ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Rajesh JamesSubscribe to Rajesh James

Casting Caste: Dalit Identity, Papilio Buddha, and Malayalam Cinema

Caste in Kerala has been under-represented both in canonical Malayalam literature as well as in Malayalam cinema. This article reviews the representational absence of Dalits in Malayalam cinema, explores how this absence perpetuates the structural violence against Dalits, and analyses Jayan K Cherian’s Papilio Buddha. This is a rare fi lm that tackles the contentious question of caste, reveals the ineffectualness of Gandhism and left politics vis-à-vis Dalit issues, and points to Ambedkarism and Buddhism as ways to forge a coherent Dalit consciousness.
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