Manohar Mouli Biswas

Social Movement and The Emergence of Bangla Dalit Literature

Social Movement and The Emergence of Bangla Dalit Literature

Manohar Mouli Biswas

Ex-President, Bangla Dalit Dahitya Sanstha.

Abstract :

Bengal has a wonderful history of social movement done by the lower caste people. In 1070 A.D . the ‘Kaibartya Vidroha’ happened where the king was dethroned for his misrule through a social movement led by Rudak and Bhim. The ‘Chowar Vidroha’ happened in 1799 under the leadership of a dalit woman ‘Rani Shiromoni’ against the torture of East India Company. In 1873 the Namashudras of South Central Bengal revolted against the misbehavior of upper caste Hindus.

Dalit is the main source of inspiration, I mean to say, the basic raw material towards the conscious  startup of dalit social movement and thereby producing  a start-turn to dalit literature. In post colonial West Bengal both physical violence and mental tortures are seen to have  taken place on dalits formidably in different times and in different ways. For example  a mass-massacre of hundred and hundred dalit people, particularly the refugees from East Pakistan/ Bangladesh  had happened in 1979 in Marichjhappi of South 24 Parganas district. This incidence was very much unexpected  from  a Communist Government was in power at that time. Another incidence of mental torture I shall mention. Chuni Kotal, a tribal girl who was doing her M.Sc. in Vidyasagar University had committed suicide on 16th August 1992  due to mental torture in the class room and even outside the class room due to her low birth and of her enjoying ‘reservation facility’ in education. In all the cases mentioned above there were visible social movement. After Chuni’s death Bangla Dalit Sahitya Sanstha was formed and a number of writers came forward to draw their pains. This shocking incidence gave birth to a new creation by dalits in the form of poetry, short story, essay and novels.  What is there the mental tortures are found to work very silently beyond the public notice. It happens in the form of the deprivation in getting the reservation facility by scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in educational institutions and in service sectors.

Lot of people are there who are very unkind to them. In my paper I shall discuss the different genres of Bangla dalit literature which have cut a mark and which Bengali language has got from the dalit writers in post colonial days and even prior to our independence also.

Social Movement and The Emergence of Bangla Dalit Literature(Full  Paper)

Manohar Mouli Biswas


Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak of Columbia university, who was born, brought up and educated in Kolkata, had raised a global question before the international communities all, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’1. In this article of mine what is aimed at, is nothing against anybody to argue with. It is simply aimed here to speak on, how the social movements are traced among the marginal people of Bengal and how therefrom the new kind of literary activity evolves out. This new kind of activity is known as Dalit literature. Marxist literature evolves out from the Marxism. So is the case with Dalit literature. It evolves out from the Ambedkarism. This is the main motto here to present to you all. People may be astonished to know that a man, born into dalit castes, without knowledge of letters, I mean to say without schooling in childhood  had created a big Kavya 2 or a book of verse, and that too in the early of twentieth, published from a remote village of rural Bengal. Probably this history of marginal people of rural Bengal, which is rare one available to know, Professor Chakravorty Spivak was not conversant or knowing at that time. She is, now, perhaps, well known to it.  Dr. B.R Ambedkar may be remembered and remembered in every step of our life for his deep search into the marginal Indian society. He opines, “Education everyone must have. Means of defence everyone must have. These are the paramount requirement of every man for his self-preservation.”3 He further added on: “The three classes,  Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas although not very happy in their mutual relationship managed to work by compromise. The Brahmins flattered the Kshatriyas and both let the Vaishyas live in order to be able to live upon him. But the three agreed to beat down the shudras.”4 This is the reason why marginal history, or the history of the shudras and untouchables, whatever you say, remains beyond the sight of many a people, although they are highly educated and learned in society. It is, now, perhaps the time has come for us all to excavate in a newer way and to get something precious pearls out of the history of the people so far kept marginalized or blacked out.

To come up or to be surfaced in life, these people tried their level best through all the times. Many a time they organized social movements from time to time, and as soon as some of them got education they took part in creative activities. These creative activities they have undertaken, are by nature protestant and they have built up the anti-negation force to the domination and subjugation acted upon them. Here the aim is to peep into that zone as far as possible.

