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How are hierarchies constructed? How do they work? How are they resisted? Seeking to recover histories and voices of those from below, this volume and its companion, Speaking Truth to Power
explore various issues raised by the lived realities of Dalits, a term deployed here broadly to encompass the specifics of the caste community while simultaneously pointing to solidarities with other marginalized groups. Together the two volumes examine areas like social hierarchy and reform, the role of religion, the idea of resistance, the functionality of the continued use of the term Dalit, and the scope of current and future Dalit literature.
This volume investigates a wide variety of issues related to Dalit politics and literature. Underlining the emergence of the Dalit as a new political subject, it brings together pertinent case studies from different regions and sectorsthe politics of the Chamars of Uttar Pradesh; the multiple identities of backward-caste Muslims; colonial oppression of peasants in Bombay Presidency; schooling of Dalit women; and the lives and stories of Bangladesh war victims of 1971.
The collection also examines B.R. Ambedkars alternative vision of economic development and the linkages betweenrace, caste, and discrimination. The last section discusses issues relating to the articulation of resistance in Dalit literaturethe role of the Dalit Lekhak Sangh; representations of women in short stories; and the underpinnings of Dalit poetry. The volume also analyses the paradoxes of such cultural politics.
Dedicated to Eleanor Zelliot, a pioneering scholar of Dalit studies, Claiming Power from Below
and Speaking Truth to Power
explore the lives and creations of Dalitsthe oppressedand seek to re-examine the subaltern question in the subcontinent through a variety of disciplines and academic approaches.
These books will interest scholars and students of Dalit and Third World studies, history, sociology, anthropology, and literature, as well as those concerned with the politics and histories of the dispossessed. The volumes will be especially useful for activists, policymakers, and civil society organizations and to all those working towards social upliftment and justice.
Claiming Power from Below Dalits and the Subaltern Question
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