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2740 Mon 10 Sep 2018 LESSON (83) Mon 10 Sep 2007 Do Good Be Mindful - Awakened One with Awareness (AOA) TIPITAKA The Pāli Language and Literature 2013 Abhidhamma Retreat 1/15 to 15/15 The Illustrated Dhammapada -Treasury of Truth in 01) Classical Magahi Magadh 02) Classical Chandaso language, 03)Magadhi Prakrit, 04) Classical Hela Basa (Hela Language), 05) Classical Pali, 06) Classical Deva Nagari, 07) Classical Cyrillic,29) Classical English,
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2740 Mon 10 Sep 2018 LESSON (83) Mon 10 Sep 2007 Do Good Be Mindful - Awakened One with Awareness (AOA) TIPITAKA The Pāli Language and Literature 2013 Abhidhamma Retreat 1/15 to 15/15 The Illustrated Dhammapada -Treasury of Truth in 01) Classical Magahi Magadh 02) Classical Chandaso language, 03)Magadhi Prakrit, 04) Classical Hela Basa (Hela Language), 05) Classical Pali, 06) Classical Deva Nagari, 07) Classical Cyrillic,29) Classical English,


Verse 353. Buddha Is Teacherless Beyond all beings, wise to all, unsoiled by dhamma all am I, left all and freed by craving’s end, by self I’ve known, whom teacher call? Explanation: I have overcome all, I know all, I am detached from all, I have given up all; I am liberated from moral defilements having eradicated craving. Having comprehended the four noble truths by myself, whom shall I point out as my teacher.


Verse 417. Beyond All Bonds Abandoned all human bonds and gone beyond the bonds of gods, unbound one is from every bond, that one I call a Brahmin True. Explanation: He has given up the bonds that bind him to humanity. He has gone beyond the bonds of attachment to life in heaven as well. This way, he is disengaged from all bonds. I declare such a person a brahmana.

The Story of the Monk who was once a Mime (Verse 417)

It is said that a certain mime, giving performances from place to place, heard the Buddha preach the Dhamma, whereupon he retired from the world, became a monk, and attained arahatship. One day, as he was entering the village for alms, in company with the congregation of monks presided over by the Buddha, the monks saw a certain mime going through his performance. Thereupon they asked the monk who was once a mime, “Brother, yonder mime is going through the same kind of performance you used to go through; have you no longing for this sort of life?” “No, brethren,” replied the monk. The monks said to the Buddha, “Venerable, this monk utters what is not true, is guilty of falsehood.” When the Buddha heard them say this, He replied, “Monks, my son has passed beyond all bonds.”


Verse 416. The Miracle Rings Who has abandoned lusting here as homeless one renouncing all, with lust and being quite consumed, that one I call a Brahmin True. Explanation: In this world, he has taken to the life of a wandering ascetic. He has got rid of the craving to continue the cycle of existence. I describe that person as a true brahmana.

Ajatasattu attacks Jotika’s Palace (Verse 416)

This verse was recited by the Buddha while He was in residence at Veluvana, with reference to the Venerable Jotika.

For after Ajatasattu Kumara had conspired with Deva-datta and killed his father, Bimbisara, and become established in the kingdom, he said to himself, “I will now take Jotika, the great palace of the treasurer” and arming himself for battle, he sallied forth. But seeing his own reflection and that of his retinue in the jeweled walls, he concluded, ‘The householder has armed himself for battle and has come forth with his host.” Therefore he did not dare approach the palace.

Now it happened that on that day the treasurer had taken upon himself the obligations of Fast-day, and early in the morning, immediately after breakfast, had gone to the monastery and sat listening as the Buddha preached the Dhamma. When, therefore, the Yakkha Yamakoli, who stood guard over the first gate, saw Ajatasattu Kumara, he called out, ” Where are you going? ” And straightaway, putting Ajatasattu Kumara and his retinue to rout, he pursued them in all directions. The king sought refuge in the very same monastery as that to which the treasurer had gone. When the treasurer saw the king, he rose from his seat and said, “Your majesty, what is the matter?” Said the king, “Householder, how comes it that after giving orders to your men to fight with me, you are sitting here pretending to be listening to the Dhamma?”

