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Abstract

History is a projection of realities from the historian's lens and parameters. The popularity and acceptance of historical accounts depend much on hegemonic structures and knowledge. The Dalit community was marginalized within the Indian economic, social, and political historiography. Gradually, with the rise of Dalit consciousness, men—the better-positioned gender of the community—tried to express their vulnerabilities from a masculinist perspective. The literature written also projected women only as extensions of male protagonists. Though the traumas Dalit women have faced due to intersectional realities are separate from that of men, they could not find a place in early literature as complete entities, entitled to be acknowledged as such. The trade union movements also sidelined the issues of Dalit women laborers. To date, issues of Dalit women's property rights, longevity, education, and empowerment are largely androcentric, as the state’s schemes and policies are majorly heteronormative and male-centric. The reason why we need to keep invoking the past and history is to assert that the present condition of Dalit women has its roots in the past and their issues and voices continue to remain on the margins despite the rich social experiences they carry and represent.

Note on the Author

Tarushikha Sarvesh is Assistant Professor at the Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Aligarh Muslim University

Ramashanker Singh is a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla

Tehzeeb Alam is a Doctoral Candidate at the Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Aligarh Muslim University

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