Don't portray Dalits as group of castes, says Aravind Malagatti

The works of certain group of writers should not be branded as Dalit literature, writer and University of Mysore professor Aravind Malagatti has said.

Speaking at a workshop on ‘Dalit Sensitivity in Kannada Autobiographies’ at St Aloysius College here on Sunday, Malagatti said that all Dalit literature need not necessarily be written by Dalits.

“Dalit ideology can be a part of any literary work. Dalits should not be portrayed as a group of castes or an abandoned community. Dalit is a way of thinking,” he said.

Speaking on Dalit sensitivity in autobiographies, Prof Malagatti said that in a compartmentalised system, sensitivity in literature breaks the barriers of caste and creed. Intolerance lies where there is insensitivity. The concept of sensitivity is found in abundance in Dalit literature. He opined that autobiographies by Dalit writers gave a U-turn to Kannada history as they had revolutionary principles in them. He lamented that Kannada literary critics had been comparing the autobiographies in Kannada to those in Marathi, claiming that some of such works were inspired from Marathi, which was not true. 

Delivering the keynote address, Kannada Book Authority member-secretary Madhavi Bhandari Kerekona said that the authority had sanctioned its stalls for Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts. The authority will provide an assistance Rs 20,000 per year to the colleges which were willing to form Pustaka Premi Vidyarthi Balaga, for encouraging reading habit among students. Free books will be provided to degree colleges. Also, a subsidy of Rs 15,000 will be provided as library assistance, Bhandari said.

Head of Kannada department in Mangalore University Prof B Shivaram Shetty, workshop director Vittal Bhandary, Dr Saraswati, head of Kannada department, St Aloysius College, Sahitya Samudaya convener Dr Nagappa Gowda and DYFI state unit president Munir Katipalla were present.

Kannada Book Authority, Bengaluru, Sahitya Samudaya, Mangaluru, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and St Aloysius College Kannada department had jointly organised the workshop.

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