Baluta (autobiography)

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Baluta (Marathi बलुतं) is an autobiography by the Indian writer Daya Pawar, written in the Marathi language.[1] According to Kalita, Baluta "introduced autobiographical writing" to Dalit literature.[2] Baluta is seen by the Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature as an attempt by the writer to be personal yet "objective and representative", the title generalising the status of rural untouchables. It records the writer's struggle for peace, a struggle with no chance of retaliation in "word or deed".[3]


Rao considers that Baluta, as a representative of Dalit literature, wasn't just a faithful narration of the Dalit experience but also an "ethical challenge" to the "caste Hindu" whom it "implicated".[4] Sharmila Rege quotes Urmila Pawar, who mentions the criticism of Dalit scholars that Baluta was shameful; Urmila rejects this criticism as based on lack of understanding.[5] According to The Encyclopaedia..., it created the first anti-hero in Marathi literature.[3] Link mentions that Baluta "created a sensation in the Marathi world for its frank and unique description of a life that the author lived in the ghettos of prostitutes, criminals, pimps and uprooted Dalit people, within and around the red light areas of the city of Bombay."[6]


  1. ^ Dangale considers it a remarkable representative of the autobiography genre of Marathi Dalit literature.Arjuna Ḍāṅgaḷe (1992). Poisoned bread: translations from modern Marathi Dalit literature. Orient Blackswan. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-86311-254-6. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Arūpā Paṭaṃgīẏā Kalitā (1 January 2002). Translating caste. Katha. p. 241. ISBN 978-81-87649-05-2. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Amaresh Datta (1 January 2006). The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume One (A To Devo). Sahitya Akademi. pp. 357–. ISBN 978-81-260-1803-1. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Anupama Rao (6 July 2009). The caste question: Dalits and the politics of modern India. University of California Press. pp. 197–. ISBN 978-0-520-25761-0. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Rege, Sharmila (2 July 2006). Writing caste, writing gender: reading Dalit women's testimonios. Zubaan. p. 292. ISBN 978-81-89013-01-1. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Link: Indian newsmagazine. 1981. p. 37. Retrieved 9 March 2012.