july 2014 programmes

 saturday 12th july
6.30 pm  “Hindi Dalit Poetry Reading” by  Moonweavers – Chaand ke Julaahe 

The history of Dalit poetry in Hindi dates back more than 100 years.  The mystic poetry of 15th century saint poets Kabir and Raidas, with its strong critique of social hierarchies and Brahmanical orthodoxy set the ground for the advent of Dalit poetry in Hindi. This poetry develops a different kind of aesthetics altogether – an aesthetics of social reality. It is poetry of resistance – one that breaks through the norms of the grand poetic subject to include objects, events and the struggle of day to day life. These everyday realities of life form the core of Dalit poetry in Hindi. Its intellectual rigour and its radical questioning of the basis of social inequality sets it apart as new genre of poetry. It lays bare the hypocrisies of a society that looks down upon a class of people who form the basis of its luxurious lifestyle and wants that class to stay subservient to them forever, as it were. Hindi Dalit poetry is also idealistic in the sense that it imaginatively puts forth the conception of a utopian social order – one devoid of class exploitation.

We have invited a panel of Dalit poets who will read and introduce their poetry in Hindi.


Notes of Panelists

Anita Bharti – Hindi short story writer, poet and critic. She is also a social writes activist and regularly writes on issues concerning Dalit women. Ms Bharti has been the Guest Editor for the Hindi Literary journal ‘Yudhrat Aam Aadmi’s special issue titled ‘ Stree Naitikta kaa Talibaanekaran’ ( The Talibanization of Female Morality ). Her published works include a book of literary criticism on the theme of Contemporary Feminism and the Resistance of Dalit Woman and a collection of short stories ‘ Ek The Kotevalee’. She has also co-edited a book on Dalit women poetry.

Dr Rajni Disodia – Associate Professor Hindi, Miranda House, Delhi University. Her short, stories, articles and book reviews have been published in leading Hindi literary journals like Hans, Kathadesh, Kathan, Apeksha, Anbhai Saancha, Jansatta and Sablog. She has also published a collection of short stories in Hindi ‘Charpoy’. 


Tekchand - Assistant Professor, Hindi Department, Swami Shraddhanand College, Delhi University. He was awarded the ‘Ambedkar Vishisht Seva Samman’ by Haryana Dalit Sahitya Akademi in 2006. He has been on the editorial board of many leading Hindi literary journals such as ‘Apeksha’ and ‘Yuddhrat Aam Aadmi’.  He has published 2 books – ‘Agyeya – Ek Samay Avlokan (Literary Criticism of 20th century Hindi poet, Agyeya) and ‘Daud tatha Anya Kahaniyan’ (a short story collection).

Gurinder Singh Azad – Poet and Dalit Social Activist. He is also a journalist, documentary film maker and writes regularly on social issues. Born in a Marxist family in Bhatinda, he began to write poetry in Punjabi at a very early age and then subsequently took to writing in Hindi. He has been living in Delhi for the past couple of years and has been working for the issues affecting Dalit and Adivasi students in Delhi.  Gurinder’s poems have been included in an anthology on poems depicting the life of Dalit women co-edited by Anita Bharti and Bajrang Bihari Tiwari.