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Assertive Sprout from Wounded Psyche: Glimpses into Dalit Spirituality

  • A. Maria Arul Raja SJ
Chapter

Abstract

The spirit of self-assertion of the people reduced to be untouchables, calling themselves as Dalits, in the South Asian scenario claim their space in the symbolic, social and political realms. They seek to create and resolve conflicts in view of terminating the systems of discriminatory hierarchy leading them to become co-humans with others. With the strategies of assimilation, transference and revolt in relation to the agents of oppressive systems, they keep on activating their assertive agency even within the restricted socio-political space. The exploratory nature of their ethical discourses have the matrix of rationality, social benefit and historical concreteness leading towards egalitarianism. With their conflicting consciousness, the religion-making capacity is frequently deployed by them for interrogating the dominant discourses legitimizing caste oppression. The close proximity of the Dalits with the crude reality of material world seems to empower them to evolve realistic tools of perceptive analysis of their suffering. Accordingly they seem to intuitively live out the insight that the “imposed suffering as passion” has to be resolutely resisted with “voluntary suffering as action”. This is quite different from the habituated manner of blaming the victims for their suffering in the classical traditions. When Dalits fall back to their interior movements, they could be further empowered in the following realms of their struggles: (1) dynamics of interiorisation, (2) strategy of articulation, (3) ideological clarity.

Key Authors

Ambedkar, B. R. Chatterjee, P. Clarke, S. Gramsci, A. Ilaiah, K. Raja, A. M. A 

Keywords

Dalit spirituality Oppressive caste system Egalitarian ethics Exploratory ethics Conflicting consciousness Imposed suffering Voluntary suffering 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Maria Arul Raja SJ
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions (IDCR), Loyola CollegeChennaiIndia

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