A lot on my mind is about the written world and untold stories of dalits. A lot more on what has and is written about the dalit woman. I recall Toni Morrison’s interview somewhere and this statement that stays with me always “i wrote for myself stories that i wanted to read”. The last week’s angst ridden talk and counter talk about what has and should be written about the dalit woman, meandering into some kind of mindlessness of ignoring the fact that all kinds of stories needs to be written in this gigantic vacuum. Doesn’t matter whether i sympathize with the broken unwanted or sexually exploited image of the dalit woman or end up romanticizing the image of a woman on whose knowledge, strength and stamina this country like Africa and any other agriculture based economy survives. Or write about Dalit women in cities who take charge of ‘brahmanization’ of their families. This is the truth. And it needs to be told, if anyone has the capacity of understanding the reasons why she opts for and uses this strategy please lets us hear it without the need to condemn or hide from it. Our stories may have similarities with women from oppressed communities all over the world, if some one can draw on these parallels, wonderful! Our stories will be unique in the kind of negotiations that we make as aspects of caste society are unique to this world, we know this and one or some of us may focus to dwell on these. Bottom line we need many stories. Lets write and hear them.
Leave you with two people who inspire me, listen to them to know why there is no need to worry about what image gets written, that it is written and that many more are written BY US is important:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the danger of a single story.
And Wole Soyinka on stories written by drawing from people and experience and not from previously read literature and styles, among other things: