या होती (कँवल भारती), मैं दूँगा माकूल जवाब (असंग घोष), सियासत (सी बी भारती),Last Love Letter, Fire, Love and War, Another Paradise Lost, We will Rebuild Worlds (Meena Kandasamy), Identity Card (S. Joseph), Naked Truth with Love (Sunny Kavikkad), Black Dance (KKS Das)

Assessment Details with weightage:

  • Assessment 1: 30%
  • Evaluation of the understanding about Dalit Consciousness- Take Home Assignment
  • Assessment 2: 30%
  • Evaluation of the understanding about rural-Urban Class-Caste-Gender in the context of Dalit Poetry- Class presentation
  • Assessment 3: 40%
  • Evaluation of the understanding of the Dalit poetry- End Semester Exam

Reading List:

  • All the poems will be compiled as a reader.
  • दलित साहित्य का सौंदर्यशास्त्र - ओम प्रकाश वाल्मीकि, नेहा पब्लिशर्स, 2008
  • दलित साहित्य का सौंदर्यशास्त्र - शरण कुमार लिम्बाले, वाणी प्रकाशन, दिल्ली, 2005

Additional Reference:

दलित साहित्य का स्त्रीवादी स्वर,विमल थोरात,अनामिका पब्लिशर्स,नई दिल्ली, 2008

हिन्दी दलित साहित्य,मोहनदास नैमिशराय, साहित्य अकादमी, नई दिल्ली, 2011

  • दलित-चेतना: साहित्यिक एवं सामाजिक सरोकार: रमणिका गुप्ता, समीक्षा पब्लिकेशंस, 2008
  • डॉक्टर भीमराव अम्बेडकर : व्यक्तित्व के कुछ पहलू - मोहन सिंह, राजकमल प्रकाशन, दिल्ली, 2000
  • Women Contesting Culture: Changing Frames of Gender Politics in India’ (2012), Edited by Kavita Panjabi and Paromita Chakravarti, STREE
  • ‘Gender and Caste’ (2006) Edited by Anupama Rao, Kali for Women
  • No Alphabet in Sight, Edited by Susie Tharu and K. Satyanarayana, (2011), Penguin books
  • ‘The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory’ (2012), Gopal Guru, Sunder Sarukkai, Oxford University Press