Dalit Literature: 9 Prominent Writers for UGC NET English

The experiences, tribulations, and aspirations of Dalit groups are embodied in Dalit literature, which is of utmost relevance within the Indian literary scene. This literary movement came into being as a potent force that challenged the established caste system and gave voice to socially excluded groups. Examining Dalit literature and its significant authors is essential for UGC NET English aspirants in order to comprehend the various cultural and socioeconomic narratives that contribute to India’s rich literary history. This blog post attempts to throw light on some significant Dalit authors whose works have profoundly influenced the canon of literature and can be incredibly helpful for UGC NET English preparation.

Dalit Literature: Prominent Writers for UGC NET English

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, an Indian social reformer from the 19th century, was instrumental in promoting Dalit rights and leading the anti-caste campaign in India. Despite not having a reputation for being a writer, his works helped to establish Dalit literature by criticising the restrictive caste system. The horrors perpetrated against Dalits were revealed in Phule’s work “Gulamgiri” (Slavery), which also argued for their liberation. His writings, which are still important today, focused on education as a way to empower marginalised people.

Babasaheb Ambedkar

An important figure in Indian history known as Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is largely regarded as the creator of the Indian Constitution and an advocate for Dalit rights. His essays reveal a deep awareness of socioeconomic inequity and caste-based prejudice. Ambedkar’s key essay, “Annihilation of Caste,” calls for the complete abolition of the caste system while critically examining its origins. His essays, talks, and autobiographical writings continue to motivate people and offer a sociopolitical viewpoint on the problems Dalits face.

Omprakash Valmiki

Omprakash Valmiki, a well-known author of Dalit literature, was born in India’s Uttar Pradesh. He rose to fame as a result of his autobiography, “Joothan: A Dalit’s Life.” The difficulties experienced by Dalits in rural India are unfilteredly described in Valmiki’s compelling book. His writing illuminates the stark realities of untouchability, destitution, and prejudice that he directly encountered.

In “Joothan,” Valmiki critically analyses the current societal structure while delivering a moving indictment of the systematic discrimination Dalits experience. His vivid writing style effectively conveys the suffering, grief, and tenacity of his community. Through his own experience, Valmiki draws attention to the intricate interactions between caste, identity, and socioeconomic variables that affect Dalits’ daily lives.

In addition to his autobiography, Valmiki has written challenging poetry, articles, and short tales that further explore the concepts of caste prejudice and societal injustice. His articles shed important light on Dalits’ battle for respect and equality and offer insightful perspectives into their real-world experiences.

Readers, academics, and activists continue to value Omprakash Valmiki’s writing as a prominent voice in Dalit literature. His contributions have been crucial in promoting social change, questioning conventional conventions, and increasing awareness of the struggles and aspirations of Dalits. The literary legacy of Valmiki is evidence of the literature’s ability to confront social issues and magnify the voices of underrepresented groups.


Sharankumar Limbale

Renowned Marathi author Sharankumar Limbale has significantly influenced Dalit writing in India. His well-known book “Akarmashi” (The Outcaste) offers a striking portrayal of a Dalit protagonist battling social biases and battling for self-acceptance. In order to offer awareness on the social and psychological effects of caste-based discrimination, Limbale’s literature questions conventional narratives.

In “Akarmashi,” Limbale exposes the terrible conditions Dalits face by delving deeply into the pervasive caste system. The book examines issues of exile, resistance, and identity while reflecting the complex realities of Dalit life. Introspective and lyrical, Limbale’s work captures the fight for social justice and dignity endured by marginalised people.

In addition to “Akarmashi,” Limbale has written a number other important publications, including “Hindu” and “Gandu Bagicha.” These books explore caste dynamics and the social challenges faced by Dalits in India in greater detail. The writings of Limbale offer a complex viewpoint on the interactions between caste, power, and societal injustice.

The literary scene has been shaped by Sharankumar Limbale’s contributions to Dalit writing, which have also spurred significant discussions on social injustice and caste-based prejudice. His writings continue to motivate readers, academics, and activists, advancing knowledge of Dalit struggles and the urgent need for societal change. The broader movement for equality and social justice continues to be strongly influenced by Limbale’s voice.

Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy is a well-known and significant Dalit feminist author who has become a significant force in Indian literature. She skillfully combines her literary prowess with activism through her creative works, tackling important caste, gender, and class concerns. In order to depict a Dalit village’s massacre, Kandasamy’s debut book, “The Gipsy Goddess,” deftly blends together historical facts and personal accounts.

In her writing, Kandasamy bravely exposes the points where oppression intersects, bringing attention to the particular problems Dalit women endure. Her writings not only highlight the subtleties of caste-based prejudice but also highlight its tremendous effects on gender dynamics in underserved regions. Kandasamy challenges social norms and amplifies the voices of Dalit women who have been silenced in society through her powerful and captivating storytelling.

In addition to her work, Kandasamy has also made a big impact through her activism, articles, poems, and essays, furthering the conversation on feminism, caste dynamics, and social justice. Her essays delve into the complex undertones of resistance, power, and identity.

Meena Kandasamy’s art is evidence of her unvarnished depiction of the reality faced by Dalits. She has sparked critical debates and promoted a better understanding of the ways in which oppression and discrimination overlap through her literary activism. Readers, academics, and activists respond passionately to Kandasamy’s writing, which acts as a catalyst for social change and encourages efforts to create a society that is more inclusive and equal. Her contributions to feminist and Dalit literature have had a big impact on Indian and international literature.

