A Study of the Portrayal of Dalit Experiences in Valmiki’s Joothan

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Dr. Sreekanth Katumala


The Dalit autobiographies reflect the veracity of Dalits. Valmiki’sJoothan (1997) is a commendable literary work as it vividly depicts the blatant realities of the life of Dalits in India. The Dalit autobiography is a document ofsocial realism. The very title Joothan literally means the scraps of food left on a plate which indicates how Dalits are sidelined and deprived of basic amenities like food, shelter, clothing, educational and medical facilities. They are looked down upon and ill-treated like animals. In the light of the sociological dynamics of caste system in India, the paper studies how the certain privileged sections treat under privileged in the name of religion and institutionalized customs and traditions. The paper alsovividly depicts the negative consequences of the hegemonic nature of caste systemamong human relations in Indian society.

 The hegemonic nature of caste system in the autobiography is seen in not only in its creation but also in its fortification against Dalits with the help of other communities of the society.

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