Dalit Identity, Cultural Assertion and Mobilisation in Jammu
Author(s): Ankush Kumar
Abstract:After India’s independence, untouchability has been officially abolished in the Indian constitution. However, the negative stigma of Dalit Identity continues throughout India in one form or the other. Therefore, Dalit’s struggle for meaningful survival is the foremost for the dignity, self-respect, government services, and representation. Dalits visualise a just and inclusive society for everyone. The Jammu area remained unfamiliar and unobserved. No detailed analysis is available regarding the politics of Dalit identity, social transformation, hierarchy, and assertion of Dalit communities. The broader argument of this article is that Dalit identity is associated with the shared living experience and the culture, such as economic exploitation, caste discrimination, gender dominance, and repudiation of the Dalit knowledge. In Jammu, at various places, the new construction of counter-culture has been created through different modalities, which bring Dalits on the same level playing field together. (For example, such as the construction of temples of community gurus, organising rallies (Shoba Yatra) in the name of guru, development of community Sabha, the release of songs on communities and gurus, and celebration of ‘Prakash Diwas’ (Guru Birthday Anniversary) and many more). The new counter-culture and language of protest include the Dalits’ narratives regarding class, caste, and gender issues, and it undoubtedly plays an imperative role in illustrating the Dalit Identity in Jammu.