'Proud to be part of dalit literature'
November 18, 2011
Dalit poets do not mind their work being branded as dalit poetry.
"Dalit literature is now the most noted branch in Indian literature
and we are only proud to be part of it," said poet S. Joseph.
"Vailoppilly Sreedhara Menon had once said he had first known
Kumaranasan only as an ezhva poet," he added.
Compartmentalisiton, Mr Joseph said, is a way of life. He was speaking
on the topic, 'We Sing of Earth: Dalit Poetry in Malayalam', at the
Hay Festival here on Thursday.
Dalit poet Vijila Chirappad said tht she was not published in any of
the mainstream Malayalam periodicals. "I don't mind that. If my poetry
is truthful, it will survive," she said.
However, it was a mainstream periodical that thrust another dalit
poet, Mr M.B. Manoj, to the limelight. "I was taken note of after one
of my poems was published in a dalit special issue brought out by
'Bhashaposhini'," Mr Manoj said.
Mr Sunny Kappikad said it was the realisation that even revolutionary
parties were cold-shouldering dalit issues that provoked him to take
up poetry. "I am just trying to give vent to our emotional turmoils,"
Mr Renu Kumar, a dalit poet and painter, was led into poetry through
the most mundane of activities – the writing of love letters.
"In school my friends used to ask me to spice up their love letters.
The letters that I had corrected seemed to deliver results. They
seemed to have sowed the first seeds of desire in me to write poems,"
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