At the National Seminar on “Dalit Literature: Texts and Contexts”, organised by Delhi University’s English Department over three days, like at any other seminar, a buffet lunch was served. As happens at most such events, the sole meat dish, or nonveg as it is called, was kept a part apart. At what was deemed a safe and agreeable distance from the other pure-veg stuff. Safe for and agreeable to whom? It was not clear if the Manu Smriti or Narada Smriti or DU’s rulebook designed by some long-dead registrar had been consulted as regards the decorous distance to be maintained. I asked an aproned cateter on whose orders this had been done. We do as some saheb tells us, he offered. Besides this is how it’s always done, another said. But how can this happen at a Dalit Literature conference?
Author: S. Anand
S. Anand is a poet and the publisher of Navayana and the co-author of Finding My Way.
A poem for Gandhi ji on the sweet occasion of his birth and Swacch Bharath anniversary
Into the mosaic of atrocities: and the atrocity of being in such a mosaic:
A profile of Hoshang Merchant, poet, teacher, male, gay, who says he ‘seeks the queer in each one of us’