DALIT MOVEMENTS IN MALABAR
The victims of caste system were Dalits who were exploited for centuries in India. Dalit movements are social movements which work collectively against caste discriminations. There were many such movements in Kerala and India. After explaining about caste system, the book briefly deals with some social reformers in South Kerala, who fought against caste oppression. It focuses on Dalit movements in Malabar organized against untouchability. The book also deals with Dalit identity politics and various Dalit organizations in Malabar based on this ideology. It mentions the role of Communist Party in organizing Dalit agricultural workers, thus indirectly working against caste discriminations. ‘Theyyam’, the most popular religious folk dance of Malabar is dealt with as a symbolic protest against caste. Based on the study, some pertinent proposals are given for the empowerment of Dalit organizations and Dalits.
Mathew Aerthayil, a Jesuit priest, is the Director of Samskriti, an Institute of Socio-cultural Research and Action, at Pariyaram in Kannur District, Kerala. He is the former Director of Indian Social Institute, Bangalore and Socio-Religious Centre, Kozhikode. As an activist, he was deeply involved in the fish workers’ movement in Kerala for about 12 years. He did his Ph.D from Pune University on the topic of fish workers’ movement in Kerala. He writes regularly in English and Malayalam journals. He has published six books in English and Malayalam together.