Dalit Social Movements of Pre-independence Era : One

Society is not static. It always undergoes changes in continuous process. Reforms are bound to come inevitably through the social movements. Sometimes evolutionary way and sometimes in revolutionary way. It is an incident, I’m telling here, of undivided Bengal, happened in 1873. The Namashudras or the people who were socially, at that time, known as Chandalas gave a call of ‘General Strike’ in protest of hatred and torture on them by the people of social hierarchies. What had become a phenomenon at that time, if anywhere a case of theft or dacoity would happen these people of marginality would have been  put, indiscriminately, behind the bar without any proof or individual identification of the guilty of the case. And while in jail they would be forced to do the cleaning job of the jail premises. They revolted against this kind of torture, hatred and injustice. Their peaceful non-cooperation with the dominant and ruling classes, to whom they would usually render their manual services for livelihood. This non-cooperation movement continued for about six months. “This ‘General Strike’ is a unique event in the annals for dignity of the individual and equality before law. This is perhaps the earliest movement for dignity of the individual and equality before law in the world. Dignity of individual and equality before law are fundamental rights and basic characteristics of the constitution of India. His Excellency, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal by his Govt. order no. 523T, dated Darjeeling, 7th June 1873 abolished the discriminatory treatment in person.”5

Some of the dalit scholars have written down the history from the police-files and census records of Bengal regarding this call of ‘General Strike’, by the Namashudras which is beyond any doubt an unputdownable incidence of Bengal. Just to mention here in a nutshell the name of the books such as ‘The Strike’6 by Dr. Upendranath Biswas or ‘The Namasudras of Bengal’7 by Dr. Atul Krishna Biswas or ‘The Namah-shudras : Origin and Development’8 by Dr. Anil Ranjan Biswas, etc. are the well known works by the dalits.

Dalit Social Movement of Pre-Independence Era : Two  

In the later half of nineteenth century a socio-religious movement is traced out. Sri Sri Harichand Thakur was born in 1812 and it was about six years earlier than Karl Marks was born. He was born in the untouchable Namashudra community. At that time also, they were known by the same derogatory name Chandala. Due to social hatred and dishonor to the downtrodden people he preached a new religious cult or doctrine of his own  known  as the ‘Matua religion’. He revolted against the Brahmins and their orthodoxy religious scriptural stipulations. He uttered : ‘Naa Maani Veda Naa Maani Brahmin’9. He denied both the Vedas and the Brahmans. He had a huge number of disciples(in 1943 they were about five lakhs Matua devotees) in a major locality of south eastern parts of Bengal and  they all were mostly coming from the lower strata of society except a few from Brahmin (for example Akshay Chakraborty of Dighalia village of Faridpur district, a Brahmin/Harileelamrita:page288) and other superior castes(for example Benimadhab Pal of village Ghritakandhi, a Kayastha/ Guruchandcharit:page451, Tinkari Mia, a Muslim/Leelamrita:page320, Chand Kazi, a Muslim/Guruchandcharit:page310) who all had themselves no belief in caste discrimination. This religious movement took a turn to socio-educational movement under the leadership of Sri Sri Guruchand Thakur(1846-1937)10 the only son of Sri Sri Harichand Thakur. ‘Chandala’ is a heinous name which has got its mention in the ‘Manusmriti’ for several times. Guruchand Thakur began social movement through havoc gathering of the protesting people in different places to remove this heinous shackles put on  their head. It took about thirty years, from1881 to 1911, to modify the official records of colonial India. Due to this social movement this section of people of Bengal became identified as Namashudras first in the government census record of 1911.

 Guruchand Thakur’s movement had happened in rural Bengal while Bengal renaissance took place in the urbanity. He used the marginal community people, particularly, the  Matua devotees towards the path of spreading education among these marginal illiterate untouchables. Opened pathsalas/basic learning schools severally from village to village on his own strive. He gave a vocal tonic to them as: “Sabare Bali Ami Jadi Mano morey/ Abidwan Putra Jeno Nahi Thake Ghare/ Khao Ba Na Khao Tate Kono Dukho Nai/Chele-Pele Siksha Dao Ei Ami Chai.”[I want to tell you all if you have the respect little for me, none of your children should remain illiterate. You take food or if not, that doesn’t matter; what I want, yes, I want education and education for all your kids.]11

