Ramnarayan Rawat to Discuss A Dalit Lexicon of Liberty
and Equality in 20th Century Northern India
April 4th, the South Asia Center is pleased to host Ramnarayan Rawat to discuss A Dalit Lexicon of Liberty and Equality in 20th Century Northern India. Rawat is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at University of Delaware, Newark. The lecture will take place in 341 Eggers Hall at 12:30PM.
Rawat will discuss how Dalit actors and organizations deployed a
specific set of concepts to define, describe, and personalize the politics of
liberty and equality in early 20th century India. Rawat argues that the terms
used in Dalit political and literary activism were a product of very particular
intellectual and religious traditions. The heterodox (non-Hindu) religious
practice known as Nirgun Bhakti (devotion to a formless divinity) constituted a
crucial resource for Dalit engagements with the ideas and practices of liberal politics
being worked out in late colonial India. This talk traces the intimate
connections between vernacular concepts, modern democratic institutions, and
Dalit intellectual challenges to caste inequality.