Anthology of Bangla Dalit Women writing in Translation
The emergence of dalit literature in Bangla as a cultural discourse has been a recent phenomenon, spanning for a period of about twenty five years. But examined historically, it dates back to the period of Caryapada,earlist literary expressions of Bangla literature. The origin, growth and development of this significant branch of Bangla literature has not only been of antiquity but demands a penetrating archival study as it involves multiple strands of ideas given by critics. In terms of output, Bangla dalit literature has produced a great body of writings by very promising writers, almost in every genre ranging from autobiography, literary criticism, short story, poems to plays novels etc. In the contemporary scenario of Bangla dalit literature, there has been a significant literary output by a number of women dalit writes which is really a bold move and a pioneering effort.
Indulging in the women question within the Dalit experience needs more probing and searching enquiry. Theirs (women) have been more an excruciating and heartrending experience than their male counterparts. They have been doubly marginalized within the patriarchal set up. Because, they have been victim to both caste oppression and gender oppression. First, being untouchable they have been socially ostracized and denied of all rights as human beings. Second, being women, they have encountered gendered oppression and inequality within the Dalit social world. More under-represented and less privileged, they have been the worst suffers. What is noteworthy about Bengali dalit women writing is that it has given a poignant expression to their pain, suffering, tears which have long been ignored. Their morbid personal preoccupations have been fore grounded in their literary endeavors in Bengali. Coming out of the narrow confines of the patriarchy and gender subjugation, Bengali dalit women writers have taken cudgels against the jeopardized stifling social set up and raised their suppressed voice.
Now the question arises – why translating the women writing? The task of translating these marginal voices is an act of empowering them and making their voices heard/audible to others. Translation of these poems will make their 'choked' voice reach to every corner of the country and as far as bangla dalit literature is concerned, this anthology is a first of its kind and publishing it in translation will have a definite contribution to the field of Bangla dalit literature in particular and Indian dalit literature in general. Translation holds the potential to make their suppressed voice reach out to a larger community of people. By translating their works, an attempt is being made to put up a show of resistance against any form of oppression or marginalization they have been subjected to over the years. Moreover, translation has an important bearing in the contemporary social context as a mode of social inclusion. Translation is not merely a means of transferring the meaning of text from one linguistic medium to another. Rather it's an abiding discourse in culture study.
Please contact me if you are interested in translating texts on Bangla Dalit Women Writing. Those having previous experience in translation would be preferred.