Progressive writers should support Dalits

The problems faced by Dalits is not merely a problem faced by a section, but it is the problem of society. People should understand that Dalit literature is not only an important literary movement in Kannada literature, but it is also a sad part of the literature, said litterateur Siddalingaiah.

He was chairing a session on ‘Dalit sentiments in Kannada literature,’ on the second day of 80th Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Madikeri on Wednesday. Referring to his controversial literary work titled ‘Ikrela, odirla,’ he said the work was not written out of enmity, but was written out of pain. 

“Kannadigas are neither communal nor casteists. Kannada litterateur has the rich history of Basavanna and Pampa and other great writers. All progressive writers should support Dalit movement, by understanding their pain,” he said.

Delivering key-note address, poet Mudnakudu Chinnaswami asked Dalits to retain their status by not hating upper class. Dalits should not only be the careers of tradition, but also the masters of change, he said.

“It was welcoming move of people unitedly opposing the rape incident in Delhi. But, what about the sexual assault on Dalit women and practice of carrying night soil, which is still practiced without any hurdle,” he pointed.

He also threw light on the lack of critical analysis of Dalit literature. The best Dalit literature has not yet come out. Wisdom is born in pain, suppression and insult. Experiences lead to the creation of best works. The main ingredient of Dalit literature so far has been inequality, untouchability and hunger. For how long can we go on writing about the same? he asked, even as he asked Dalit writers to write about the hunger for spirituality in future.

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