The treasurer said, “But, your majesty, did you set out with the idea of taking my house?” “Yes, for that very purpose did I set out.” “Your majesty, a thousand kings could not take my house from me against my will.” Upon this Ajata-sattu became angry and said, “But, do you intend to become king?” “No,” replied the treasurer, “I do not intend to become king. But neither kings nor robbers could take from me against my will the tiniest thread.” “Then may I take the house with your consent?” “Well, your majesty, I have here on my ten fingers twenty rings. I will not give them to you. Take them if you can.”

The king crouched on the ground and leaped into the air, rising to a height of eighteen cubits; then, standing, he leaped into the air again, rising to a height of eighty cubits. But in spite of the great strength he possessed, twist this way and that as he might, he was unable to pull a single ring from the treasurer’s fingers. Then said the treasurer to the king, “Spread out your mantle, your majesty.” As soon as the king had spread out his mantle, the treasurer straightened his fingers, and immediately all twenty rings slipped off.

Then the treasurer said to him, “Thus, your majesty, it is impossible for you to take my belongings against my will.” But agitated by the king’s action, he said to him, “Your majesty, permit me to retire from the world and become a monk.” The king thought to himself, “If this treasurer retires from the world and becomes a monk, it will be an easy matter for me to get possession of his palace.” So he said in a word, “Become a monk.” Thereupon the treasurer Jotika retired from the world, became a monk under the Buddha, and in no long time attained arahatship. Thereafter he was known as Venerable Jotika. The moment he attained arahatship, all of his wealth and earthly glory vanished, and the divinities took back once more to Uttarakuru his wife Satulakayi.

One day the monks said to Jotika, “Brother Jotika, have you any longing for your palace or your wife?” “No, brethren,” replied Jotika. Thereupon the monks said to the Buddha, “Venerable, this monk utters what is not true, and is guilty of falsehood.” Said the Buddha, “Monks, it is quite true that my son has no longing for any of these things.” And expounding the Dhamma, He pronounced this Stanza.




Verse 392. Honour To Whom Honour Is Due From whom one knows the Dhamma by Perfect Buddha taught devoutly one should honour them as brahmin sacred fire. Explanation: If a seeker after truth were to learn the Word of the Enlightened One from a teacher, that pupil must pay the Teacher due respect, like a brahmin paying homage assiduously and with respect to the sacrificial fire.



Verse 373. He Who Is Calm Experiences Transcendental Joy The bhikkhu gone to a lonely place who is of peaceful heart in-sees Dhamma rightly, knows all-surpassing joy. Explanation: A monk who enters an empty house, whose mind is at peace, and who is capable of seeing the reality of things, experiences an ecstasy not known to ordinary minds.



Verse 421. He Yearns For Nothing That one who’s free of everything that’s past, that’s present, yet to be, who nothing owns, who’s unattached, that one I call a Brahmin True. Explanation: Their path, neither gods, nor spirits, nor humans can fathom. Their taints are totally eradicated. They have attained the higher spiritual state. This person I declare a brahmana.

The Story of a Husband and Wife (Verse 421)

For one day, while she was living in the world, her husband Visakha, a lay disciple, heard the Buddha preach the Dhamma and attained the fruit of the third path. Thereupon he thought to himself, “I must now turn over all of my property to Dhammadinna.” Now it had previously been his custom on returning home, in case he saw Dhammadinna looking out of the window, to smile pleasantly at her. But on this particular day, although she was standing at the window, he passed by without so much as looking at her. “What can this mean?” thought she. “Never mind, when it is mealtime, I shall find out.” So when meal-time came, she offered him the usual portion of boiled rice. Now on previous days it had been his custom to say, “Come, let us eat together.” But on this particular day he ate in silence, uttering not a word. “He must be angry about something,” thought Dhammadinna. After the meal Visakha settled himself in a comfortable place, and summoning Dhammadinna to his side, said to her, “Dhammadinna, all the wealth that is in this house is yours. Take it!” Thought Dhammadinna, “Persons who are angry do not offer their property and say, Take it! What can this mean?” After a time, however, she said to her husband, “But, husband, what about you?” “From this day forth, I shall engage no more in worldly affairs.” ‘Who will accept the saliva you have rejected? In that case permit me also to become a nun.” “Very well, dear wife,” replied Visakha, giving her the desired permission. And with rich offerings he escorted her to the nuns convent and had her admitted to the Sangha. After she had made her full profession she was known as the nun Dhammadinna. Dhammadinna yearned for the life of solitude and so accompanied the nuns to the country. Residing there, in no long time she attained arahatship together with the supernatural faculties. Thereupon she thought to herself, “Now, by reason of me, my kinsfolk will perform works of merit” Accordingly she returned once more to Rajagaha. When the lay disciple Visakha heard that she had returned, he thought to himself, “What can be her reason for returning? ” And going to the nuns convent and seeing the nun, his former wife, he saluted her and seated himself respectfully on one side. He thought, “It would be highly improper for me to say to her, ‘noble sister, pray are you discontented?’ will therefore ask her this question” So he asked her a question about the path of conversion, and she immediately answered it correctly. Continuing this line of questioning, the lay disciple asked about the remaining paths also. He did not stop, however, at this point, but continuing his questions, asked her about arahatship. ‘Wonderful, brother Visakha’ exclaimed Dhammadinna, “But if you desire to know about arahatship, you should approach the Buddha and ask him this question” Visakha saluted the nun his former wife, and rising from his seat and going to the Buddha, told the Buddha about their talk and conversation. Said the Buddha, “What my daughter Dhammadinna said was well said. In answering this question I also should answer it as follows” Then he gave the stanza.


