Patna, Novermber, 29 :
Eminent Dalit writers drawn from different parts of the country stressed on the need of broadening the canvas of Dalit literature for ending the prevalent caste system and ensuring equitable growth of the Indian society.
Addressing the inaugural function of a two-day national seminar on Dalit Literature organized jointly by the Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, and Hindi department of Patna University (PU) at the geology auditorium here on Sunday, they observed that the end of caste system is essential not only for an all-round development of our country, but also for the growth of Dalit literature. PU vice-chancellor Shyam Lal presided.
Renowned Dalit writer Laxman Gaikwad of Maharashtra, in his inaugural address, said that even though the attitude of the people towards Dalits had changed considerably in recent times, a lot still remains to be done. Nomadic tribes are still being treated as second grade citizens and they are yet to become a part of the national mainstream. He regretted that the Dalit literature has remained so far ignored and neglected. It must be duly recognised by the society and Dalit writers should also be also encouraged and rewarded for their writing, Gaikwad said.
Head of JNU's school of foreign languages Tulsi Ram, in his keynote address, described the Dalit literature as the greatest ideological literature and said that Dalit writing has been continuing right from ancient to modern times. Referring to the aesthetical problems in Dalit literature, he said that even in ancient times Dalits used to enact plays based on social themes. He elaborated Buddha's philosophy against caste system and said that the first revolution against caste system was launched on the land of Bihar.
Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari of the Academy, in his introductory speech, said that the Dalit literature was born from the womb of caste system. He pointed out that when Patna's Heera Dom's poem was published in Saraswati in 1914, it marked the initiation of modern Dalit literature. He, however, expressed his surprise over the fact that no powerful Dalit movement could be launched in north India.
Academy deputy secretary Brajendra Tripathi, in his welcome address, said that the Academy at present recognizes only 24 Indian languages. He pleaded that some more languages should be recognized by the Academy.
Patna College Hindi teacher Tarun Kumar conducted the programme while PU Hindi department head Balram Tiwari proposed the vote of thanks.
Prominent among those who are participating in the deliberations of the seminar include Sharan Kumar Limbale, Dwark Bharti, Harish Mangalam, Ramanika Gupta, Jaiprakash Kardam, Suraj Paliwal, Ramashankar Arya, Surendra Snigdh and Bhrigu Nandan Tripathi.