Dalit Literature Festival, a platform for bringing the writings, literature, culture, and struggles of Dalit, Adivasi, and marginalized identities; an attempt to connect literature, culture and people’s movements
More than 100 writers, poets, cultural artists from dalit, adivasi, women, denotified tribes, minority and various marginalized communities and social activists will join the Dalit Literature Festival
New Delhi | February 01, 2019: The 1st Dalit Literature Festival is going to be held on 3-4 February at Kirori Mal College of Delhi University. More than 100 writers, poets, cultural artists in various languages from dalit, adivasi, women, denotified tribes, minority, and various marginalized communities and social activists will join us and put forward the struggles of communities through their literature, poems, artistic expressions and resistances. Today from the University Guest House, Dr. Namdev, convener of Dalit Literature Festival gave a brief detail about the festival and said that the Dalit Literature Festival has a primary objective to act as a platform for bringing the writings, literature, and culture of dalit, adivasi and marginalized communities in front of the society. The word ‘Dalit’ is kept as a theme for the 2019 edition of Dalit Literature Festival to reflect the same.
Suraj Badtiya, founder member of Dalit Literature Festival and a dalit-adivasi writer, said that the word ‘Dalit’, which has told us about the oppression of marginalized communities and their painful struggles, is facing an intensified attack. Even from many progressive and reactionary forces. There are very few writers or literary organisations who have a positive approach towards the writings of dalit, adivasi, and other marginalized communities. This motivated us, Ambedkarvadi Lekhak Sangh and many other organisations, to come together and conceptualize for the Dalit Literature Festival.
Sanjeev Danda, convener, Secretariat of Dalit Literature Festival shared that the organising committee contacted the people from dalit, adivasi, women, denotified tribes, minorities, and transgender communities from all over the country. Among them writers, artists, poets, and others from 15 languages will join us. Aahuti, one of the prominent dalit writer from Nepal will also come. Along with others, Medha Patkar from Narmada Bachao Andolan and National Alliance of People’s Movements will also be joining us. From Maharashtra, Lakshman Gaikwad, an adivasi writer awarded with Sahitya Academy Award; Sharan Kumar Limbale, a dalit writer; from Gujarat, Harish Mangalam and Adivasi poet and singer Govardhan Banjara; world famous artist Manmohan Bava, a known adivasi writer in Kannad language Shantha Naik; from Hyderabad, V. Krishna, from Trivandram, Jayasree, Shaamal Mustafa Khan, Sahitya Academy Award recipient Balbeer Madhopuri; Krantipal, Madan Veera, Mohan Tyagi and many others will be joining the festival. From Hindi literature, Mohandas Naimishrai, Jayprakash Kardam, Mamta Kaaliya, Chauthiram Yadav, Hariram Meena, Shyoraj Singh Bechen, Nirmala Putul, Balli Singh Cheema, and many other will also be joining us. From Bihar, Musafir Baitha, Prahlaadchand Das; from Bhopal, Asangaghosh; from Lucknow, the editor of Mantavya Pratrika and Gyaanpeeth award recipient writers and poet Hareprakash Upadhyaay; Malkhan Singh will be coming for the Dalit Literature Festival.
Prof. Hansraj Suman, member, Delhi University Academic Council and Director, Rhythm, said that the festival will important to witness the folk singers coming from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, and Gujarat who will be telling us about the dalit-adivasi culture and traditions through their songs. Balraj Singh Sihmaar, President, Ambedkarvadi Lekhak Sangh, said that the festival was in conception since last two years and after a lot of discussion and courage, we are bringing this with the help of people from all over the country who will be coming to attend the festival. Prof. Pramod Mehra from IGNOU said that there will be six parallel sessions among which one will be in English and another on various languages from India. Apart from this, we will be showing the documentary on dalit, adivasi, women, and minorities on both days. With this Dalit Literature Festival, there will be an attempt to propagate the social justice, equity, and harmony that will be helpful further in eradicating the caste system.
Dr Hemlata Kumar, a feminist intellectual and professor from Delhi University said that the corporate forces have started capturing the spaces provided in literature as well. The patriarchal attacks are increasingly influencing the society and literature. In such circumstances, even the women are considered to be dalits. Thus, the dalit literature festival will play an important role in reassertion and towards making a society with gender equality and justice. Mukesh Mirotha, a dalit thinker and Professor from Jamia Milia Islamia shared that Aahuti, a dalit writer from Nepal, Bejwada Wilson, and Medha Patkar, a renowned social activist will join the festival during inauguration. We appeal everyone to come and join us on 3-4 February, 2019 at Kirori Mal College and contribute towards making the Dalit Literature Festival, a success.
Organisers: Ambedkarvadi Lekhak Sangh, Hindi Deptt. Kirori Mal College, Rashmi Prakashan Lucknow, Ridam Patrika, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG), Alag Duniya, Mantavya Patrika, Akshar publishers & distributors delhi, Forum for Democracy, Magadh Foundation, Kahani Punjab, Ambedkar World.
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