Verse 418. The Person Whose Mind Is Cool Abandoned boredom and delight, become quite cool and assetless, a hero, All-worlds-Conqueror, that one I call a Brahmin True. Explanation: He has given up lust. He has also given up his disgust for the practice of meditation. This way, he is both lustful and lustres. He has achieved total tranquillity. He is devoid of the blemishes that soil the hand. He has conquered all the world and is full of effort. I call that person a brahmana.

The Story of the Monk who was once a Mime (Verse 418)

This religious instruction was given by the Buddha while He was in residence at Veluvana with reference to a certain monk who was once a mime.

The story is the same as the foregoing, except that on this occasion the Buddha said, “Monks, my son has put aside both pleasure and pain”




Verse 60. Samsara Is Long To The Ignorant Long is the night for the sleepless, long is the league for the weary one, samsara’s way is long for fools who know not the Dhamma True. Explanation: To a sleepless person the night is very long. To the weary the league seems quite long. To the ignorant, bereft of an awareness of the Dhamma, the cycle of existence is very long, as he is not aware of how to shorten it.

The Story of a Certain Person (Verse 60)

While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to a certain young man and King Pasenadi of Kosala.

One day King Pasenadi, while going out in the city, happened to see a beautiful young woman standing at the window of her house and he instantly fell in love with her. So the king tried to find ways and means of getting her. Finding that she was a married woman, he sent for her husband and made him serve at the palace. Later, the husband was sent on an impossible errand by the king. The young man was to go to a place, a yojana (twelve miles) away from Savatthi, bring back some Kumudu (lotus) flowers and some red earth called ‘arunavati’ from the land of the serpents (nagas) and arrive at Savatthi the same evening, in time for the king’s bath. The king’s intention was to kill the husband if he failed to arrive back in time, and to take the wife for himself. Hurriedly taking a food packet from his wife, the young man set out on his errand.

On the way, he shared his food with a traveller and he threw some rice into the water and said loudly, “O guardian spirits and nagas inhabiting this river! King Pasenadi has commanded me to get some Kumudu flowers and arunavati (red earth) for him. I have today shared my food with a traveller; I have also fed the fish in the river; I now share with you the benefits of the good deeds I have done today. Please get the Kumudu lotus and arunavate red earth for me” The king of the nagas, upon hearing him, took the appearance of an old man and brought the lotus and the red earth.

On that evening, King Pasenadi, fearing that the young husband might arrive in time, had the city-gates closed early, the young man, finding the city-gates closed, placed the red earth on the city-wall and stuck the flowers on the earth. Then he declared loudly, “O citizens! I have today accomplished my errand in time as instructed by the king. King Pasenadi, without any justification, plans to kill me” After that, the young man left for the Jetavana Monastery to take shelter and find solace in the peaceful atmosphere of the Monastery.