Dalit Literature: Prominent Writers for UGC NET English

Daya Pawar

Daya Pawar was a well-known author of Dalit literature and a prominent social activist in Marathi culture. His influential writings provide unique insights into caste-based prejudice and the difficulties Dalits experience in Indian society. Pawar’s work is known for its candour and vivid storytelling, which has a significant impact on the literary scene.

“Baluta” (The Sharecropper), Pawar’s autobiography, is among his most well-liked compositions. His personal experiences as a Dalit are poignantly recounted in this book, exposing the terrible reality of caste-based prejudice, poverty, and social exclusion. Pawar exposes the stories of the underprivileged and challenges conventional stereotypes with compelling tales and moving storytelling.

The book “Baluta” is a potent literary testament to Pawar’s unshakeable character and dedication to social justice. It gives marginalised voices a forum, arousing compassion and promoting a better understanding of the Dalit experience.

Daya Pawar has gained global acclaim and appreciation for his important contributions to Dalit literature and social activism. His writings continue to serve as an example for upcoming generations of activists and writers, leaving behind a potent legacy of standing up to authority and fighting for justice and equality. Pawar’s writings are still very relevant today, challenging society to face its prejudices and work towards a future that is more inclusive and egalitarian.

Baby Kamble

Famous Dalit author Baby Kamble, who is from Maharashtra, India, has significantly influenced Dalit literature. Her autobiography, “The Prisons We Broke,” is a stirring tale of her life as a Dalit woman and sheds light on the harsh realities of caste-based prejudice, poverty, and tyranny.

In her autobiography, Kamble details her life’s experiences and gives a realistic account of the various sorts of prejudice she came into contact with. She captures the core of the difficulties experienced by Dalit women and offers a nuanced viewpoint on the interconnectedness of caste and gender in her storytelling, which is direct, sincere, and evocative. Kamble draws attention to the structural inequities that are pervasive in Indian society through her narrative.

“The Prisons We Broke” is a powerful tool for social criticism, upending established theories and magnifying the voices of the oppressed. In addition to highlighting the widespread socioeconomic injustices, Kamble’s literature also honours the Dalit community’s tenacity and fortitude.

The literary accomplishments of Baby Kamble go beyond her autobiography. She has been a vocal supporter of social justice and equality, speaking out against the structural problems that India’s marginalised populations confront.

In summary, Baby Kamble’s writings have had a profound influence on Dalit literature. She offers a personal glimpse into the struggles Dalit women confront via her story, igniting compassion, understanding, and action. Readers are still drawn to Kamble’s writing, which encourages increased awareness and the pursuit of equality and social change.

Kancha Ilaiah

Influential Indian author and social activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd has made a huge impact on the conversation about caste, class, and social justice. Ilaiah has been a key figure in fighting for the rights of underrepresented groups and overturning the established caste-based systems as a Dalit thinker.

A major publication by Ilaiah is his book “Why I Am Not a Hindu: A Sudra Critique of Hindutva Philosophy, Culture, and Political Economy.” Ilaiah exposes the inherent inequities and inequalities that result from the caste system in this stimulating book, which offers a critical critique of the Brahminical dominance inside Hindu society. Ilaiah aims to empower Dalits and other marginalised communities through his writings by helping them regain their identities and by opposing the repressive power structures that support inequity.

Beyond his contributions to literature, Kancha Ilaiah has been a social activist who has relentlessly fought for the rights of underrepresented groups and worked to improve society. Important discussions and debates about caste, class, and social inequity in India have been inspired by his writings and actions.

Readers, academics, and activists continue to be moved by Kancha Ilaiah’s writings, which encourage critical analysis of deeply established prejudices and injustices. His dedication to bringing about social change and his important contributions to Dalit writing have had a significant influence on the ongoing fight for an inclusive and just society in India.

Durga Bai Vyas

An excellent artist and storyteller, Durga Bai Vyas is a member of the Bhil tribe in Madhya Pradesh, India. She is renowned for her wonderful Gond paintings, which beautifully capture the mythology and cultural history of her region. The artwork of Durga Bai is distinguished by its vivid colours, minute details, and representations of legendary animals, tribal deities, and daily life.

Because of the beauty and complexity of indigenous art traditions, she has gained acclaim on a national and international level for her artistic talent. The artwork of Durga Bai not only provides a beautiful treat but also captures the soul of the legends and customs of her society.

Durga Bai Vyas protects and honours the vibrant cultural history of the Bhil community via her artwork. Her works give her people’s voices and stories a stage on which to be heard and valued. The skill and commitment of Durga Bai serve as a prime example of the value placed on indigenous art forms and the various civilizations they represent.


Dalit literature is a potent literary movement that has upended rigid social structures and given voice to underrepresented groups in Indian culture. This battle has been greatly aided by the writings of famous Dalit authors including Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Omprakash Valmiki, Sharankumar Limbale,Meena Kandasamy,Daya Pawar, Baby Kamble, Kancha Ilaiah and Durga Bai Vyam. For UGC NET English applicants, comprehending their contributions is crucial since it deepens understanding of India’s sociocultural dynamics and offers insights into the struggles of marginalised populations.

Dalit literature is an essential part of the UGC NET English syllabus because it provides a distinctive viewpoint on social inequity, discrimination, and resistance. Candidates can gain a profound grasp of the complexity of caste-based oppression and contribute to the advancement of social justice and inclusivity within literary studies and society at large by reading the works of these significant Dalit authors.

Read More : Indian Literature-Important Writers/poets/critics/novelists

Indian Literature-Important Writers/poets/critics/novelists



Leave a Comment