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Dark Interiors

Dark Interiors
Essays on Caste and Dalit Culture

January 2021 | 224 pages | SAGE Samya
‘Except women and dalits, I do not think there is anyone discriminated at birth.’ 

These words give an idea of Raj Gauthaman’s succinct and provocative critique, translated into English for the first time by Theodore Baskaran. The essays engage with dalit liberation politics, the relationship of dalits with Tamil history and the many strands that constitute radical dalit culture. Gauthaman discusses dalit history and what the progress of non-brahmin politics in Tamil Nadu has meant for dalits. 

This analysis of the alternative cultural expressions of dalits, politics, art and literature comes from essays written in 1992–2002, which remain perennial and startlingly new. The author’s discussion of Iyothee Thass Pandithar—who preceded Ambedkar by 50 years—of Ambedkar and Periyar, of postmodernism and Subaltern Studies, provides a new cultural history that tells us about dalit assertion today.
Preface by Raj Gauthaman
Translator’s Note by S. Theodore Baskaran
Introduction by V. Geetha
The Dalits of Tamil Nadu and Dalit Literature
Dalit Culture
Periyapuranam: Hierarchy and Inversion
Brahmins, Vellalas and the Tamil Country
Dravidian Literature: Radical Features and Worldview
Postmodernism and Dalit Ideology
From the Subaltern Perspective: Re-Examination and Social Transformation
Religion (Hinduism) from the Dalit Perspective
The Times of Iyothee Thass (1845–1914)

Raj Gauthaman

Raj Gauthaman (b. 1950, Virudhnagar) is a leading Tamil intellectual who was part of a core group of mainly dalit writers and thinkers in the 1990s who were behind the influential little magazine, Nirapirigai. He has authored twenty research works that analyse the development of Tamil culture from ancient to modern periods with a focus on subaltern dalit perspectives. He retired as Head of the Tamil Department at the Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for Postgraduate Studies in Puducherry. More About Author

S. Theodore Baskaran (Translator)

S. Theodore Baskaran (b. 1940), writes in both Tamil and English. His book The Message Bearers (1981) is a standard reference work on the freedom struggle in South India. His book The Eye of the Serpent: An Introduction to Tamil Cinema (1996) won the Swarna Kamal award from the President of India. He has translated Ullas Kanth, The Way of the Tiger (2004) and Job Thomas, The Chola Bronzes (2019) into Tamil. More About Author

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ISBN: 9789381345634

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