Meanwhile, King Pasenadi, obsessed with sexual desire, could not sleep, and kept thinking out how he would get rid of the husband in the morning and take his wife. At about midnight, he heard some eerie sounds; actually, these were the mournful voices of four persons suffering in Lohakumbhi Niraya. Hearing those voices, the king was terrified. Early in the morning, he went to Jetavana Monastery to consult the Buddha, as advised by Queen Mallika. When the Buddha was told about the four voices the king heard in the night, he explained to the king that those were the voices of four beings, who were the sons of rich men during the time of Kassapa Buddha, and that now they were suffering in Lohakumbhi Niraya because they had committed sexual misconduct with other peoples’s wives. Then, the king came to realize the wickedness of the deed and the severity of the punishment. So, he decided then and there that he would no longer covet another man’s wife. ‘After all, it was on account of my intense desire for another man’s wife that I was tormented and could not sleep’ he reflected. Then King Pasenadi said to the Buddha, “Venerable, now I know how long the night is for one who cannot sleep” The young man who was close at hand came forward to say, “Venerable, because I had traveled the full distance of a yojana yesterday, I, too, know how long the journey of a yojana is to one who is weary.”


(in the traditional Indian caste system) a member of the lowest caste.
See also untouchable, scheduled caste

Via Hindi from Sanskrit dalita ‘oppressed’.


36 Dalit Writers Who Disrupted India’s Literary History
Posted by Abhishek Jha in Books, Caste, Culture-Vulture, Staff Picks
July 7, 2017

The reason writers, such as Raj Gowthaman and Urmila Pawar, or projects, such as Dalit History Month, have sought to rewrite or question literary history is that it has historically been dominated by upper caste writers. What has been internationally said of writers from the commonwealth or women writers can be said to be true of Dalit authors in India- what will be considered ‘literary’ or ‘literature’ in a period is often determined by those who hold power in society.

This doesn’t mean however that there is no resistance to ‘literature’. With India becoming a democratic republic, the resistance of Dalit authors also becomes more visible. The Dalit Panthers scandalise the world of Marathi literature, Bama creates a stir in Tamil writing, and this continues to go on. It is only with hindsight that many of these writers were accorded the place they demanded in literature, but today they inspire a generation of writers with their work. Here’s presenting 36 such writers that you should definitely read:

Also read: 53 Indian Women Writers Millennials Must Read

1. Namdeo Dhasal: Namdeo Dhasal. Source: Facebook Perhaps the most iconic name in the world of Marathi poetry, Dhasal is also the most recognisable face of the Dalit Panthers, an organisation formed along the lines of the Black Panther movement in the United States. Poet and critic Dilip Chitre described his first collection of poetry “Golpitha” (1972) thus: “It reveals whatever others would strive to shove under the carpet of poetry. This is my considered opinion more than three decades after its publication and I had no hesitation in writing that Namdeo’s poetry, from that outstanding start, is Nobel Laureate material.” Dhasal was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999. In 2004, the Sahitya Akademi, while celebrating its Golden Jubilee, awarded him its Golden Jubilee Life Time Achievement Award.

2. Meena Kandasamy:

Meena Kandasamy. Source: Facebook
Translated into 18 languages, she is one of most famous feminist writers in India, who doubles as an activist. She is the author of two collections of poetry, “Touch” and “Ms. Militancy”, the critically acclaimed novel “The Gypsy Goddess” and most recently “A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife”.

3. Gaddar:
Born Gummadi Vittal Rao, the Telugu balladeer dropped out in the first year of engineering college and took to folk singing. He took the pseudonym Gadar (now Gaddar by accident) as a tribute to the Gadar Party which fought the British rule in Punjab. Lakhs of printed copies of his songs have been distributed and sold over the last three decades. He might now join electoral politics.

4. Dr C S Chandrika:
A principal scientist at M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chandrika is also a leading feminist activist and writer. She was awarded the Fellowship of Kerala Sahitya Academy in 1997, the Muthukulam Parvathy Amma Award in 2010, and the Toppil Ravi Foundation literary award in 2012. Her most notable works are “Pira”, “K. Saraswathiyamma”, “Kleptomania”, “Bhoomiyude Pathaka”, and “Ladies Compartment”.

5. Bama:

Bama Faustina Soosairaj. Source: Facebook
Born in a family of agricultural labourers, Bama Faustina Soosairaj donned many hats before she finally became a writer. She used to write poetry in college, but became a schoolteacher and a nun later to educate Dalit girls. It was after leaving the seminary in 1992 that she went back to serious writing. The semi-fictional autobiographical novel “Karukku” (1992) is her most famous work, although she has written more novels and short story collections since then. Originally written in the Tamil dialect she used to speak as a child, the novel created quite a stir, with Bama being prohibited from entering her village for seven months. When the novel was finally translated into English in 1998, Bama went on to win the Crossword Book Award in 2000.

