Omprakash Valmiki (30 June – 17 November ) was an Indian Dalit writer and poet. well known for his autobiography, Joothan, considered a. But Omprakash Valmiki’s Joothan is written from the personal experiences of dalit who rises to prominence from his marginalized presence. Omprakash. Omprakash Valmiki is a great poet and short story writer in Hindi Dalit Literature. “ Joothan” is an autobiographical account of his miserable birth.

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Valmiki calls this a turning point of sorts; young men began departing from their basti to nearby towns and cities. He was fortunate enough to be born in a household where everyone loved and cared for him.

Om Prakash Valmiki

As long as Om Prakash did not reveal his caste identity, he was treated with respect, but after disclosure, the same educated and like-minded people turned their back on him. On the one side there was a pond and the other side there were high walls of the brick homes of the Tagas.

Simple Valmik to Attending Hindu Ceremonies. Ironically, one could touch animals but not Chuhras. This not only restricted the entry of girls into public institutions but failed to improve their status within the caste based patriarchal sphere.

Told as a series of piercing vignettes, Joothan is also a remarkable record of a rare Indian journey, one that took a boy from extremely wretched socioeconomic conditions to prominence.

The identity crisis resurfaces with a thrust along the lines of precariousness. He describes, by example, how India’s thousands-year-old system of institutionalized slavery has actually worked on the ground and upon the lives of real people, how it manifests its power over their hearts, minds, and stomachs.

Politics – International Politics – Topic: But they were always insulted by both the teachers and students of the school. Gaurav rated it really liked it Mar 28, I have asked many scholars to tell me why Savarnas [caste Hindus] hate Dalits and Shudras so much?


But his father was not going to give up easily. Valmiki shares his struggle to survive a preordained life of perpetual physical and mental persecution and his transformation into a speaking subject under the influence of the Dalit political leader, B.

Having lived in western UP and having done my schooling there, I could relate with the amount of violence described in schools. A lot of readily available and ‘popular’ literature written, whether fiction or non-fiction, on the Dalit experience are mostly by savarna i. Each new text counts as one lot! Books by Omprakash Valmiki. Autobiography, as you know, is a conscious literary genre that deals with the varied dimensions of personality of the subject.

Sadiyon Ka SantaapBas! July 2, Imprint: He studied in the light of a lantern in his intensely noisy neighborhood.

Master asked him to come the next day and Valmiki and his father kept going for several days and one day he was admitted to the school. Valmiki describes one such incident, among the most powerful in the text. A childhood spent in utter poverty and misery in rural areas, an inclination for education which helped the author break out of his surroundings and connect with the growing Dalit movement in cities.

An excellent first foray into Dalit literature.

Joothan By Om Prakash Valmiki – Book Review | Feminism In India

Joothan refers to scraps of food left on a plate, destined for the garbage or animals. This adds a dimension Absolutely brilliant, one of the rare autobiographies by a Dalit writer that conveys what it actually is like to live as a Dalit in modern India and the daily micro-aggressions that even a successful writer and poet faces; along with of course the usual range of oppressive behaviour.


When they wore neat and clean clothes, other students teased them and their words were like poisoned arrows pierced their hearts. He describes in some detail how their gods were utterly different from Hindu Brahminical gods and how different their religious rituals were.

One can feel the torture inflicted on dalits as Omprakash Valmiki strips his soul layer after layer. They had no choice but to drink that water, as they were not permitted to use the well of the upper-caste folks.

The father snatched the broom from his son and threw away and rushed to the headmaster and shouted at him. Bakha symbolizes the exploitation and oppression which has been the valkiki of untouchables like him.

Philosophy – Philosophy of the Ancient World. What Makes You Not a Buddhist. He also added that sweeping was his family occupation. As a wolf grabs a lamb by the neck, he dragged me out of the class and threw me on the ground.

He remembers that even one of the Tyagi Brahmins came to his basti to offer congratulations, and later took omprkaash home and fed him lunch in their own dishes while sitting next to him.

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Joothan: An Untouchable’s Life

Swami in a Strange Land. But he emphasizes here were always people who supported him, becoming a light in the darkness. Rwanda Means the Universe. That valmiiki to say, legal changes were made within political framework, but mindsets of larger population were infected with germ of obnoxious caste system.

Frightened, I picked up the three-day-old broom [now only a cluster of] thin sticks.