“Midnight’s Untouchable Children” and their Struggle for Existence: A Study of Bangla Dalit Poetry of Manohar Mouli Biswas in English Translation
Keywords:Movement, Identity, Partition Disperses, Refugee, Existence, Subaltern
The Dalit Movement in Post-Independent India in general and West Bengal in particular has continued to advance anger and frustration. In Bengal, for example, the category of Dalit literature has not earned that much interest compared to the other parts of the country. Even in the Canon of Dalit literature of India at large, the literary contribution of the Bengali Dalit writers is also below average. It is worth mentioning that the partition of India in 1947, especially the division of Bengal, did not only destruct the spirit of their earlier strong Dalit movement of Bengal known as Namashudra Movement but scattered the whole united community into various places. Moreover, the partition of Bengal made the children of the Bengali untouchable community homeless, landless and foodless refugees. Therefore, for decades after the partition, they could not even think about restoring the activities of their Movement. For them and under such ruthless circumstances, the primary concern was the struggle for survival and existence rather than the engagement in the creative activities such as writing which was seen then as an unreachable matter or at least out of their interest. Manohar Maoli Biswas, one of the “Midnight’s untouchable children”, has attempted to describe the jerky journey of the Bengali Dalit refugees and their struggle for existence in his two collections of poetry.
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