5. Bama:

Bama Faustina Soosairaj. Source: Facebook
Born in a family of agricultural labourers, Bama Faustina Soosairaj donned many hats before she finally became a writer. She used to write poetry in college, but became a schoolteacher and a nun later to educate Dalit girls. It was after leaving the seminary in 1992 that she went back to serious writing. The semi-fictional autobiographical novel “Karukku” (1992) is her most famous work, although she has written more novels and short story collections since then. Originally written in the Tamil dialect she used to speak as a child, the novel created quite a stir, with Bama being prohibited from entering her village for seven months. When the novel was finally translated into English in 1998, Bama went on to win the Crossword Book Award in 2000.
6. Daya Pawar:
Born Dagdu Maruti Pawar, his searing autobiography “Baluta” became a sensation in the world of Marathi literature. Pawar published his first poem in “Asmitadarsh” in 1967. Both “Kondvada”, his first collection of poems, and “Baluta” were awarded by the Maharashtra government. Apart from poetry, Pawar published two collections of essays, a book of short stories, and the screenplay for Jabbar Patel’s movie “Dr Ambedkar”. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990.

7. Urmila Pawar:
Best known for her autobiography “Aaidan” (The Weave of Bamboo), Pawar works with feminist organisations in the Mumbai and Konkan regions. Among her acclaimed books are two collections of short stories, “Sahav Bot (Sixth Finger)” and “Mother Wit”. In 2004, the Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad awarded her the Laxmibai Tilak award for “Aaidan”, but refused to accept it, saying that the “metaphors, images, and symbols in Marathi literature have remained tradition-bound”.

8. Ravikumar:
The co-founder of Navayana, a publishing house that focuses on issues of caste, he has founded many little magazines. He edited The Oxford India Anthology of Tamil Dalit Writing, and edited and contributed to “Waking is Another Dream”, an anthology of poetry on the Eelam genocide. “Venmous Touch: Notes on Caste, Culture and Politics” is a collection of his non-fiction work.

9. Anant Rao Akela:
The 56-year-old native of Pahadipur village in Aligarh district studied only until class eight, but has written a dozen books. He sold his first work, an eight-page pamphlet titled “Ram Rajya Ki Nangi Tasveer”, at village fairs and in markets in 1980 on his own.

After he got inspired by Kanshi Ram to join the Bahajun Samaj Party in 1985, he also wrote poems that were recited at public meetings held by BSP leaders. Disillusioned with the party though, he joined the Bahujan Mukti Party in 2016.

10. Baburao Bagul:
One of the pioneers of the Dalit Panthers, the Marathi writer shot to fame with his 1963 collection of short stories “Jenvha Me Jat Chorali Hoti”. His other major works of fiction were “Maran Sast Hot Ahe” (1969) and “Sood” (1970). He was awarded the Harinarayan Apte Award by the Government of Maharashtra in 1970. His fiction dwells heavily on the social and economic deprivation enforced by the caste system, as well as the revolt of those oppressed by the system.

11. Jatin Bala:
Born in 1949 in East Pakistan, Bala had lost both his parents by 1953 and had to bear the tribulations of the Bengal partition without the support of a family. Despite having to live in refugee camps, he educated himself.

The Bengali writer is the author of several anthologies of poetry and short stories as well as well as a novel. He also edited multiple periodicals from the 1970s. He has been awarded the Nitish Smriti Sahitya Puroshkar, Dabdaho Sahityo Potrika Puroshkar, Kobi Nikhilesh Sahitya Puroshkar, etc.

12. Ajay Navaria:

Ajay Navaria. Source: Facebook
An assistant professor in the Department of Hindi at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, Navaria is a prominent face in Hindi literature. He has written two short story collections, “Patkatha aur Anya Kahaniyan (The Sript and Other Stories)” and “Yes, Sir”, and the novel “Udhar ke Log (People From the Other Side)”. “Unclaimed Terrain”, an English translation of his short stories was featured in a Guardian list of best books in 2013.

