Saturday, January 30, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Des Raj Kali, a Dalit writer, to feature at Jaipur literature fest

Des Raj Kali, a Dalit writer, to feature at Jaipur literature fest
Amrita Chaudhry Posted online: Thursday , Jan 21, 2010 at 0513 hrs
Ludhiana : Des Raj Kali, a well-known Punjabi novelist, will be a part
of the six Dalit writers that will feature in the upcoming Jaipur
literature festival. This five-day festival opens on January 21 and
has dedicated a special focus on Dalit writing from Punjabi, Tamil,
English and Hindi. The other writers include P Sivakami, Om Prakash
Valmiki, Kancha Ilaiah, Ajay Navaria and Laxman Gaikwad.
According to Nirupama Dutt, who is anchoring the session, the
celebration is dedicated to the poetry of two people's poets of
Punjab, Lal Singh Dil and Sant Ram Udasi. Iqbal Udasi, poet and
daughter of Sant Ram Udasi, will also feature in the session which
will include discussions and rendering of inspirational poetry. The
session named 'A million suns' after a poem of that name by late Lal
Singh Dil will celebrate the Dalit literary traditions of Punjab for
this writing is part of a people's struggle to social justice.

Kali says, "I will be reading the first episode of my novel
Praansehswari. This novel is basically dedicated to the Nath and the
Sufi tradition and through this work I have tried to bring fore the
fact that respect and a sense of equality to the lower castes have
come through these two traditions and not through Sikhism and
Brhaminism, as claimed."

The Dalit Focus at JLF is being coordinated by S. Anand of Navayana
Publishing and Namita Gokhale, founder-director of Jaipur Literature
Festival. "Dalits, who constitute 17 pc of the India's 1.2 billion
population, are subjected to everyday violence and brutalities. It is
from such a context of hidden apartheid that Dalit literature emerges.
The opening panel in the Dalit focus, Outcaste: The Search for Public
Conscience, befittingly derives its title from Ambedkar's anxiety over
the lack of a public conscience in India when it comes to the issue of
discrimination against and oppression of Dalits," says Anand.


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