Dalit Lekhika – Kalyani Thakur Charal & Sayantan Dasgupta


Women’s writings from Bengal

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Kalyani Thakur Charal explains why Dalit women writers are different and how hard it has been to write and get published. Until a few decades ago, Dalit literature in Bengal was written mainly by men, who were disregarded by mainstream publishing and impelled to run their own publishing ventures, literary journals like Chaturtha Duniya, which also provides space for women. Little magazines edited by women like Ekhon Takkon, Neer Ritupatra, Abal Badal and Atneb played a vital role in this regard. Dalit Women’s writings have not been complied and translated in English before and this pioneering selection makes their work visible to a wider audience.

Recognizing the political and social complexities where caste is invisibilized, Sayantan Dasgupta suggest that the anthology brings together gender and caste as the point of entry though class, too, figures as a core defining element in the chosen pieces, constructing a particular, complex and layered literacy landscape as a part of Bangal literature that generally seems to escape our eyes.