13. Ratan Kumar Sambharia:
Born in a village in the Rewari district of Haryana, Sambharia has been living in Rajasthan for over three decades. He has written five collections of short stories and three collections of play in Hindi, but his work has also been translated into Kannada, Marathi, and other Indian languages. He was awarded the Sahara Samay Katha Award by the Vice President of India for his story ‘Chapadasan (The Attendant)’.

14. Baby Kamble:
Kamble wrote in her spare time at the shop she ran with her husband for a living. She was motivated by the anger she felt when she read the mythological representations of repression by upper castes. Her autobiography “Jina Amucha (Our Life)” is now regarded as a pioneering work. An activist, she ran a residential school for socially backwards students in a village near Phaltan in Maharashtra until her death in 2012.

15. Leeladhar Mandloi:

Leeladhar Mandloi. Source: Facebook
Formerly the director general of Doordarshan and All India Radio, the Hindi author has published 35 books on poetry, literature, and culture. He has won several national awards such as the Samsher Samman, the Nagarjun Samman, and the Sahityakar Samman. He has also produced around 300 telefilms on short stories.

16. Imayam:
A school teacher in Viluppuram district of Tamil Nadu, Imayam is the author of three novels and four short story collections. He is known among Tamil readers for his novels “Koveru Kazhudaigal” (The Mules) and “Arumugam”. He is the recipient of multiple awards such as the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers’ Association Award, the Agni Akshara Award, and the Autham Adigal Award.

17. Anita Bharti:
A writer and an activist, Bharti is known for her poems and stories. Most recently she contributed to and edited an anthology featuring 65 poets titled “Yathastithi se Takraate Hue Dalit Stree Jeewan se Judi Kavitaayein”. She has also written the biography of the social revolutionary Gabdu Ram Valmiki.

Bharti is the recipient of multiple awards and honours, such as the Radhakrishnan Shikshak Puraskar, Indira Gandhi Shikshak Samman, Birsa Munda Samman, and Veerangana Jhalkari Bai Samman.

18. Kanwal Bharti:
Born in a poor family that had to work hard to educate him, Bharti started writing poetry at the age of 15. In 2008, his work was included in course books prescribed by multiple universities. An author of 15 books, he was awarded the Dr Ambedkar National Award in 1996 and Bhim Ratna award in 2001.

19. Manoranjan Byapari:

Manoranjan Byapari. Source: Facebook
Having migrated from Bangladesh to West Bengal in the 1950s, Byapari was illiterate until his mid-twenties. Now he is a prolific author, having written 10 novels, more than a hundred stories, and an autobiographical novel “Itibritte Chandal Jiban”.

Having spent his youth in penury and without education, it was during a two-year imprisonment that Byapari taught himself the Bengali alphabet and started reading and writing. While working as a rickshaw puller after he came out of prison, he met the late Mahasweta Devi who asked him to write. His literary career started when he wrote an article ‘I pull Rickshaw’ for Devi’s journal Bartika in 1981.

20. Surajpal Chauhan:
A winner of the Hindi Academy Award, the Aligarh native is a prolific author of both poetry and prose. His poetry collections include “Prayas, Kyun Vishwas Karun”, and “Kab Hogi Wah Bhor”.

21. Raja Dhale:

Raja Dhale
Another founding member of the Dalit Panthers, Dhale is also known for his acerbic style. Although now having moved to activism, the Marathi writer edited multiple little magazines. He published “Atta”, a pamphlet-like ‘unperiodical’ in 1964,”Yeru” in 1967, “Tapasi” in 1968, and “Chakravarti” in 1969. His collection of poetry “Sthitichi Kavita (The Poetry of Circumstances)” was published by his own Atta Prakashan.

22. Raj Gowthaman:
He worked with Tamil literary magazines in the 1980s and became known as an intellectual in the 1990s when Dalit writers took on the orthodox writers in Tamil Nadu. His critical work dealt with Tamil literature from a Dalit perspective and questioned the literary history of the language.

23. Shantabai Krishnabai Kamble:
In the 1940s, she became the first Dalit woman teacher in Solapur district of Maharashtra. It was after she had retired from teaching in 1981, and when she saw the autobiographies of Dalit men being discussed in Mumbai, that she started writing her autobiography. “Mazhya Jalmachi Chittarkatha (The Kaleidoscopic Story of My Life)” was published as serial in Purva magazine in 1983 and later also adapted for television as “Najuka”.