 A good number literary works emerged out during these movements and afterwards. Tarak Chandra Sarkar(1853-1913) wrote SriSri Hari Leelamrita (1913), Mahananda Halder(1899-1972) wrote SriSri Guruchand Charit (1943) and Sonar Manoosh Gopal Sadhu(1992), Dr. Nandadulal Mohanta wrote Matua Andoln O Dalit Jagaran(2002), Dr. Birat Bairagya wrote Matua Sahitya Parikroma(1999) and a number voluminous books , Debdas Pande wrote An Approach to Matuaism(2008), Santosh Kumar Barui compiled and edited Thakur Sri Sri Harichand : Manab Pooroosh : Adhyatma Pooroosh(2011), Atul Krishna Pal wrote Smriti Tirthe Param Dayal SriSri Gopal Chand(1997), Dr. Paramananda Halder wrote Matua Dharma Darshan(1986), Kapil Krishna Thakur wrote ‘Life History of Hari-Guru Chand Thakur, their Philosophy and Activities in Brief’(2009), Srimati Kiran Talukdar wrote Viswa Mahamandale Matua Dharma(1987), Sukriti Ranjan Biswas wrote Matua Dharma : Ek Dharma Biplov(2008), Arun Kumar Mahapatra  wrote Matua Dharma : Samajik Diker Kayekti Katha(2012), Manohar Mouli Biswas and Kapil Krishna Thakur compiled and edited Guruchand Thakur O Antaja Banglar Naba Jagaran (1998), Srimati Mira Halder wrote Sri Sri Hari Leela Kathamrita (2012), Manohar Mouli Biswas and Kalyani Thakur compiled and edited Krishnachandra Thakur: Smriti-Sambhar(1999), Dr. A.R. Biswas wrote Matuaism in a Nutshell(2010), Jatin Bala wrote Vastubadi Matua Andolan(2006)  and Srimat Bicharan Pagal wrote SriSri Hari-Guruchand Charitra sudha(1944). Manohar Mouli Biswas has also scribed a beautiful volume titled “Mouhurtikota O Samokalinotar Prekshaye Matua-Dharma O Samproday: Rajnoitik O Samajtattwik Byakhyan (2019) which has been translated into English by Professor Debi Chatterjee and Professor Sipra Mukherjee, and the same has been published by a noted publisher Gangchil of Kolkata, and I  mean to say, a socio-religious movement of Bengal made the banal people wonderfully awakened. I want to say it a socio-politico-educational awareness of dalits.  It is a nice journey of the liminal or the banal or the stale to the lofty-space of mind. A wave of literary creation is also traced out of it. A number of magazines such as Matua Darshan, Matua Darpan, Matua Andolan, etc. are seen to come out and keep the movement alive and even till the date.

Dalit Social Movement of Pre-independence Era : Three

Bengal, Bihar and Odisa together lost its freedom to the British East India Company in 1757 in a battle of Plassey. The dalit people of south western part of Bengal who were known as ‘Chowar’ revolted against the dominion of dominant caste-class people under the British East India Company rule in Bengal. It happened due to the concerted efforts undertaken by the downtrodden people, say, Bagdis and Bauris of Medinipur and Bankura, in 1760. In the later part of this ‘Chowar Vidraha’ a dalit woman Rani Shiromani, who by birth was a dalit and who by accident was the second wife of Raja Ajit Singha of Karnagarh of Medinipur, gave the leadership to this ‘revolt’, after death of Raja Ajit Singha and his first wife Rani Bhabani. She was captured by British soldiers and put into the British jail of Fort William, Kolkata in 1799 and probably she was the first Indian woman captive in British jail. A dalit writer Sunil Kumar Das has written a drama on this ‘Chowar Vidraha’12. It was first staged in the eighteenth annual sangiti(conference) of Bangla Dalit Sahitya Sanstha which had held for two days on 24-25th of December,2009 in the village Charanpur, Barabani, district Burdwan. Earlier to this Chowar Vidraha, in 1070 A.D. during the Pala Dynasty(750 A.D -1155A.D.) the Kaibartyas of Bengal, along with other downtrodden castes dethroned the king Mahipala under the leadership of Bhim and Rudak who together ruled Bengal for six years. This is known as Kaibartya Vidraha.    

