Dalit Autobiographies: The Dallit Movement

1944 Words 8 Pages
The Dalit movement, like any other phenomena, has no single ground; it is multi-dimensional in its historic, socio-political and cultural elements. These dimensions are reread and reinterpreted from time to time. Each interpretation has brought a new dimesion to the movement, at the same time we are put to ponder over pitfalls. Dalit literature, in particular Dalit autobiographies, provides a spectrum of different issues around Dalit movement. Dalit autobiographies reflect the ideas of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Ramasamy Periyar, Babu Jagjivanram, Karl Marx and post 1970’s developments in their own style. Both Dalit movement and autobiography have an intense and close association. An autobiography is generally is known to record personal achievement, …show more content…
They inspire each other and keep the race on. Dalit Literature plays the role of a vanguard of the Movement as it protects the interests of root cause of the movement. Dalit autobiographies are the monuments of self-respect. There are three factors that dominated both the movement and a dalit autobiography; hunger-self-respect, education-employment and untouchability-insult. In general terms an autobiography is a record of gray hair experience, but a Dalit autobiography breaks such traditional notion. That is why we find details in dalit autobiographies related to dalit suffering and dalits’ upsurge. For instance, Ooru Keri opens with a picture of subhuman treatment on dalits. The narration is associated with Siddalingaiah’s emotional attachment. Throughout the text one can find the reflection of Dalit movement- narrator’s uncle’s win in election followed by his death, Srirampura slum education, hostel days, and association with various political and literary activists. The beauty of the text is that human humiliation at every stage is shown with ‘laughter’. Siddalingaiah laughs at the hypocrisy of our society, “A dalit in Bangalore Rural district had been assaulted. We visited the village. He had huge injury on his head. They had tied a bandage around his head. We told him to get a photo taken so that we could hand it out for press publicity. He was smiling in the picture. Just before clicking, the photographer had …show more content…
With his regular sharp wit Siddalingaiah mocks at communist leaders, “During the summer holidays, I attended a camp of the Communist Party of India at Krishna Bhavan in Malleshwaram. The speakers were all worshippers of Russia. If we delegates asked critical questions about the Soviet Union, they exploded in anger” (Siddalingaiah 99). Siddalingaiah uses the place names intentionally for juxtaposition. DSS, Janatha Party, Vicharavadi Parishat and others were organizing and spreading theirs ideas from their huts and public parks; Communist Party was able to hold a discussion in A class hotel, and it is the same party that propagates class equality. Malagatti too refers to a hypocritical situation of a communist thinker. Immediately after lunch he tells the narrator, “My wife is not at home, I told that, didn’t I? We wash our plates.” Malagatti tells himself, “I too stay alone. Don’t’ I wash my plates at my house? Is this also a common communist attribute?” (Malagatti, Government.

Related Documents