SPARKS : Invites participation

Dalit women ! Where are they ?

They are not behind the curtains, or lost in the huge mansions, they are not behind the “purda” or “hijab” yet they are invisible. And we dont think why, we seek escape route. We seek the help of matrimonial sites and match-makers. We pick one, and leave others along with the problem of their invisibility, in oblivion.

Before that, my elder sisters are pulled out of from english-medium school cause, “who would marry an english-speaking(or able-to-speak-english) girl” and then all of them married off after high-school cause, “who would marry a college-educated girl”. Those were Kalahandi in 1970 though 90, and a concerned grandfather.

May be both of these represent the classic case of “the cause is effect”

Thoughts have changed of course. Must have! I know in my family it did. My younger sister has a masters from IIT and a is software professional.

And a tiny fractions of the fortunate ones like her are tired of blending in. They are itching to carve a niche for themselves, their opinions and participations. Some of them launched a platform, SPARKS- A monthly e-newsletter, this month. It is beautifully designed, thanks to Ranjit, and adorned with two lively poems of Cythia Stephen. Have a look yourself, and if you are a dalit women find yourself in there. If you are not read stories of the other side.

I have basically no knowledge on dalit feminism. Although I had identified problems like I have mentioned previously, I didnt associate it with some movement. It still is not very much, I am told. I am hoping to find if they are problematizing their own absence, if you must ask, from the middle-class public spaces. If they are questioning how they are slimmed down to such invisibility and insignificance “here” when they work shoulder to shoulder “there” as manual scavengers, sweepers and laborers in fields. If they think its the intrinsic patriarchal nature of a dalit society which got bolstered of the availability of conducive environment or its an adaptation of the upper-caste upper-class values that the privileged dalits desperately want to imbibe. There are already some great poetries and essays of Dalit women academics and activists I am introduced to lately. I hope SPARKS will ensured I am not starved now.

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5 thoughts on “SPARKS : Invites participation

  1. I was doing a websearch on Dalit Feminism and saw this post. Thank u for making my day, and appreciating my peoms. and also for your expectation that more quality works by us dalit women will emerge due to sparks.

    Cynthia Stephen

  2. I did link it initially, I had to take it out cause I didnt have the publisher’s permission. Finally is uploaded and linked now, please have a look.

    And thanks for reminding.

  3. Thanks. But how did you receive it in the first place? I looked on the Insight site and found no information. It all seems rather mysterious. Oh well, perhaps I was not meant to know.

  4. The first issue was circulated through mailing lists. Insight Foundation website is not so informative yet, but they are going to publish everything online real soon. They have another bi-monthly magazine named “Insight: Young Voices”.

    If you like, I would love to let you get in touch with the people responsible for the e-newsletter and the magazine. I would have done so already, if your comment had a valid e-mail id. Or else, you would have to wait a little longer.

    I can assure you, they are very accommodative and congenial people with interesting perspectives on issues on discrimination and such. And one of the bigger aims of their articulation is, of course, “to be heard”. So there is no question of any form of secrecy, mystery or exclusion.

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