Dalit Social Movement of Pre-independence Era : Four

Just two years earlier than the sepoy mutiny what happened in 1855, the santhals of Bengal waged their revolt against the ‘Dikus’/enemies, the people who were oppressing them. Four brothers of a santhal family Sidhu, Kanu, Chand and Bhairab died their heroic death13 in a battle with the Dikus.A number of writings have come up from the dalit pens keeping their glorious history in mind. Manohar Mouli Biswas’s essay ‘Santhal Vidraha : The Social and the Economic Background’ has been included in the compilation book Banglar Dalit Andolaner Itibritta, edited by Dr. Chitta Mandal and Dr. Prathama Mandal.

Dalit Social Movement of Post-independence Era : One

In the post-independence era of India, any sort of atrocity on dalits anywhere in the country, is constitutionally prohibited, and, seems it to be a serious offence; and in fact, legally non-bailable offence. In spite of all efforts by the state and central government, the atrocity on dalits all over the country is a continuous phenomenon happens. Sometimes some bhadralok would earlier assume that the atrocities on dalits happens in different parts of the country all over, other than Bengal, but now I say, it also happens and very much happens in the state of West Bengal, where, though the people claim themselves the self-styled more progressive in mind and action. A fallacy what lies herein is into its within, yes, I want to score out and delineate the same. The deprivation of the dalits happens here very secretly, beyond the notice of anyone, and that is the reason why  West Bengal is perhaps the only  state in India, where none other than three trio- dominant-castes (Brahmin-Kayastha-Baidya) could have become chief minister anytime so far.

Recently a few of incidences have come to the notice through the media coverage. As for example,    Sutia incidence14 happened where Barun Biswas, a dalit school teacher was brutally killed on 5th July 2012 in the hands of local gangsters whom he had vehemently protested for their unlawful activity, particularly, tortures on dalit women in his village. Nobody has got any punishment for this brutal kind of killing of Barun Biswas. It needs to be mentioned here the movement and particularly the social movement organized by the ‘Barun Biswas Smriti Raksha Committee’ shook the state and every year they, even now,  organize a meeting on 5th of July. Kamduni incidence15 is another one took place in the village Kamduni near Barasat, about twenty kilometers away from Kolkata, where a dalit college-going girl was kidnapped from the road on her way to village-home and gang-raped to death. Her father was poor, a mason-helper whose earning had been  below rupees two hundred per day and whose mother would earn something by selling muri-chatu from house to house. And Karandighi incidence16 is also another one where about 156 houses of mostly dalit refugees from East Pakistan in the village Bhangapara of Uttar Dinajpur were burnt to ashes by the dominant caste people of the nearby Rabanpur village in the year 1996. The incidence took nine lives burnt alive. It happened due to quarrel between two village. This sad occurrence consisted in political rivalry as well as the caste rivalry in between the two side by side village.

Dalit Social Movement of Post-independence Era : Two

Dalit mass massacre in Marichjhapi in Sundarban area is an unforgettable government sponsored genocide happened in the year 1979. The people who were living in the Marichjhapi area, a part of non-farming Sundarbans were exclusively from the dalit communities and very particularly they were the Namashudras of East Bengal. What happened thereof as pre-incidence? The Namashudras were the major community in East Pakistan at the time of partition of Bengal and they had come to West Bengal as a flux of refugees. At that time the communist party was undivided and they stood by the side of those refugees. They set up their mass organization amongst them. It was a long journey the dalit refugees travelled through their sufferings in homeless, shelter-less and foodless condition in different parts of Bengal as well as India. As soon as the Marxist Communist Party became the ruling power in 1977with their vast majority in the Assembly these homeless and shelter-less people started to live in the Marichjhapi-Sundarban. They started to convert the unproductive lands to productivity using their unlimited toiling capability. Some of the people started to live on fishing in a number of rivers of those areas. Mr. Jyoti Basu was the then chief minister of West Bengal. The government immediately became unkind to the dalits and ordered the police force to evacuate the dalit-occupancy from Marichjhapi. First of all the police force stopped the supply line of drinking water and food to the locality. What happened then? The dalits were found to leave the place and perhaps it is the black day in the history of dalits in West Bengal that 36 dalits lost their lives en-masse by police-firing on the 31st January, and along with this incidence, from the time of cut-off of food supply and drinking water up to 24.01.1979, 136 people died of starvation, 239 people died of malnutrition and 23 dalit women were raped. All this happened  within two years after the Marxist came into power17. Nakul Mallick wrote a novel ‘Kshama Nei’(2008), Shaktipada Rajguru wrote a novel ‘Dandak Theke Marichjhapi’(1986), Jagadish Chandra Mandal wrote a book ‘Marichjhapi : Noishabder Antarale’(2002) and Dilip Halder wrote ‘Atrocities on Dalits : Since the Partition of Bengal’ (2008), all publication came following this incidence. Jatin Bala wrote a book of poems ‘Marichjhapir Mayana’ and many other poets composed good number of poems about Marchjhapi-incidence. It is to be mentioned here the Marichjhapi day is observed every year in the memory of the lives lost.

