Voice of Resistance: Exploring Dalit Aesthetics in Omprakash Valmiki's Joothan
Keywords:Varna System, Harijan, Scheduled Castes, Social Construct, Intersectionality, Subaltern, Hegemony, Stratification
Dalit writing in India goes back to the times when there was no social awareness about the discrimination as it was putatively viewed as ‘God-ordained’ and ‘natural’. The embedded narratives contained therein, frame psychological patterns of the social scenario of those days and power play of then and today. Privation from the mainstream has presumably led to aggression and complexities in the minds of the people who were excluded from land’s ritualistic, religious practices for several millennials. Dalit writers of today are trying to give voice to the subaltern and people subsisting on the fringes of the society. Gayatri Spivak's ‘Can Subaltern Speak’ is now no more a rhetoric question in the sense Dalit writers are being included in today's discourse. They are able to make their space at least in their works which can reach to the masses. Present research article aims to examine the work Joothan, the poignant and much acclaimed autobiographical work penned by Omprakash Valmiki for its incisive tone and unsettling narrative which recounts, in no uncertain terms, the precarious and intersectional experience of Dalits.