e n

Dalitbahujan women who broadened the Madhubani canvas

Not long ago, Madhubani painting was an upper-caste domain. The 1960s drought in Bihar led to the art becoming a commercial proposition and then a Dalit and an EBC women took the plunge, creating their own subgenre

According to oral narratives based on the Ramayana, Janak, the king of Mithila, ordered the women of Mithila to paint the whole kingdom on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter Sita to Ram. The women painted the walls of their homes with cow dung and natural colours. However, these narratives are silent about the caste of women painters. 

In the early 1960s, Bihar experienced a severe drought resulting in widespread hunger and poverty. The Bihar government launched a relief programme to provide the marginalized population with livelihoods other than agriculture. As part of this programme, the state government awarded Bombay-based artist Bhaskar Kulkarni a grant of Rs 50,000. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Dalitbahujan women who broadened the Madhubani canvas

About The Author


Ritu is a research scholar in the History Department, University of Delhi. Her research has focused on the marginalized communities of Bihar. She is presently studying the Dom community

Related Articles

For Ambedkar, Mahad Satyagraha was the end of a road and the beginning of a new one
The burning of the Manusmriti on 25 December 1927 during the Mahad Satyagraha marked the end of Ambedkar’s attempts to reform Hinduism, writes Siddharth
How the Tricolour can inspire us, the Bahujan, to fight for freedom in its truest sense
Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd writes about imagining the nation and the flag not in terms of who were or are in power – Nehru and...
Journalism for Dalit liberation was a study in contrast during Hindi renaissance
While Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi was writing 'Draupadi-Vachan Banawali', portraying women as vile and lowly, Maithlisharan Gupta was singing paeans to Hindutva in his 'Vyas-Stavan',...