Dalit Autobiography: A Study of Dalit Women’s Autobiographies
Autobiography is widely admired in the world as a literary genre. Its importance as a means of self-creation, self-examination, and self-regeneration has been identified by critics and creative authors. Autobiography is a Western tradition where people enjoy celebrating them self and are eager to prove their achievements. Indians have adopted this tradition of writing an autobiography from the West. Autobiography can be classified into two categories, life stories that inspire and prove one’s achievements. Secondly, the life stories which not only describes the saga of the individual but also the society as a whole depicts sorrows, subjugation, sufferings, and socioeconomic conditions. Dalit autobiographies belong to the second category. They have portrayed the socio-economic, cultural, and political conditions of Dalit Community under the control and influence of Upper Caste Hindu society. Contemporary Indian Society was divided under the wrong notions of ‘Purity and Pollution’. Dalits were treated as untouchables and polluters to the High Caste Hindus because they were born in the low caste. They were intentionally kept ignorant and denied to take education and asked to live out of town in separate colonies by high caste Hindus to safeguard their control over Dalits. Autobiography came handy to them to demonstrate their age-old suffering, exploitation, and maltreatment. Writers like Shankarrao Kharat, Daya Pawar, Bandu Tupe, P. E. Sonkamble, Shrankumar Limbale, Laxman Mane, Laxman Gaikwad, and Kishor Kale came forward. They penned their experiences in the form of autobiographies. Like male autobiographies, female autobiographers like Baby Kamble, Shantabai Kamble, Urmila Pawar, Kumud Parade, Janabai Girhe, Bama, demonstrated their life stories and experiences of trivial exploitation based on caste, class, and gender.
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