24. Dev Kumar:
Kumar started the Apna Theatre group in 1992 to arouse Dalit consciousness in Uttar Pradesh. His popular plays are “Daastan”, “Bhadra Angulimaal”, “Chakradhari”, “Sudharshan Kapat” and “Jamadaar Ka Kurta”.

25. Devanur Mahadeva:
The Kannada writer won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 1990 for his novel 1990. He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2011. In 2015 he returned the awards to protest rising intolerance in the country.

26. Aravind Malagatti:
A professor at Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies in Mysore University, Malagatti is the author of a dozen books of poetry, a collection of short stories, a novel, and two plays. This is apart from his research papers and books on literature, society, and culture. He is also the recipient of multiple awards, including the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award awarded to him for his autobiography “Government Brahmana”.

27. Siddalingaiah:
He was a founding member of the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti and started writing poetry for performance in protests. He is the author of four poetry collections, two plays, and a book of essays. He has also written a book of essays, a doctoral study on folk deities, and his autobiography.

28. K Nath:
Born in 1945 in Duari village of Kanpur, the Hindi writer had to face tremendous hurdles due to casteism, including a falsely charged theft case. He is known for his autobiography “Tiraskar”.

29. Kotiganahalli Ramaiah:
Hailing from Kolar, he is a popular Kannada poet, who has also written plays, lyrics, and screenplays. He also founded a cultural group called “Adima Angala“. He was awarded for the dialogues he had written for the film “Gejjenada”. He is also the recipient of the Rajyotsava Award, the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award, and the Karnataka Nataka Academy award.

30. Gogu Shyamala:
She works on creating biographies of Dalit women political leaders and is a senior fellow at the Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies in Hyderabad. She has also published a collection of short stories in Telugu called “Father May Be An Elephant And Mother Only A Small Basket, But…”.

31. P Sivakami:

P Sivakami. Source: YouTube
Formerly an IAS officer, Sivakami is a critically acclaimed Tamil writer. She is the author of four novels and a collection of poems titled “Kadhavadaippu”. She also edits a monthly called “Pudhiya Kodangi”.

32. Omprakash Valmiki:
Born in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Valmiki’s autobiography “Joothan” is one of his most popular books. He is also the author of poetry collections such as “Sadiyon ka Santap” and “Bas Bahut ho Chuka” and short story collections such as “Salam” and “Ghuspaithiye”.

33. Debi Roy:
Born Haradhon Dhara in a Howrah slum, Roy had to change his name to survive the dominance of the upper castes in literature. He, however, went on to co-found the Hungryalist movement in West Bengal in the 1960s, and edited the first manifesto of the movement. He was arrested for obscenity after he published his first collection of poems “Kolkata o Ami (Kolkata and I)” in 1965. He is the author of ten books of poetry, three books of non-fiction, and also translates from Hindi to Bengali.

34. Bhagwan Das:
A research assistant with Ambedkar in the 1950s, Das helped found the World Conference of Religions for Peace in 1970, the International Dalit Convention in 1998, and worked relentlessly against casteism all over the world. Along with Lahori Ram Balley, who ran the Buddhist Publishing House in Jalandhar, he published a series of books of Ambedkar’s speeches in the 1960s. The books were edited and introduced by Das.

Historian Vijay Prashad describes his autobiography “Mein Bhangi Hoon (I am a Bhangi)” as “a window into the life and lineage of one person who fought against the idea that he had no history.”

35. Vijila Chirappad:
The Malayali poet has published three collections: “Adukala Illathaa Veedu (A Home Without A Kitchen)”, “Amma Oru Kalpanika Kavitha Alla (Mother Is Not A Poetic Figment Of Our Imagination)”, and “Pakarthi Ezhuthu (Copied Notes)”. The 2012 anthology of Indian poems by Oxford University Press features some of her work. Her poetry is also prescribed reading at the Kerala, MG, and Calicut Universities.

36. Arun Krishnaji Kamble:
An activist and professor of Marathi at Mumbai University, Kamble was among the co-founders of the Dalit Panthers. Apart from his academic work, he also translated books of other authors and wrote poems. His most famous books are “Ramayan Sanskrutik Sangharsh”, “Dharmantarachi Bheemgarjana”, and “Chalvaliche Diwas”.

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