Bengali Dalit Drama as Literature of Protest: A Select Study
It is a matter of great concern that Indian society is still largely dominated by the vile practice of caste-discrimination. Surprisingly enough, here human beings are mainly judged in respect of their birth, not as human beings, to be more precise. The Dalits, the former ‘untouchables’, the ‘Harijans’ in Gandhi’s term, have been marginalized, suppressed, oppressed and exploited by the caste-Hindus throughout the ages- politically, psychologically and socially. Now in recent decades, Dalit writers all over India have been registering their traumatic experiences through their literary creations. Dalit plays, though late in origin, are of no exception, as far the end of the Dalit writings is concerned. This paper focuses specifically on some select Bengali Dalit Plays by some of the most prominent Bengali Dalit Playwrights like Manju Bala, Raju Das, Namita Das, Nakul Mallik, Harshabardhan Choudhury, to mention a few. How these plays are instrumental in bringing about the social consciousness through the crude representation of the evils caused to the marginalized people because of the evil practice of the caste discrimination- is the central concern of this paper. These plays often raise voice against the inequality and injustice and try to project an ideal society reigned by liberty, equality and fraternity as Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the god-father of the Dalits, has dreamt to have established. The paper also touches on how these plays set a broad contrast against the mainstream drama both thematically and technically.