Literature from Margins: Dalits and Caste in Urban Spaces

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Dr. V. Rajunayak


Legally caste based discrimination is banned in India and on the surface level the upper caste intellectuals, social activists, politicians and religious leaders have created a myth that there is no caste based discrimination in India, at least in the urban spaces. In 1935, Mulk Raj Anand who is deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi while writing his novel Untouchable predicted that the use of technology while cleaning toilets would erase caste based discrimination because these people are considered untouchables for the dirty job they do. Just like most of the upper caste intellectuals untouchability has nothing to do with the nature of job rather it depends on who will own the resources both in India and abroad that is why untouchability is practiced in all the places wherever Hindus live. Whenever the upper caste Hindus feel threatened due to economic, intellectual growth, and social upliftment they become violent and use state machinery, non-state agencies as well as psychological torturing to push them back to their positions as evident from the way Payal Tadvi is tortured to the point of committing suicide. However in the age of democracies where they need number to form governments they try their best to Hinduize the Dalits.

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