As B.R. Ambedkar stated in Annihilation of Caste, day laborers only suffer grueling labor on subsistence wages owing to their terror of punishment given to those who question it. This story reminds readers that so-called ritual impurity or untouchability has never stopped non-privileged caste people from being violated through touch and sexual abuse. The agitation over the 2012 Delhi gang rape and the more recent revelations of #MeToo occur amidst a long history of low-income Dalit women and girls routinely facing rape and other forms of repeated sexual assault from powerful landowners whose word can stop or start their wages. This story allows us to listen to the conversations and internal monologue of two-day laborers, both of whom struggle on a non-living wage. Devamani waits for her abuse to end, hoping the next generation will not be treated as a spittoon for men’s bodily fluids. Meanwhile, her friend Suguna finds the only way possible to feed her extended family.
Vinodini, M. M. and Mohammed, Translated by Afsar
Short Story: “Villain’s Suicide”.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 22(10), 144-150.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss10/13