Dalit Social Movements of Post-independence Era : Three

Another incidence of government sponsored mass killing  took place on the 14th of March, 2007 at Nandigram, where Tublu Samanta, Ratikanta Das, Supriya Jana, Indajul Haq, Satyabala Mandal, Naru Murda, Chanchala Rani Mahata, etc. of the Dalits, OBCs, and Muslims had been killed by police firing while they wanted to save their cultivating lands against the seizure by the government to set up Special Economic Zone there. Sad it is to see that once the Marxist Communist Party who gave the slogan, and a popular slogan  “Laangal Jaar, Jaami Taar”, means lands should be in the hands of those who are real cultivators, had changed their attitude in the name of spreading industry in the state and for fulfilling the purpose of the capitalists they started to seize the cultivating lands from the cultivators by force. This Nandigram incidence took place after the forceful seizure. This Nandigram incidence undertook a vigorous shape which had ultimately destroyed the popularity of the Leftists and ultimately they had been dislodged from power. While the dalits were losing their paternal property in the name of industrialization, BDSS (Bangala Dalit Sahitya Sanstha) became very active and they arranged protest programme on 23rd April, 2007 in Tripura Hitsadhini Sava of Kolkata. A number of dalit poets and writers were present and read out their new creation on this particular issue. The Shantikunja Natya Sanstha, under the direction of Raju Das, a dalit dramatist  staged a small drama on the day.18

Dalit Social Movement of Post-independence Era : Four

In the year 1990 V.P.Singh government  introducedreservation for the OBCs but in West Bengal the then government did not pay any heed to its implementation. This attitude of the government had got the much of media support in the state. In the first page of the daily news paper a photo was impressively publicized where a brahmin boy was seen to polish shoes in Calcutta street expressing his views that he will become unemployed after his education and he is to do the scheduled caste’s profession. In consequence what happened the reservation facility provided to SCs-STs-OBCs in respect of their children for getting admission into the educational institutions as well as for providing jobs to the educated people of those communities got highly neglected and obliterated. The communists believe in class and not in castes. And the caste-based reservation was very much un-wanting to them. In consequence the protests started from those people deprived of reservation facility. What did they do the scheduled castes , scheduled tribes and other backward communities together formed a morcha named ‘Sanjukta Sanrakshan Morcha’ 19who were organizing protests here and there. And in the next time they made a big rally of about fifteen thousand people under the leadership of Santosh Rana, CPI(ML) marched the road in Kolkata on 23 rd April 2007. This procession had been from Sealdah to Rajbhahban to hand over the letter of their demands in writing to Mr. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the Hon’ble  Governor of the state.

Dalit Social Movement of post-independence Era : Five

This is the last phase I am to tell in this article and this is likely one where I shall take an opportunity to talk of present dalit literary and cultural movement in West Bengal and the activities going thereof. In the year 1992 Bangla Dalit Sahitya Sanstha (BDSS)20 was formed as one literary and cultural organization in the state after  tragic immolation of Chuni Kotal, a tribal girl of Lodha community, while she was doing her M.Sc. course in Vidyasagar University. She had been the victims of caste-based hatred, I mean to say the hatred generally poured down upon the marginal caste-born by only a few, but not all at all, and here particularly one teacher in the class-room and even beyond class-room. The teacher would very frequently say to this student,‘ You are a tribe of the country, a ‘Sonar Tukro’(a golden piece), you get reservation, you have done B.Sc. that is enough qualification for you to get a big job, then, what is your necessity for doing M.Sc.?’

