Tag Archives: Dalit History Matters

The Dalit Panthers


The Dalit Panthers was a social organization founded by Namdeo Dhasal, Raja Dhale, and Arun Kamble in April 1972 in Mumbai. Formed in the state of Maharashtra in the 1970s, they ideologically aligned themselves to the Black Panther movement in the United States.

Dalit Panthers

Dalit Panthers

During the same period, Dalit literature, painting, and theater challenged the very premise and nature of established art forms and their depiction of society and religion. Many of these new Dalit artists formed the first generation of the Dalit Panther movement that sought to wage an organized struggle against the varna system. Dalit Panthers visited “atrocity” sites, organized marches and rallies in villages, and raised slogans of direct militant action against their upper-caste aggressors.

Check Also – 15th January in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Namdeo Dhasal

The Dalit Panthers’ Manifesto defines Dalits as “all those who are exploited politically, economically and in the name of religion.” They classified “American imperialism” in the same category as “Hindu feudalism”; with both being examples of caste hierarchy. They also asserted that while Hindu feudalism may have spawned caste inequality, its extension by the modern Indian state had created an oppression “a hundred times more ruthless.”

Read AlsoSiddharth Vihar is gone – Place where Dalit Panthers was founded. 

Their firm stance and rallying message across Maharastra made their members frequent targets of state surveillance and brutality. Their legacy lives on in states across India, including in Tamil Nadu’s VCK Dalit Panthers Political party. Read their manifesto from here.

Please share the information with your friends. Follow the Dalit History Month on Facebook from here and also check www.dalithistory.com

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Jhalkari Bai – A Legendary Dalit Woman Warrior


Our first Dalit History month post is about the legendary Jhalkari Bai. She was a legendary Dalit woman warrior who played a crucial role in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 during the battle of Jhansi in the women’s army of Queen Laxmibai of Jhansi.

Jhalkari Bai

Jhalkari Bai

Born into a poor Dalit family, she started her career as an ordinary soldier and eventually rose to be the Queen’s trusted advisor. At the height of the battle she disguised herself as the queen and fought to let the queen escape safely out of the fort.

As she led her brave cadre of women into the British camp, she challenged even the General of the British Forces. His reply on meeting her: “If even one per cent of Indian women were like Jhalkari; the British would soon have to leave India.”

Her story lives on in Bundelkhand region of India and inspires Dalit women everywhere!

Read more about Dalit History Month from http://www.dalithistory.com 

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Filed under Dalit History Month, Dr B R Ambedkar, Today in Dalit History, Today in History