The 1st Dalit Literature Festival is going to be held on 3-4 February at Kirori Mal College of Delhi University. More than 100 writers, poets, cultural artists in various languages from dalit, adivasi, women, denotified tribes, minority, and various marginalized communities and social activists will join us and put forward the struggles of communities through their literature, poems, artistic expressions and resistances.
According to Festival convenor Dr. Namdev, the festival has a primary objective to act as a platform for bringing the writings, literature, and culture of dalit, adivasi and marginalized communities in front of the society. The word ‘Dalit’ is kept as a theme for the 2019 edition of Dalit Literature Festival to reflect the same.
Suraj Badtiya, founder member of the Festival and a dalit-adivasi writer, said that the word ‘Dalit’, which has told us about the oppression of marginalized communities and their painful struggles, is facing an intensified attack. Even from many progressive and reactionary forces.
There are very few writers or literary organisations who have a positive approach towards the writings of dalit, adivasi, and other marginalized communities. This motivated us, Ambedkarvadi Lekhak Sangh and many other organisations, to come together and conceptualize for the Dalit Literature Festival.
Prof. Hansraj Suman, member, Delhi University Academic Council and Director, Rhythm, said that the festival will important to witness the folk singers coming from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, and Gujarat who will be telling us about the dalit-adivasi culture and traditions through their songs.
Dr Hemlata Kumar, a feminist intellectual and professor from Delhi University deplored that the corporate forces have started capturing the spaces provided in literature as well. The patriarchal attacks are increasingly influencing the society and literature. In such circumstances, even the women are considered to be dalits. Thus, the dalit literature festival will play an important role in reassertion and towards making a society with gender equality and justice, she added.