Under My Dark Skin Flows A Red River
'We too have our Sun', writes a woman Dalit poet, challenging the established canons of Bangla literature that resist Dalit's entry. With translations from Bengal only beginning in the twenty-first century, Dalit writings have remained largely unrepresented in the corpus of pan-Indian Dalit Literature. Yet Bangla Dalit literature has a long history: the songs of Sufis, Bauls, Fakirs and many other grass roots religious mainstream Bengal, this was a robust and popular body of oral literature from the margins. The challenges and rebellions that characterize modern Dalit literature are not unique to modernity, existing in the living tradition.
In the late twentieth century, Dalits' writings have been published by small publishers and little magazines, ushering a new vibrancy in Bangla literature. This anthology presents translations of a selection of essays, songs, poetry, short stories, extracts from autobiographies and novels as an introduction to a spirited and dynamic literature from Bengal.