Incidentally this girl was known to Mahasweta Devi, universally known popular writer and she raised her voice in this matter which was highlighted  in the media. It immediately got public support including dalits; and even some other big social organizations like APDR came forward. The movement became stronger and stronger. It gave a  jerk to  society. BDSS was formed,  professor Jagabandhu Biswas, as president and Amar Krishna Biswas, IRS, as general secretary. They had organized their first annual conference (they call ‘Sangiti’ following Buddhist literary expression for ‘conference’) on 5th and 6th December, 1992 in a remote village Bhayana in the district Nadia. On the second day morning of the sangiti a big rally21 marched through different villages with their slogans in the name of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, Jogendranath Mandal. Guruchand Thakur, Ramayaswami Naikar, Jyotirao Phule, etc. the dalit icon and personality, who all have the life long fight for the uplift of the dalits. They might have got inspiration for social movement from what Babashaheb did for the peoples’ consciousness. Every society in the world initially sleeps in darkness and some people commit themselves to awaken it.

A number of dalit scholars joined the movement. Professor and V.C. of a university and at the same time the university topper in M.A. of Burdwan university Dr. Achintya Biswas; professor and V.C. of two of the universities and at the same time the university topper in M.Tech of Calcutta university Dr. Santosh Kumar Sarkar; Dr.Gunadhar Barman, a reputed medical practitioner and at the same time editor of a Bengali fortnightly ‘Atmanirikshan’; professor and at the same time V.C. of Kalyani University Basudeb Barman, Dr. Manoranjan Sarkar, etc., had been the life member of this BDSS22 and discharged the duty of the organization as president for a period of one-two-years’ term, perhaps, a thing of the organization to be one to boast of. A couple of years back they had celebrated the Silver Jubilee Sangiti on the 24-25th  of December, 2016 at Hridaypur Ambedkar Mission in the district of North 24 Parganas. It will not be a point out of irrelevancy if mentioned that 24th December is the day Ramayaswami Naikar had passed away and 25th December,1927 is the day Dr. B.R. Ambedkar burnt Manusamhita in protest in the Mahadnagar movement of Maharastra.

Very soon they realized a ground reality, in the state, the dalit writers won’t get as usual course the publishers to publish their works, and similarly, as happened in the case of Aborigine writers in Australia, they had set up a small shop on their own in Kolkata Book Market to publish their own works. This small shop Chaturtha Dunia, a stall no 22, Bhabani Dutta lane, Kolkata 73 published in January, 2017 a book “An Interpretation of Dalit Literature, Aesthetic, Theory and Movement: Through the Lens of Ambedkarism and the second impression of the same in October,2018. Mr. Amar Krishna Biswas is at present the president of BDSS and is an activist. Another book ‘Shatobarsher Bangla Dalit Sahitya’, which has accommodated about100 writers from 1911 to 2019  of different genres such as novels, poetry, short story, drama, essay, and autobiography. Some Raicharan Biswas published a book of poems ‘Jatiya Jagaran’ in 1921 and the book is wonderful one to awaken the marginal community people. Four dalit women of Eighteenth century Bengal are known and out of these women Sulochana was seen to be born in 1776 in an illiterate Namashudra family of Netrakon in Mymensingh district. She got elementary education after marriage from a village pedagogue and wrote a book of verse ‘Sri Sri Gopinikirtan’.     

