Suraj Pal Chauhan’s short stories portray the growing Dalit defiance

The growing Dalit consciousness and struggle form the nucleus of the works of the prolific Suraj Pal Chauhan. His militating against the caste system does not come across as a pastime but as a mission, says young critic Suresh Kumar

There can be little doubt that the caste system has contributed significantly to creating a tiny elite and to marginalizing the majority. The caste system and its implications for society have found expression in literature. Dalit Literature contends that even in the 21st century, the upper castes have not shed casteism. Dalit litterateurs have used every intellectual tool in their possession to expose the monstrosities of the caste system. However, the question of caste was missing from the “Nai Kahani” movement, which was focused on the aspirations, the desires and the pains of the middle class. The credit for social mobilization against the caste system must largely go to Dalit Literature. This series dwells on short stories by leading Dalit writers which explore social discrimination and a casteist mindset. Suresh Kumar has discussed short stories by Om Prakash Valmiki, Mohandas Naimishray and Sheoraj Singh ‘Bechain’ so far. This final instalment of the series features Suraj Pal Chauhan’s short stories:  


-SURESH KUMAR 

Suraj Pal Chauhan is one of the pillars of Dalit Literature. He has written prolifically in different literary genres. He is singular in the sense that he has his fingers on the pulse of India of the 21st century. His militating against the caste system does not come across as a pastime but as a mission. His fiction represents a serious endeavour to bring the horrific implications of the caste system to the fore. His collections of short stories have been published under the following titles: Harry Kab Aayega? (1999), Naya Brahman (2009) and Dhokha (2011).  In the short stories Chhoot Kar Diya, Ghate Ka Sauda, Sajish, Ghamand Jati Ka and Harry Kab Aayega? Chauhan explores the caste system drawing on his personal experience as well as that of the people at large.

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