a question about 'dalit'

Suresh Kolichala suresh.kolichala at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 7 15:15:04 UTC 2012

On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM, Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu> wrote:
> Dear Jonathan,
>      While the word dalita as a past participle of the verb dalati is widely
> used in the classical literature, the use of this term to refer to
> "down-trodden" or lower-caste people is entirely new, no more than 20 or 30
> years old, but indeed very widespread today in India.
> Madhav Deshpande

Does that mean another assertion of James Massey that the first person
to use 'dalit' in the modern sense was Jotirao Phule of the 19th
century is also incorrect?

"The present usage of the term dalit goes back to the nineteenth
century, when a Marathi social reformer and revolutionary Mahatma
Jotirao Phule used it to describe the outcastes and untouchables as
the oppressed and broken [...]" (Massey 1991:9, Roots, a concise
history of Dalits)

Atlanta, GA

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