Every year the members of the organization pay respect to Babasaheb on his birthday, assembling themselves at feet of the statue of Babasaheb at Red Road, Kolkata. Chuni Kotal’s day of immolation is 16th August on which date they arrange a memorial lecture under the title ‘Smaraney Shapathey Chuni Kotal’. Some reputed personalities have been called so far to give the Chuni Kotal Memorial Lecture. As for example, to say some of the  dignitaries who have given this lecture, say, are Professor Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyay and Shyamprit Singh of Patna(1994), Dr. Gunadhar Barman(1995), Dr. Satyabati Giri((1996), Dr. Prathama Roy Mandal(1997), Dr. U.N.Biswas(1998), Sukriti Ranjan Biswas(1999), Dr.Probodh Kumar Bhowmik(2000), Dr. Miratun Nahar(2001), Dr. Atul Krishna Biswas(2002), Dr.Debi Chatterjee(2003), Santosh Rana(2004), Dr.Nanda Dulal Mohanta(2006), Dr. Birat Bairagya and Arun Maji(2007), Dr. Pratibha Mandal(2009), Manohar Mouli Biswas(2010), Sukanta Mondal(2011), Dr.Indra Mohan Mandal(2012), Dr. Shampa Sarkar(2013), Dhurjati Naskar(2014), Dr. Suranjan Midde(2015), Dr. Maroona Murmu(2016), Professor Debi Chatterjee (2017), Dr.Sanat Kumar Naskar (2018), Professor Rup Kumar Barman (2019), Dr. Atul Krishna Biswas (2020) and Rajat Roy (2021)23. In the above 26 lectures different aspects of socio-eco-cultural and educational problems related with the dalits and tribes were discussed. This movement is nothing but the one assigned to awaken the banal people.

BDSS has its own literary little magazine ‘Chaturtha Dunia’ which has issued/published so far 42 volume/ number with dalit writers’ writings only. It will not be an exaggeration, if I say, BDSS have produced many dalit writers. It is also a fact they have their books on a good demand in the market.

BDSS have their members all over West Bengal. The annual Sangiti what they have so far organized in the last 25 years happened to take place in different places in the state, such as year-wise it happened at  Bhayana(1992) of Nadia district, Hridaypur(1993) of North 24 Parganas district, Khannan(1994) of Hoogly district, Pakuahat(1995) of Malda district, Raghunathpur High School(1996) of South 24 Parganas district, Thakurnagar Higher Secondary School(1997) of North 24 Parganas district, Adra Railway Community Hall(1998) of Purulia district, Kamarkundu(1999) of Hoogly district, Kripasharan Hall(2000)   of 1, Buddhist Temple Street, Kolkata; Gocharan Sitanath High School(2001) of South 24 Parganas district, Basantia High School(2002) of Purba Medinipur district, Hazarduary(2003) of Murshidabad district, Vivekananda High School(2004) of North 24 Parganas district, Ranaghat Usuff Institution(2005) of Nadia district, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Primary School(2006) of Purba Panchanna Gram, Kolkata; Taranimajhir Ghat(2007) of Yubabharati Krirangan, Salt Lake; Vivekananda College(2008) of Kolkata district, Charanpur-Mejhiaber village(2009) of Burdwan district, Poundra-Kshatria Unnayan Parishad(2010) of South 24 Parganas district, Kalaiberia village(2011) of Chatna, Bankura district; Friends Mission, Durganagar(2012) of North 24 Parganas district, Brajabasi Smriti Sadan(2013) of North 24 Parganas district, Janakalyan High School, Chandmari, Kalyani(2014) of Nadia district, Bamangachi-Balaka Hall(2015) of North 24 Parganas district, the Silver Jubilee Sangiti held at Ambedkar Mission of Hridaypur on 24-25 December, 2016, 26th Sangiti (2017) at Krishna Pada Ghosh Memorial trust of 55 Surjya Sen street of Kolkata-9, 27th Sangiti (2018) at Vidyasagar Smriti Club of Gosaba, South 24 Parganas and the 28th Sangiti (2019) at Balaka Mancha of Pandit Raghunath Murmu Sarani of Dist Jhargram of West Bengal.

