Mainstreaming the subaltern

Print edition : January 25, 2013

C. Ayyappan, short story writer. Fiction writers such as Ayyappan and Raghavan Atholi and poets such as S. Joseph create a language of their own, often retrieving from oblivion words and phrases seldom used in mainstream Malayalam literature. Photo: Vipin Chandran

S. Joseph. Photo: adfs

Raghavan Atholi. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Bama Faustina, Dalit writer. Photo: afsf

P. Sivakami. A new kind of critique of Brahminism, different from the anti-Brahminism of the non-Brahmin leaders rooted in Hinduism, is what made possible the works of Imayam Sivakami and Bama. Photo: S.S. Kumar

Ravikumar. His poems go beyond the discourse of victimisation and celebrate the Dalit past and cultural identity. Photo: M. Vedhan

The roots of Dalit literature in Kerala and Tamil Nadu lie in the strong corpus of oral and ritualistic literature that interrogated the caste system and the practice of untouchability.
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