In the caste-divided society, caste and class, each in most of the cases functions similarly. The heterogeneity exists therewith.  “The formation of class is artificial and economic, and the economic agency or interest is impersonal because it is systematic and heterogeneous.”24  When people suffers from the caste hatred it needs remedy but in spite of all efforts to eliminate this illness of society an individual suffers in various ways in his life, here, I shall end up this essay quoting an individual opinion : “The indifference of the mainstream Bengali society towards such caste-based interest-articulation can also be attributed in some measure to the age-old bhadralok tendency to deliberately push the question of caste under the carpet, demonstrating in the process of apparent civility and secular credentials of the political culture, which due to several complex reasons has more or less maintained a secular Left-liberal character at least in onwards mode of manifestation, that is, rhetoric and policy commitment.”25      


  • 1 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ in Cary Nelson edited and Lawrence Grossberg introduced, Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, University of Illinois and Chicago (1988) ,271-324
  • Srimat Bicharan Pagal, Sri Sri Hari-Guruchand Charitra Sudha, published from Taltala Village, P.S. Kashiyani of Gopalganj, Dist Faridpur, in 1944 [Srimat Bicharan Pagal was the keen follower of Sri Sri Hari-Guruchand’s socio-religious movement. Bicharan Pagal was illiterate. What he dictated was written by his brother’s son was a student of upper classes in school. Then it came as a book of verse of 479 pages.]
  • 3  Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, Vol. 1, 1989, Education Department, Government of Maharastra,pp62
  • 4  ibid, pp62
  • 5 The 1873 Movement for Dignity and Equality before Law, Department of Backward Classes Welfare, Government of West Bengal, June 2015, pp3
  • 6  U.N.Biswas, The Strike : Earliest Movement for Dignity and Equality before Law, N C M B, Memorial Trust, CG22 Salt Lake, Kolkata, 1st ed. 2004.
  • 7  Dr. A.K. Biswas, The Namasudras of Bengal : A Profile of Persecuted People, Blumoon Books, Kerol Bag, New Delhi, 1st ed. 2000,
  • 8  Dr. Oneil Biswas, The Namah-shudras : Origin and Development, published by S.K.Neogi at The 3rd Namasudra Mahasammelan/ World Ethnological Conference at Yuba Bharati Krirangan, 2004.
  • 9 International Journal on Multicultural Literature, edited by Dr. K.V.Dominic, Vol.6 No1 (January2016), pp116.
  • 10 Guruchand Thakur, a social reformer, known for his work among the dalits in remote areas, while Bengal Renaissance of nineteenth century took place in Calcutta.
  • 11  Acharjya Mahananda Halder, Sri Sri Guruchand  Charit, Matua Mahasangha, Sridham Thakur Nagar, 24 Parganas (North), 4th ed. 2006, pp144
  • 12.  Sunil Kumar Das, Chowar Vidraha’, Chaturtha Dunia, Stall 22 Bhabani Dutta Lane, Kolkata 73,1st ed. 2009
  • 13  Kalikinkar Datta, The Santhal Insurrection of 1855-57, University of Calcutta publication, 1st ed., 1988.
  • 14   Barun Biswas, a teacher in  Mitra Institution of Kolkata was killed  on 5th July, 2012 at Gobardanga Railway Station while he was returning home from his place of duty. He was social worker and tried to organize people against the mafias.
  • 15  Aparajita, a second year student of College was kidnapped on 7th June 2013 from the vicinity of her house and gang-raped to death.
  • 16  The village Bhangapara of Karandighi P.S. of Uttar Dinajpur was totally set to fire. Nine people died including two women and one child. Source : Daily news paper ‘Rajpath’ on 04.10.1996.
  • 17  Dilip Halder, Atrocities on Dalits : Since Partition of Bengal, Mittal Publication, New Delhi, 1t ed. 2008, pp63-78
  • 18  Manohar Mouli Biswas (edited), Dalit Mirror, Jan-Feb, 2008 issue, pp9. 
  • 19  ibid
  • 20  Chuni Kotal-ke Nivedito Bishesh Kabita Sankshya “Chaturtha Dunia”, Achintya Biswas, Pradhan Sampadak, August, 1994 issue,editorial.
  • 21  Jatindranath Sarkar, a reporter reported in the “Overland” daily news paper, dated 24.12.92
  • 22  Membership register of Bangla Dalit Sahitya Sanstha.
  • 23 Invitation card issued for each of the memorial lecture.
  • 24  Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ in Cary Nelson edited and Lawrence Grossberg introduced, Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, University of Illinois and Chicago (1988),pp276
  • 25  Arvind Kumar and Ayan Guha, The Political Future of Caste in West Bengal,, EPW, Vol. 49 No.32, August 2014, pp74.

আপনার কেমন লাগলো?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent article. It is very much helpful to the researchers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *